Thursday, September 29, 1904. The stirrings of a spiritual awakening had already begun among the youth in several towns of South Wales when Evan Roberts, a 26-year-old excoalminer training for the Calvinistic Methodist ministry, attended a mission conference led by the evangelist Seth Joshua. For years, Roberts had been longing for the Holy Spirit to set his heart on fire. Joshua, meanwhile, had been praying that God would raise up a man from the coal mines or fields to bring revival to the churches. Both men found answers to their prayers that morning in Blaenannerch. Roberts described the moment:
The 7.00 am. meeting was devoted to asking and answering questions. At the close, the Revd Seth Joshua prayed, and said during his prayer, 'Lord, do this, and this, and this, etc and bend us.' He did not say, 'Oh Lord, bend us.' It was the Spirit that put the emphasis for me on 'bend us.' 'That is what you need,' said the Spirit to me. And as I went out I prayed, 'Oh Lord, bend me.' On the way to the 9.00 [am.] meeting, the Revd Seth Joshua remarked, 'We are going to have a wonderful meeting today!' To this I replied, 'I feel myself almost bursting.' The meeting, having been opened, was handed over to the Spirit. I was conscious that I would have to pray. As one and the other prayed I put the question to the Spirit, 'Shall I pray now?' 'Wait a while,' said He. When others prayed I felt a living force come into my bosom. It held my breath, and my legs shivered and after every prayer I asked, 'Shall I now?' The living force grew and grew, and I was almost bursting. And instantly someone ended his prayer—my bosom boiling. I would have burst if I ...