Leonard Ravenhill-A Man of Revival

Born in Leeds, England, in 1907, Leonard Ravenhill was a young lad who eventually came to faith in Christ. His late adolescence and young adulthood were influenced greatly by one of the most influential preachers of his day, Samuel Chadwick. While as a student at Cliff College, young Ravenhill experienced the holiness and presence of God. He put himself out there preaching God’s Word to thousands of unchurched Brits. Over the course of those summer itinerant tours, Ravenhill and other fellow students banded together and were used by God to shake the very soul of England.

Coming to America

In 1950, Ravenhill came to America. He had become friends with the famous American pastor, A.W. Tozer. Tozer preached at a church in Chicago. Through a chain of events, God called Ravenhill to influence America for revival. For the next 44 years, Leonard poured his heart out calling, praying, and pleading for the Holy Spirit to pour out a fresh revival on the church.  Leonard Ravenhill died in 1994 and I am one life greatly influenced by this man.

Driving 7 hours

In his later years, Leonard lived in Lindale, Texas (east of Dallas). Every Friday night, he held a prayer meeting; to call upon God to shape, change and restore the church and individual Christians in America; to pray for revival.  People would drive seven hours to go to a prayer meeting. They would drive past hundreds if not thousands of churches along the way, each locked up and dark. “There is no sense of passion, no sense of the holiness of God anymore.”

How Far Will You Go?

So much of what we see churches doing these days is an attempt to attract people through entertainment. To paraphrase Ravenhill, “We get them onto the tennis court, the volleyball court, the basketball court. Then, when we get them into the inner court (worship center), God isn’t there. Why? We’ve lost sight of the holiness of God.”

Which Do You Value Most?

Growing up, I thought being busy at church was the ticket to a good life. What I came to realize is busyness leads to burnout, not the abundant life Jesus talks about. The paradigm shift for me came when I realized God made no provision for me, or you, to live the Christian life. He made every provision for the Holy Spirit to live the life of Christ through us.  Galatians 2:20 says it well.

 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Nothing I desire more than to be filled, led, and saturated with the Holy Spirit. To experience the very presence of God. This is what Ravenhill longed for.

More could be said, but here’s a YouTube link to a recording of Ravenhill. It’s a three-part interview (35 minutes total) I heard during my college days, that profoundly affected the way I view my walk with Christ, and my desire for you to experience Christ as well.  It is this kind of passion that fuels us at Mentoring Warriors, too.

Warrior On!

MW Editor’s note. The feature photo and much of the information about Leonard Ravenhill comes from a book, by permission, entitled “In Light of Eternity-the Life of Leonard Ravenhill” by Mack Tomlinson. Book is available at 

David Riffel is the Founder and Executive Director of Having gone through his warrior years (18-30) essentially without a mentor, God has placed in him a heart for warriors, to come alongside them in various ways as they figure out life. David’s newly released book, Mentoring Warriors: Coming Alongside Young Men 18-30, outlines principles for mentoring and gives advice for warriors in six key areas of life: self-management, life skills, education/career, relationships, faith, and identity.

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