In 1857, in New York City, Jeremy Lanphier started a lunchtime prayer meeting, praying for revival in his nation. And after advertising the prayer meeting widely, only six people turned up. After three weeks of faithfully gathering, his prayer meeting had 40 people joining in on daily meetings. On October 10 that year, the stock market crashed. Suddenly, people were flocking to the prayer meetings. Within six months, 10,000 people were gathered daily for prayer in New York City alone. Other cities experienced an increased interest in prayer too. Chicago had 2,000 people praying. Louisville had several thousand people praying. And in 1858 the New York Tribune devoted an entire issue to news of this revival. Prayer rather than preaching was the main focus. Meetings were informal. Anyone could pray, speak, lead a song or give a word of testimony with a five minute limit placed on each speaker. This led to the third great awakening in US history. It then spread to Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, Europe, South Africa, India, Australia and the Pacific Islands. Many people were saved. Backsliders returned, conversions increased, families established daily devotions and entire communities underwent a noticeable change in morals. Many preachers returned to the truths of the Gospel and Christ and His cross. All because one man saw the trouble his nation was in, and decided to get on his knees and pray. Are you willing to get on your knees and pray for your nation today?
A recent survey showed that 85% of US Christians only prayed for themselves and their families. Only 15% prayed for the world around them, yet the Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 2 that we must pray with supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks for all men, for kings and for all who are in authority. One definition of prayer is that it’s an activity of God that requires the cooperation of man in order to see God’s desires fulfilled. Prayer is the conduit of power that flows through the Christian. Have you ever spent a night at home in the middle of a blackout? There’s no power for your TV. No power for your clock radio. No power to charge your phone. Sadly main Christians are living in the middle of a spiritual blackout. They’re not receiving the power from on high. God is calling us to be a people of prayer. And prayer, not just for ourseleves, but for the world around us. Prayer for our leaders. Prayer for our churches. Prayer for the persecuted church. If you’re feeling a little dry in your prayer life, get back into God’s Word – the Bible and study what it says about being a people of prayer.
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