1. What is the Biblical Background for ‘Reopening a Well’?
The concept behind this initiative is that there is still a spiritual inheritance or spiritual power in a place where God has worked powerfully before. I have heard it said that when revival has happened in a place, it is easier for it to happen again. Certainly, the land of Wales had a revival somewhere in the nation almost every few years from 1735 to 1905.
It is obvious why we reopen a physical well, because we already know that there is water there, so we don’t need to search anywhere else. For example, Isaac reopened the wells that his father Abraham had dug, which the Philistines had blocked up.
But did anyone reopen a spiritual well in the Bible? One example is the Jewish exiles who returned to Jerusalem after their exile in Babylon. The first thing they did was to re-establish the temple worship and they did it in the same place as before, see Ezra chapter 3.
Are there holy places? Can a special spiritual power or presence be attached to a physical location? Many places in Israel in the Old Testament were connected with spiritual events. They set up altars and memorial stones to remind them of important victories and meetings with God.
- Genesis 28:16-19 – Jacob’s dream of a stairway leading up to God. Afterwards, he said, “Surely, God is in this place.”He built an altar there and named the place Bethel.
- Exodus 17:15 After the victory over Amalek, Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the Lord is my banner”).
- 2 Samuel 24:18-25 David built an altar on a threshing floor in Jerusalem where a plague stopped.
- Judges 6:24 And Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and named it Yahweh-Shalom (which means ‘the Lord is peace’).
In our homes we often have a favourite chair where we pray regularly and where it is easier to pray. Also, when we go into a church where God has been worshiped for centuries, we often sense the peace of the Holy Spirit’s presence.
Therefore, we believe that asking God to work again in a place where he has worked before is a very valid strategy for revival and renewal. In addition, the idea of such places being like spiritual wells is a very helpful analogy. If you have any comments on this subject, we would be interested to hear them.
2. How Do We Reopen A Well?
Reopening a well is a partnership with God and worship is the vital element on our part. As we worship with sincere hearts we are able to break through to God’s presence. Then we hear his guidance as to how to pray, what previous ungodly agreements to break and what new godly proclamations to make.
Research on the history of the place will also guide us how to pray. For example, we might know the character of the well – was it a revival with much repentance and confession of sin, a powerful preaching ministry, a monastery or worship centre, a healing ministry, or a centre of mission sending? Also, what happened afterwards – is there still a remnant of the ministry, or is there no sign of it today?
We ask God to reopen the well, which means that we ask him to send again the Holy Spirit to do a powerful new work there. So he does the work and the glory goes to him. In some places there are existing ministries that are already worshiping and praying for the well to be reopened. In other places there is nothing obvious remaining on the surface, but we know from history that God did a powerful work there in the past. In such places it may be harder to break through and may need more preparation in worship.
A sister in Croatia said they have not been able to find any evidence of recent revivals in the country but there is one location where she feels stirred in her spirit whenever she goes there. So they could consider that place to be a spiritual well and worship there even though they don’t know what God did there in the past. I believe we can ask God to reopen the ‘unknown wells’, because they are still ‘known’ to him.
Then to finish, we go beyond what God did in the past and ask him to send a greater revival on the whole of Europe!