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“The poor and needy seek water, but there is none, their tongues fail for thirst. I, the Lord, will hear them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will open rivers in desolate heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water” (Isaiah 41:17-18).
September 23, 1857, Jeremiah Lanphier, a middle aged single business man, responded to a call from the Lord to start a noon hour prayer meeting in the heart of New York City. He took posters around to the businesses in the area announcing the time and the place of the meeting. That first day Jeremiah was the only one there for the first thirty minutes, but by the end of the hour a total of six people attended. The next week there were twenty people and by the third week forty. Within short order, the idea had spread to seeing every church and public meeting hall filled with tens of thousands of New Yorkers for noon hour prayer, daily crying out to God for their city. The result was that over one hundred and fifty thousand new believers came to acknowledge Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
Interestingly, the cultural and economic climate of New York at that time was very similar to what it is today. It was extremely busy, culturally diverse, and its focus was on making money. Church buildings were empty and there was very little interest in Jesus in comparison to the American population at large. As is true now, America was facing a major financial crises caused by wide spread corruption and embezzlement. As a result businesses all over the country were struggling.
What an awesome historical precedent we have of the power of God to move over and change a city when the people rise up to pray. It amazes me how it took only one man to make a decision to be obedient, and to see many follow. Revival is already God’s plan and desire for our country. Our prayers are the trigger!
“For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring” (Isaiah 44:3).
Questions: How can you make a difference in your “world”? Tell us about some things that God has been speaking to you about.
About the Author Emmie Stanley