“The first thing that was done, before the power ever fell on Azusa, was a united ten day season of fasting and prayer. If there was ever any sectarianism, fasting broke it down.” – Mother Craton
On April 6, 1906, William Seymour and his small group of believers began a ten-day fast to pray for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. They were joined by Seymour’s friend from Houston, Lucy Farrow, who was the only one there who had received the Baptism. Three days into the fast, on April 9, Seymour and Farrow went to pray for Seymour’s host, Mr. Edward Lee, who had requested prayer for healing. Mr. Lee told them of a dream he had received the night before where the twelve apostles came to him and explained how to speak in tongues. In response to the dream, Seymour and Farrow prayed for Mr. Lee and he immediately received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and began to speak in tongues! Filled with excitement, they rushed to their meeting at the house on Bonnie Brae Street. Mr. Lee lifted up his voice and began to speak in tongues in front of everyone. Soon others were speaking in tongues and the full Baptism of the Holy Spirit was upon them!
Word spread quickly throughout Los Angeles of the phenomena. Frank Bartleman said that “the news spread like fire, naturally.” By the next night, the Bonnie Brae house was filled and the crowds overflowed into the streets. As Seymour preached, people from across the street would fall to the ground under the power of the Spirit and begin speaking in tongues. The meetings continued on Bonnie Brae Street without interruption for three days straight. The crowds thronged the house with such intensity that the front porch actually collapsed, though no one was hurt. It actually wasn’t until the fourth day, on April 12th, that Seymour himself received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit after staying up all night in prayer and fasting. As hungry seekers from every race, culture, and denominational background came to discover more of God, Seymour was forced to find a bigger building to accommodate the ever-growing crowds. On April 14, they moved to an old building on 312 Azusa Street that had most recently been used as a horse stable and motel.
At 312 Azusa Street, Seymour began hosting three services a day, seven days a week. The building was always full. Hosts of people experienced the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, speaking in new tongues, and physical healing. In Bartleman’s book, What Really Happened at Azusa St.?, he described the revival by saying, “Suddenly the Spirit would fall upon the congregation. God himself would give the altar call. Men would fall all over the house, like the slain in battle, or rush for the altar en masse to seek God. The scene often resembled a forest of fallen trees…. Some claim to have seen the (shekinah) glory by night over the building.” God poured out a new day of Pentecost.
The Azusa Street Revival continued until 1915 and birthed the modern Pentecostal and Charismatic movements. Today there are over 600 million Pentecostal and Charismatic believers. Eyewitness accounts of the revival pointed to fasting and prayer as the fuel of the fire.
Glen Cook, said, “I had a room adjoining Brother Seymour. I know that Brother Seymour fasted for weeks at a time and only ate occasionally. There was much fasting and prayer in those days, and I believe that another Azusa could be here today if God’s people would get to travailing in much prayer and fasting.”
A.W. Dodson recalled, “They just waited on the Lord in fastings, prayer and the unity of the Spirit. When the Holy Spirit spoke and moved, they moved. The Holy Spirit was their leader, and when the Spirit anointed, then that person spoke. There was no denominational barrier; nobody shut up another or told him to sit down. The Holy Spirit was there in operation, and this was brought about through intense closeness and communion with God by everyone forgetting about food and their cares. We just drank at the Fountain of the Spirit.”
We want to give you a special notice to prepare you to take communion on the last day of this fast. We want to join together in communion for what we believe is going to herald the Great Communion Revival. Gather your elements, your family, and then follow the devotional on the final day of your fast.