One of the great revival stories from America's history is what is called the Great Prayer Revival of 1857-58. America was in a deplorable state morally and spiritually. God laid a burden for revival on the heart of a man by the name of Jeremiah Lanphier of New York. Jeremiah started a prayer meeting for business men from 12-1 pm at the Old Dutch Church on Fulton St. in New York. He advertised with local business men and encouraged other pastors to join in. The first week, six people came and prayed for revival. The next week 20 people came, and the next 100. And soon the floodgates opened. Within six months an estimated 10,000 out of a population of 800,000 in New York, were meeting to pray for revival every Monday from 12-1. Almost simultaneously, noon prayer meetings sprouted up across the country. Businesses would close and encourage the employees to attend prayer meetings at local churches to pray for revival.
Revival came to America. At its peak, it is estimated that 10,000 people per week were joining local churches, and 50,000 people were being saved per week. More than one million people gave their lives to Christ during this 2-year revival of the work of God. One student of revival estimated that if "a revival of like magnitude were to come to the United States today, it would result in the salvation of roughly 18 million people." (The Cure of All Ills; quoted in Becoming and Agent of Revival.)
Those numbers are remarkable, but reflect on where it all started: one man called for prayer. I'm sure Jeremiah Lanphier wasn't the only person praying for a mighty move of God, but he is the one who stepped out on faith and called on others to join in the chorus of prayer. One man made a difference, and one can again. And God can bring revival to America once more. Will you be a part of the chorus of prayer?