Let me set the scene …
> The nation’s focus centered on its bleak economy after a stock market crash.
> The failure of several banks and transportation systems pointed towards an economic meltdown.
> Living conditions were deteriorating.
> Unemployment was rampant.
> Poverty was everywhere.
> The political scene was in turmoil.
Does it sound like current headlines from the USA Today newspaper? The list shown above actually reflected America’s headlines in the fall of 1857.
What was the answer to virtual collapse of a nation? One man named Jeremiah Lanphier began to pray.
Rather than recount the story, allow me to share the following couple of paragraphs from Wesley Duewal’s Revival Fire (Zondervan Publishing House).
“Lanphier felt led by God to start a noon-time weekly prayer meeting in which business people could meet for prayer. Anyone could attend, for a few minutes or for the entire hour. Prayers were to be comparatively brief. Lanphier’s group met on the third floor of the old North Dutch Reformed Church on Fulton Street in New York. Lanphier printed some handbills announcing the prayer meetings with the title, “How Often Should I Pray?” He left these in some offices and warehouses. He also put one on the door of the church on the street side.
The first day, September 23, 1857, Lanphier prayed alone for half an hour. But by the end of the hour, six men from at least four denominational backgrounds joined him. The next Wednesday there were twenty. On October 7 there were nearly forty. The meeting was so blessed that they decided to meet daily. One week later there were over one hundred present, including many unsaved who were convicted by the Holy Spirit of their sin.”
What was the end result? Revival spread across our nation. What began in New York began to spread across our nation. Soon, noon prayer meetings sprang up all across America. God was on the move once again in America. As many as 50,000 people a week were being converted.
What happened 151 years ago can happen again. It doesn’t take a committee. It doesn’t take a denomination. It only takes one desperate, passionate person to ignite a fire that will spread across a nation and bring a much needed move of God’s Spirit.
Will you be the one?