Jeremiah C. Lanphier, a layman in New York City, longed for revival. After careful thought, he announced that a prayer service would be held September 23, 1857, at the Old Dutch Church on Fulton Street. When the hour came, Lanphier found himself alone. He sat and waited and finally a handful of people gathered. The next week, twenty came. Someone suggested the meetings occur daily, and soon the building was overflowing. Other churches opened their doors. The revival spread to other cities. Offices and stores closed for prayer at noon. Newspapers reported the story, and telegraph companies set aside certain hours when businessmen could wire one another with news of the revival.
The revival–sometimes called “The Third Great Awakening”–lasted nearly two years, and perhaps a million people were converted to Christ. Out of it came the largest outlay of money for philanthropic and Christian causes America had yet experienced. We can only imagine that great day.
I long for revival, as do many of my brothers and sister in Christ, for our churches, communities and our nation. It starts with deep and devoted prayer, and believing that our great God will answer.
As we pray for America, and the church, let us remember that God wants revival in America for more than we do.
Therefore let us pray for revival to begin in me-and then it will become we. Amen.
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he hears us: 1 John 5:14