A Lone Man and Prayer

At 12 noon on September 23, 1857, a former businessman climbed the stairs to the third floor of an old church building in New York City and sat down to wait. Outside, a sign read, “Prayer Meeting from 12 to 1 o’clock – Stop 5, 10, or 20 minutes, or the whole hour, as your time admits.”

The waiting man had the idea that local businessmen might like to get away for a short period of prayer while offices were closed for lunch at noon. The man, Jeremiah Lanphier, a lay missionary, pulled out his pocket watch and sat watching the minutes tick by.

Finally, at 12:30, another man came up the stairs. And another and another, until there were six. There was a few minutes of prayer and the group left. An invitation was given to return the following week. The next week, twenty men came, and the week after, forty. Lanphier decided to get a larger room and have a daily prayer meeting.

What he didn’t know was that on Wednesday, October 14, the country would experience its worst financial crash in its history. People were out of work; banks were closed; families were starving.

But Lanphier’s “Fulton Street prayer meeting” was thriving, and in a short while, more than 3,000 people were in regular attendance, praying for repentance. This was the beginning of the “Third Great Awakening.”

One of the original six attendees decided to host prayer meetings in Philadelphia. At first, there were 40 people present. Then 300, then 2,500. A tent was set up to handle the crowds. Within four months, 150,000 people had prayed within that tent.

More of the same was happening in Boston, in New Haven and Bethel, Connecticut, in Albany, Schenectady and Newark, New York. The revival spread westward, through Ohio, Minnesota, Illinois, Nebraska; and from there, to all points throughout the country, becoming the most intense and fastest-spreading of all the spiritual awakenings.

Now is the time for a modern revival. One person, dedicated to the work of the Lord God can accomplish so much. How much more could many people accomplish?

(Susan Lockhart)
Scripture references from NIV unless otherwise noted.

Based on Every Christ Follower Is To Be On Mission on August 20th, 2016 - Watch Sermon

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