My Experience at the Asbury University Revival

By Nancy Virden (c)2023

I drove several hours to the revival on Thursday, February 16, then went to sleep early and woke at 3:00 a.m. I’d heard the services were running 24/7 so decided to go to the chapel in the middle of the night. 

I felt God’s breathtaking presence there. People from northern Michigan, Indiana, the U.S.A. capitol, I suspect Texas, and possibly Africa were there. Asbury students were spontaneously singing alone or in groups. Strangers were fervently praying for one another. I know they were strangers because afterward they shook hands and introduced themselves. Men were prostrate seeking God while others paced in prayer. At one point the student leading the music stopped to confess. He said to God, “I’m sorry for all the times I’ve been in Your presence and didn’t acknowledge it. Please help me, I don’t want to miss You anymore.” Worship included whispered prayers and shouts of praise. This was happening between 5 and 7:30 am.

But here’s the clincher – I never got in the building. It was locked to nonstudents all night and didn’t open to outsiders until noon. About 15 other believers were waiting with me outside as it snowed. We could hear the worship leader due to a large speaker. The reverence, Christian love, and seeking after God I just described were all happening outside, on the porch of the chapel, in “real-feel” weather of about 26 degrees.

A stranger gave me his coat. Another stranger offered to let me sit in her car. Love within the family of od was evident. I sang, shivered, and prayed for the revival to carry beyond Kentucky. 

I waited for a total of 5.5 hours, perhaps the last two in my car. I felt disappointed and mad I didn’t get into the chapel. Why weren’t they set up for people with disabilities to get in? Why wasn’t there any signage so we would know it was closed? By now my body hurt and I needed food and rest. My mood was more negative.

I’d been quite discouraged for a few weeks and it had worsened lately. Asbury seemed like a place for personal rejuvenation. Starting a new career at my age is daunting. Did God really call me to become a mental health coach? Can I do the job? Would God heal me of chronic anemia at Asbury?

After an 8-hour sleep, God started to talk to me about what maybe should have been obvious. (By ‘talk’ I mean He poured truth into my spirit as I read the Holy Bible and inquired of Him.) God was interacting with me in private prayer in the hotel room as He always does wherever I pray. He was near, drawing our hearts together with His Holy Spirit. Why did I let myself think I needed to experience Him in a specific building in Kentucky? 

During my drive home, I worshiped, confessed, repented, and prayed. A radio preacher said, “Why do you pray about doing God’s will? Just do it.” God was restoring joy and hope in my heart.  

I was revived at Asbury, or more precisely after I left. Revival always starts with willingness no matter where we are. God will show himself to sincere people who are seeking Him. When we agree to acknowledge His presence and authority, and finally repent of trying to control our own lives, personal revival can come. He turns hearts of stone into flesh, softening us to love Him and to honestly and purely love each other.


Today’s Helpful Word

Psalm 50:14-15

Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God,
    and keep the vows you made to the Most High.
 Then call on me when you are in trouble,
    and I will rescue you,
    and you will give me glory.”

If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988, or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!

Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair. NOTE: Nancy is not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speaks only from personal experience and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.


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