It was the 23rd of September 1857, as Jeremiah entered an empty room, he pulled out his pocket watch and sat down to wait. The placard outside read: “Prayer Meeting from 12 to 1 o’clock. As the minutes ticked by, the solitary waiter wondered if it were all a mistake. It looked like no one had the time.
He waited for ten minutes, then ten more. Then one man came in, then another and another until there were six. After a few minutes of prayer, the meeting was dismissed with the decision to hold another session the following Wednesday. Two weeks later, they decided to move to a daily schedule of prayer.
Jeremiah Lanphier had no way of knowing those prayer meetings would be instrumental in starting a great national revival. They were not extraordinary, but within six months, 10,000 men were gathering to pray, and that movement spread across America.
Within two years, there were one million new believers added to the church. The movement swept out to touch England, Scotland, and Wales.
When news reached Ireland of what was happening in America, three young men gathered to meet for prayer in a schoolhouse on March 14, 1859. They prayed and prayed for revival. Within a couple of months, a meeting started in Belfast. By September 21, 20,000 people assembled to pray for the whole of Ireland.
In one year, more than a million people turned to God, out of a population of thirty million.
That move of God lasted for a generation, but in the early 1900s there was a great need for God to move in people’s hearts once more.
Again a prayer movement began, with special prayer meetings in England, Australia, Korea, and India. People were praying for God to move around the world, and God honoured His word and revival broke out again. The Churches of Atlantic City reported that out of a population of fifty thousand people, there were only fifty adults left in the entire city who hadn’t asked Jesus to be their Lord and Savior.
These stories of past revivals are important because they demonstrate how God will use just one person who is completely available to work out His purposes.
Jeremiah Lanphier and all those like him are an inspiration to even the seemingly quiet, unassuming people everywhere. Their lives remind us that God will use everyone and anyone to do mighty things.
In His own words, Jeremiah Lanphier’s dedication to the work came only after a struggle and a decision to surrender to God totally. He testified:
“The subject was laid upon my heart and was a matter of constant consideration for some time. At last, I resolved to give myself to the work, and I shall never forget with what force, at the time, those words came home to my soul: Tis done, the great transaction’s done, I am my Lord’s, and He is mine;”
If we only look at governments and institutions to fix the problems we face, we’ll be disappointed. But there is a solution. God is looking for people who will willingly go where He asks, speak when He says, and persevere in prayer until something happens! “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.” (2 Cor 10:4-5)
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you“. (John 15:7)
Determine to get God’s Word on the challenges and needs you see around you and write what God says down. His promises are designed for you to speak out in prayer. They hold keys to breakthrough for every challenge, need and situation.
Believe God to answer. Yes, believe! God is faithful and alert and active watching over His word to do it. The angels are on standby, waiting for you to step up. They are waiting for you to pray! (Psalm 103:20)
“For I am alert and active, watching over My word to perform it”. (Jeremiah 1:12)
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land”. (2 Chronicles 7:14).
Prayer: Use me, Lord. In Jesus name Amen.