A 46-year-old businessman prays alone in an Old Dutch Reformed church in New York City. It is Sept. 23, 1857, and Jeremiah Lanphier is concerned that no one else is there.
He had felt impressed to begin a weekly midday prayer meeting. Now, 30 minutes in and still alone, he wonders if he’s made a mistake. By the end of the hour, a handful of men have come and gone.
This prayer meeting began like so many others — with little apparent interest. But Lanphier felt God had told him to do it, so he continued.
Prayer is at the heart of every genuine move of God.
In 1857 society was in turmoil. Religion was in decline and the debate over slavery was turning ugly.
But history tells us that in the midst of spiritual decay and nominal Christianity, God raises up people to pray — and the fires of revival first begin to glow in the warmth of humble rooms of prayer.
And then people began getting saved — right in the prayer meetings. A prayer meeting in Michigan saw 500 conversions; one in Connecticut claimed 400.
It was reported that not one unconverted person could be found in some of the towns of New England. Indeed, during one two-month period, weekly conversions averaged 50,000. Papers nationwide noted a radical, positive change in the moral climate.
At the end, in 1859, 2 million Americans — 1 in every 15 — had been won to Christ.
The message is clear. A great move of God requires no superstar revivalist. God uses simple prayer.
I got so excited when I read the article, “Prayer Meeting Revival” by Ken Horn in last week's Evangel. I’m sharing highlights of the article with you here, and you can read ‘the rest of the story’ online at:
It is a reminder of God’s mercy. We are watching our culture and society decline today, as it gets darker and darker. This generation seems to have lost their way and do not know the path to truth and righteousness. But, God has not changed!
“For I am the Lord, I do not change…” Malachi 3:6
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”
Can you imagine a prayer meeting with conversions of 400 and 500 in one night? These miracles were common in the early church of Acts, and in this revival of 1859. I’m sure there have been other times as well.
By the end of 1859, 2 million Americans –1 in every 15- had been won to Christ!
How? By believing God’s word, being obedient to His instruction and beginning a simple prayer meeting.
Our God does not change and He wants to bring revival to us today. Is He talking to your heart? He wants simple obedience. He will do the rest.
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9
I have a decision to make that has been heavy on my heart. Do I continue leading the prayer group of moms at our church who are praying for their unsaved kids?
Of course the answer would seem obvious. In early 2007, God gave me this ministry of prayer, with a burden to intercede and to share the burdens of other moms. Praise God, we have witnessed several life-changing miracles!
But, to be quite honest, I have felt weary recently. It can be very taxing to intercede not only for my own family, but for others as well.
The above verse of scripture is one that the Holy Spirit showed me a few days ago, and I can’t get it off of my mind. I know that He gave it to me for instruction, as well as encouragement. He is always faithful to bring peace of mind when we trust Him!
As I am writing this, the tears are blurring my vision, because the Holy Spirit is reminding me that even if it is only one who comes to Jesus, it is worth every prayer!
The scripture tells us, “in due season, we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
God, please help me not to lose heart and restore the passion in me to continue to pray with faith and Your anointing.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Our prayers are like seeds, much like a farmer who plants and is expecting a harvest. Our part is to be obedient and plant the seed…God produces the harvest.
I also came across an article online this week by Jeremy Jernigan, “Coke Prayer vs. Seed Prayer”. This is part of it...
“...We’ve seen plenty of remarkable answers to prayer, but it’s just not like a Coke machine. You don’t put in your prayer and get out a miracle. It’s more agrarian. It’s more organic. You sow something and you harvest it later, and it’s often quite different than what you sowed.
“Do my prayers look more like Coke prayers or like seed prayers?
“A Coke prayer is when we are basically asking God a yes or no question. God becomes our “Magic 8 Ball,” and we await His response. But usually this only leads to frustration as most of His answers appear to be no. At the very least they don’t look like what we were praying for...
“But a seed prayer is much different. A seed prayer focuses more on God’s answer than my request. What is my small prayer seed compared to the plant that He could make out of it? And so we begin thinking of God bigger, and pray for things that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no.
"Then we wait, and eagerly watch as God begins to turn that seed into a growing, thriving plant that may or may not directly resemble the seed we planted. But that is the excitement of it. And the result of this is that we pray more…
“Are you planting seeds or waiting for a soda to dispense?”
You may be feeling weary too, but don’t lose heart and never stop praying for your loved ones.
Please, watch this video, “The Power of Prayer” and be encouraged.
(First, pause my Playlist at bottom of page.)
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
2 Cor. 5:17
Even when you don’t really believe it, you still pray for a miracle.
You can’t quite believe that the person you are praying for will ever change.
Your grown son or daughter is apathetic about God; and your heart breaks, because you know that unless they repent of their sins and accept Jesus into their lives, they will be forever lost.
That is the reason you continue to pray. As a parent, you cannot accept the possibility of your own children going to hell.
Sometimes, our own emotions of fear, frustrations, guilt and perhaps even anger gets in the way of our faith.
But, God…in His divine mercy sees the intent of our hearts and will answer our prayers.
I’m so excited about what God did this week!
One of the moms, in our prayer group, got a letter from her son yesterday. It has been thirteen years since she has seen or heard from him. The tears and the joy came when she read the good news that he is walking with the Lord again.
The ladies in our group have been praying for him, but if we had only looked at the circumstances and not to God, then we would not have had the faith to believe.
And… you know, God does it every time. He always gives the miracle in a way that we totally unexpected, in His own time and in His own way. I think He chuckles about it when He sees us so blown away.
I give Jesus total praise for this prodigal coming back to His Heavenly Father.
(I hope to share the entire story with their permission at a later date.)
We continue to pray for all of our prodigals to come home.
(Scroll down to the bottom of the page to pause My Playlist as you listen to the video.)
“God Still Answers Prayer” by Karen Peck. Listen and let your faith be encouraged.