Revival broke out in Korea in 1907. Presbyterian missionaries, hearing of revival in Wales and of a similar revival among Welsh Presbyterians in Assam, prayed earnestly for the same in Korea. 1500 representatives gathered for ten days at the annual New Year Bible study course, in which a spirit of prayer was brought about by the Holy Spirit. The meetings carried on day after day, with confession of sin, weeping, and trembling. The leaders allowed everyone to pray aloud simultaneously, as so many were wanting to pray, and that became a characteristic of Korean prayer meetings. The day before the study course ended, the evening meeting seemed so full of the presence of God, that many broke down, seeking the Lord, and the whole congregation wept, confessed, prayed, and praised at the same time. According to those present, what might appear to some to be chaos was actually a beautiful expression of the work of God’s Spirit.
Observers were astounded. The delegates of the New Year gathering returned to their churches, taking with them this spirit of prayer which strongly impacted the churches of the nation with revival. Everywhere, conviction of sin, confession, repentance, and restitution were a common thing. By March, 2000 people had been converted, and 30,000 by the middle of 1907, by conservative estimates. Brutal persecution at the hands of the Japanese, Russian and Chinese communists saw thousands killed, but still the church grew in fervent prayer.
Prior to the Russian invasion, thousands of North Koreans gathered every morning at 5:00 am. Sometimes, 10,000 were gathered in one place for prayer each morning. Early morning daily prayer meetings became common, as did nights of prayer, especially on Friday nights, and this emphasis on prayer has continued as a feature of church life in Korea. Over a million people gather every morning at 5:00 am for prayer in the churches. Prayer and fasting is normal. Churches have over 100 prayer retreats in the hills called Prayer Mountains to which thousands go to pray. Now the city of Seoul alone has 6000 churches, many with huge numbers. Koreans have sent over 10,000 missionaries into other Asian countries.