Spiritually Speaking

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By Pearl Harper

Prayers changes things, prayer sustains things


Do you think we need a spiritual awakening in our country? A great revival in our  land (the world)?

In the middle of the 19th century, spiritual conditions in the United States were deteriorating. People started making a lot of money, and when they did, they turned their backs on God.

But a man of prayer, Jeremiah Lanphier, started a prayer meeting in the upper room of the Consistency Building of the Dutch Reformed Church in Manhattan. He advertised it, only six people from a population of one million showed up.

The following week there were 14, then 23. They decided to meet every day. Soon they filled that church, the Methodist church on John Street, then every public building in downtown New York.

Famed newspaper editor Horace Greely sent a reporter with a horse and buggy riding around the prayer meetings to see how many men were praying. In one hour he could only get to 12 meetings, he counted 6,100 men. Then a landslide of prayer began.

People began to be converted (10,000 a week) in New York City. The movement spread throughout New England. Church bells would bring people to prayer at eight in the morning, noon and six in the evening. The revival went up the Hudson and down the Mohawk. Some churches went to the river and cut a big square in the ice and baptized them in cold water.

In one year, more than one million people were converted. The revival crossed the Atlantic, broke out in Northern Ireland and Scotland and Wales, England, South Africa , South India- anywhere there was an evangelical cause, there was revival- and it’s effect was felt for 40 years. It began in a movement of prayer…it was sustained in a movement of prayer. This happened in 1857.

By the turn of the 20th century there was need of awakening again. In 1905 there were special prayer meetings at Moody Bible Institute, at the Kiswick Convention in New England, in Melbourne, in India, at Wonsan in Korea. People were praying around the world. In 1905, 25 percent of the student body was enrolled in prayer meetings and Bible studies at Yale.

In Portland, Or, 240 department stores closed from 11 to two for prayer and signed an agreement among themselves that no one would cheat or stay open. That was what has happened in the United States in 1905.

The Denver Post January 20, 1905 wrote; “Entire city pauses for prayer even at the high tide of business.” The article concluded- “Seldom has such a remarkable sight been witnessed- an entire great city, in the middle of a busy weekday bowing before the throne of heaven and asking and receiving the blessings of the King of the Universe.”

 We never read any of that in our history books did we?

No matter how hard “we” try, if we don’t pray, we will not see results. “-The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16

It seems that dedicated prayer can move mountains. Why don’t we try?

God Bless.