I Prayed have prayed
Lord, thank You for leading souls to repentance during the Asbury Outpouring! May Your Spirit continue to move hearts into radical humility, so they’re ready for more of Your Presence!
Reading Time: 4 minutes

We’re tracking the importance of repentance in revival in this series, and on this anniversary of the start of the Asbury Outpouring we’re looking at what happened in Hughes Auditorium this time last year.

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Greg Haseloff, Associate Dean of Spiritual Life and University Pastor at Asbury University, said after about 10% of their chapels in early 2023 students would linger, waiting on the Lord and worshipping for 10-45 minutes after they were dismissed. Looking back, he knew things had shifted on February 8 when about a dozen of the 35 who had lingered that day went to the altar 20-30 minutes after chapel had let out. Haseloff said:

That particular moment seemed to intensify how you would sense the manifest presence of God and the uniqueness of what He was doing in a time of waiting and lingering. And there was some holy awe in that shifting and moving to the altar together.

When I asked him about the importance of repentance in the Outpouring Haseloff said,

Gen Z is experiencing our polarized world, and they’re really scratching out for where the safe places are for them to say out loud what’s going on in their life. They’re saying, ‘Where can I begin to turn, and someone will hear my repentance and my confession and my shortcomings, and I won’t be marginalized because of them but will hear the kindness of God respond?’

He said before the Outpouring there were 10-20 discipleship bands focused on repentance, following the model of John and Charles Wesley and their Holy Club at Oxford during the First Great Awakening. Since the Outpouring the number of discipleship groups has risen to 20-30.


Haseloff said he saw repentance starting that first day as “people walked into the tangible Presence of God saying whatever is between me and Jesus, I want to turn from that right now and be so right with Him.”

They heard students repenting of pornography, other addictions, broken relationships, among other sins.

Here’s the whole interview with Haseloff:

The president of Asbury, Kevin Brown, knew something special was happening in Hughes Auditorium on the 8th. He sent out a note to faculty and staff encouraging them to experience it as their schedules allowed. But every hour he thought it would dissolve. He said: “David Thomas (of Seedbed, which developed curriculum for the discipleship bands on campus) came up to me that evening. He said, ‘I really think you should consider leaving this open all night.’ I said, ‘Really?’”

At that point key leaders started volunteering to cover specific shifts. Brown said there was “a desire and imagination among leaders to say, ‘Oh, we think we know what’s happening, and let’s really give this space to unfold.’” He said he appreciated being around people who had “this collective holy imagination.”

Brown found that students, fatigued by their phones constantly telling them what was going on in the world, want less. A student told him this and added, “We want something real and genuine and transformative.” Repentance is how they get there.

Brown doesn’t know of any revival anywhere that didn’t have some element of confession and repentance.

He heard someone at the Outpouring say, “If we had the spiritual eyes to see it with Gen Z we would see an altar filled with loosened chains.”

Here’s the whole interview with Brown:

Zeke Atha was a freshman at the 50th anniversary of the 1970 Asbury Revival in 2020, so he’d been praying for revival to hit the campus for three years. He wasn’t in one of the three groups Haseloff said were gathering on campus praying for revival, but he was often praying for it.

He said, “When we have an accurate viewpoint of the Lord, that causes us to humble ourselves.” While on campus during the Outpouring I spoke with a student who said, “This is a time of getting low.” Atha said, “The concept the Lord kept reminding us of was radical humility.”

Atha said, “I think repentance goes in hand with restoration with other people, because if we’re right with the Lord that’s just going to overflow into the rest of our lives.” He shared that he hadn’t spoken to someone in a couple of months. He said, “There was a lot of animosity or resentment there.” On the first night of the Outpouring Zach Meerkreebs — whose sermon sparked the two-week chapel service — called those with broken relationships to go and restore them in Jesus’ name. A friend who didn’t know what was on Atha’s mind said to him, “Whatever the Lord’s prompting you to do, you need to go do that.” He did and the relationship was restored.

On the flip side, Atha was invited to go to the consecration room, where people were praying over those who led worship before they got on stage. He turned down the offer, choosing to focus on getting his musical cords right. His laptop died when the battery was at 40%, and he found himself unduly angry. He reflected: “Satan said, ‘Gotcha.’ That was a huge reminder then and since then to humble yourself before you do anything, because it’s not a game.”

Here’s the whole interview with Atha:

Brown pointed out that the Outpouring flowed from the prayers of those who have gone before us, then he asked, “What prayers of ours today will people of future generations live?” Let’s pray they will walk in repentance and revival!

I started exporting the last video for this article at 3:01 a.m., and the Shekinah Glory fell! Here’s my closing prayer I recorded at the time:

To find the other articles in this series search for #ImportanceOfRepentanceInRevival.

The impact of the Asbury Outpouring continues to grow. Have you seen evidence of it in your community? Please share in the comments.

Rich Swingle has taught and performed in 39 nations on six continents, mostly with his own one-man plays. He and his bride Joyce Swingle, another contributing writer for IFA, have collaborated with Rev. Timothy J. Mercaldo to create a “singing play,” Songs of Revival: Hungry After God Himself. The Swingles live in New York City. www.RichDrama.comPhoto Credit: Jeremy Story.

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February 10, 2024


Ellen Hoffman
February 8, 2024

THANK YOU LORD! Please keep doing this again and again until we have another Great Awakening in our Country!

Raymond Via
February 8, 2024

Lord, bring another Asbury revival soon for our Nation requires it to be saved as in 2nd Chronicles 7:14. We repent of evil and idolatry Lord, so we can bring souls into the Harvest in The End Times. In Christ’s Name Amen!

Rev. Timothy James Mercaldo
February 8, 2024

Wonderful article and one that will certainly be a catalyst for those who have “ears to hear and eyes to see.”

Susan O'Neal
February 8, 2024

May this be the beginning of a new Great Awakening in our land.
We need it so badly, Precious Lord.
Auburn University also had an impressive event afterward. May there be more and more all over this nation and the world. May young and old be brought into a saving relationship with the Lord of Lords.

Brian lynch
February 8, 2024

Lord Jesus, may the revival at Asbury continue to spread across the nation. Cause us to repent of our self-centerdness which is so prevalent in our society. Help us, by Your Spirit, to put everything else a distant second in this life, to You and Your ways. Give us eyes to see, and ears to hear. Ho desperately do we need revival in our land!

Allena Jordan
February 8, 2024

Awesome closing prayer. Lord, impress upon me/us to give time for You to come visit us in “our own little chair.” Forgive me when I don’t linger and tarry and wait upon the Lord. Let the glory of the glory rise among us. Amen!

Rich Swingle
February 8, 2024

Yesterday there was a panel of faculty and students at Asbury who spoke in chapel on “The Story We Find Ourselves In”: https://www.asbury.edu/podcasts/120502

Praying the sparks from the Outpouring continue to set the nation on fire for the Lord!


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