Send the Spirit
The story behind the song
By Dave Frincke
In 2013 I began writing a musical about the Welsh Revival of 1904. For the first few months of the year I was consumed by researching the revival. I read everything I could find on the subject; rare books, blogs, newspaper transcripts… you name it. The story behind the revival is fascinating. The primary leader was a young man named Evan Roberts. He was a real poet. He knew how to put words together so they were impactful and memorable.
While studying one day, I ran across a quote of his that really struck me. Evan was caught in a spiritual struggle. He loved Jesus, but also knew there was something more that he needed in his life. When pressed about it by some concerned friends, he said:
“I have built the altar, and laid the wood in order, and have prepared the offering; I have only to wait for the fire“
As soon as I read that quote, I knew it was begging for a melody. So I wrote a very simple melodic line for it and set it aside.
Fast forward a few months in the story of the Welsh Revival. Evan Roberts had a dramatic encounter with the Holy Spirit and went through a mighty baptism. He was a new man. He traveled home to hold special chapel services for the young people at Moriah chapel. In one of those early meetings, Evan led the small group of people in what he called a chain prayer.
He began by praying: “Send the Spirit now for Jesus Christ’s sake.” He then told everyone else in attendance to pray the same prayer out loud, one at a time. And so the prayer went around the room. After they had all prayed, Evan started a new section of the prayer: “Send the Spirit powerfully now for Jesus Christ’s sake.” Again, the prayer went around the room. Now as it was being prayed, the Holy Spirit began to fall on some of those in attendance.
Evan prayed again: “Send the Spirit more powerfully now for Jesus Christ’s sake.” After that prayer went around the room, Evan prayed the final section of his prayer: “Send the Spirit still more powerfully now for Jesus Christ’s sake.”
That chapel meeting went on for hours and hours. Within the next few days, hundreds of people were attending the meetings. Within a few more days, a massive revival swept across Wales; changing the entire culture of the country and spreading to nations all across the earth.
When I read that chain prayer, I knew I wanted to write music to it as well. Again, I wrote a simple, memorable melody and set it aside.
A few months later on a Saturday night, I was having a private worship time and began singing the melody I had written to the quote by Evan Roberts. As I was singing it, I began to flow right into the melody that I had written for the chain prayer. I sang them over and over again. As I was singing, I had a creative “Aha!” moment. Not only did the two separate pieces flow perfectly together, but they could be sung at the same time; overlapping each other.
By this time, it was late on a Saturday night, but I took a chance and texted one of our female worship leaders who was on duty with me the next morning. I asked her to meet me early before rehearsal in the morning because I wanted to try out a new song. We met in the morning, figured out our parts, taught it to the musicians and began singing it in worship that very morning.
This song, Send the Spirit, has become very special to me and to Heartland, my home church. I pray that it is impactful for you as well.
Dave is the Senior Leader of the Heartland Parish in Fort Wayne, IN. He is the co-founder and movement leader for United Adoration.
Send the Spirit
Listen and download the song “Send the Spirit”.