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19th Century Revival Sparked by Prayer

In 1857 there was a 46 year old man named Jeremiah Lamphere who lived in New York City. Jeremiah loved the Lord tremendously, but he didn’t feel that he could do much for the Lord until he began to feel a burden for the lost and accepted an invitation from his church to be an inner city missionary. So in July of 1857 he started walking up and down the streets of New York passing out tracts and talking to people about Jesus, but he wasn’t having any success. Then God put it on his heart to try prayer. So he printed up a bunch of tracts, and he passed them out to anyone and everyone met. He invited anyone who wanted to to come to the 3rd floor of the Old North Dutch Reform Church on Fulton St. in New York City from 12 to 1 on Wednesday to pray. He passed out hundreds and hundreds of fliers and put up posters everywhere he could. Wednesday day came and at Noon nobody showed up. So Jeremiah got on his knees and started praying. For 30 minutes he prayed by himself when finally five other people walked in. The next week 20 people came. The next week between 30 and 40 people came. They then decided to meet every day from 12:00 to 1:00 to pray for the city. Before long a few ministers started coming and they said, "We need to start this at our churches". Within six months there were over 5000 prayer groups meeting everyday in N.Y. Soon the word spread all over the country. Prayer meetings were started in Philadelphia, Detroit, and Washington D.C. In fact President Franklin Pierce started going almost every day to a noonday prayer meeting. By 1859 some 15,000 cities in America were having downtown prayer meetings everyday at noon and thousands were brought to Christ. The great thing about this revival is that there is not a famous preacher associated with it. It was all started by one man wanting to pray. See only God can start a revival and God is quite clear about what He expects before He will return to His people.

Let me close with a great story. I started by telling you about the great prayer revival of 1857. It moved from New York to Detroit, Buffalo, Washington D.C. and it moved to Philadelphia in a powerful way. One of the leaders in Philadelphia was a young man named Dudley Ting. He started a noonday prayer meeting at the YMCA, and some days 5000 people would come at noon and pray. One day Dudley stood up and he read Exodus 10:11, "Go ye that are men and serve the Lord." He then said, "I had rather my right arm cut off than not give you that word." Later that week Dudley went out into the country to see some friends. While in a barn at his friend’s place he got his arm caught in a corn threshing machine and the main artery in his arm was severed. They took him to a bed and tried to save his life but he had lost too much blood. So his friends gathered around him and asked him what he would like to say. He said, " Tell them to stand up for Jesus." So the next Sunday his good friend George Duffield stood up at church and preached in memory of his friend. He said, "I just finished writing a poem in honor of Dudley and I want to read it to you." Stand up, Stand up for Jesus, ye solders of the cross. Lift high His royal banner, it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory His army shall He lead, till every foe is vanquished, for Christ is Lord in deed. Stand up, Stand up for Jesus, the trumpet call obey. Forth to the mighty conflict in this His glorious day. Ye that are men now serve Him, against unnumbered foes. Let courage rise with danger and strength to strength oppose. Stand up stand up for Jesus, the strife will not be long. This day the noise of battle, the next the victor’s song. To him that overcometh a crown of life shall be, he with the king of glory shall reign eternally. All across America, city after city people would meet for one day and pray for their country, and sing Stand up Stand up for Jesus. It’s time to decide if we want to do business with God. Some of you need to decide if you are going to be baptized today. Pray for revival and courage.

From a sermon by Richard White, If My People, 10/30/2009

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