Jeremy Lanphier Begins Prayer Meeting

155 Years Ago

On September 23, 1857 Jeremy Lanphier went into a rented hall at noon in New York City to pray for revival. He had been asked by a Dutch Reformed Church in lower Manhattan to begin a visitation program. Lanphier discovered a general apathy to spiritual matters and knew that only God could rouse a slumbering church.

He rented a hall on Fulton Street and put up a sign inviting people to gather at noon to pray. On the first day Lanphier was joined by six men. He was not discouraged and met again the next week. By the third week forty people gathered and asked for daily prayer meetings.

The country was going through bank failures, economic woes and many other ills. Unable to find comfort in the news of the day, people began turning to God in prayer.

By the spring of 1858, 10,000 people were gathering to ask God’s favor. This prayer revival began spreading. Thousands were gathering in cities like Chicago, Louisville, St. Louis and Cleveland.¬†As news of the God’s working spread, similar meetings began springing up across the globe.

lanphier 2Newspapers reported that more than 50,000 people became followers of Christ during this time. It was even reported that throughout New England some towns were so thoroughly effected that not a single unbeliever could be found in those towns.

The few rules of the meetings allowed anybody who desired to pray aloud within a five minute time limit. This limit also applied to those who might give a word of testimony or a song of praise.

Preachers became empowered in their preaching. Families began praying together. Morality spread throughout communities. All classes of people began to seek the Lord. This movement became known as The Third Great Awakening.

In our day, should we not renew our praying for revival. We desperately need God to move across our land. Will you at least join me by earnestly praying for revival each day in your own prayer time?