In the Welsh Revival of 1904-05, David Matthews testifies in his book I Saw the Welsh Revival that as an unsaved man he pressed himself into the back of an overcrowded church. When he finally left and stepped back into the cool air he realized he had been in that continuous service for ten straight hours, but it had flown by. He had no awareness of the actual time.
In The Great Revival of 1860 in South Africa, the services at Andrew Murray’s church in Worcester where the revival began often continued to 3:00 in the morning. Time was lost.
The first occasion where I experienced this dynamic was in Ireland at a conference grounds with David O’Gorman and his church. My wife and I had just come from the Island of Lewis off the northwest coast of Scotland. While there we met Donald MacPhail who as a teenager saved in the Lewis Revival became a part of the intercessory prayer team, and on several occasions when he prayed the fire of God fell. We spent two hours together and then he prayed for us. Within days we were in Ireland and God moved in an after meeting. Two hours flew by like ten minutes. This occurred nightly through the rest of that week. The presence of God was more real than I had ever known.
Since then on several occasions I have been in settings where services or prayer meetings have continued for a couple of hours and seemed like minutes. Why? Why the sense of time being lost? It is simply because when God pours out His Spirit in revival you are in the manifest presence of God who is the great I AM. God dwells in the eternal present tense. When you are keenly aware of His presence, time is lost.
John Van Gelderen