Simple Prayer...Simple Obedience

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.”
Hebrews 13:8

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.

Blessings, Carolyn

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post, Carolyn! The phrase that caught my eye was
    "But Lanphier felt God had told him to do it, so he continued."
    That's where we fail...we give up when we don't see results...or others chide us for foolishness...but we need to continue...thank you for reminding me of this and sharing this inspiring story....


Thank you for sharing your comments. They are words of encouragement not only for me, but for others who stop by. I would love to pray with you for your unsaved family and share your praise reports as well. Blessings, Carolyn