By Greg Laurie
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit.—Ephesians 3:16
The Holy Spirit typically uses one individual as the catalyst for revival.
The last great American revival was the Layman’s Prayer Revival of 1857–1858. It began with a 48-year-old businessman named Jeremiah Lanphier.
He began a noon prayer meeting on Fulton Street in downtown New York. Jeremiah handed out flyers to downtown businessmen, saying, “Come to our prayer meeting when you are having a break for lunch.”
Only a handful of people showed up. But Jeremiah persisted; and that handful of people kept meeting for prayer.
Then something dramatic took place. The stock market crashed. Suddenly, the prayer meeting grew. People fell to their knees, and then the prayer meeting exploded. Prayer meetings were popping up quickly throughout New York City.
Within six months, 10,000 people were gathering for prayer in New York City alone. They were renting venues, which Broadway normally used, and packing them out at lunch time with men and women who were calling on the name of the Lord.
Fifty thousand New Yorkers reportedly came to know the Lord from March to May. During that single year, the number of reported conversions throughout the country reached an average of 50,000 a week for about two years. Even a notorious criminal nicknamed “Awful Gardiner” shocked everyone when he came to Christ through the prayer meetings.
When it was all over, one million people had come to faith.
No one orchestrated that revival in New York. It wasn’t a campaign planned by people. It was a work of God where He poured out His Spirit.
Jeremiah Lanphier was not a great preacher. He was not a famous person. Jeremiah Lanphier was an ordinary Joe—but he decided to pray.
You can do the same.
UP CHRISTIAN YOUTH MOVEMENT
NCCP Ecumenical Ministry of the Church of the Risen Lord
University of the Philippines, Diliman Campus, QC