Samuel Prime’s The Power of Prayer, published by Banner of Truth Trust, explains how corporate prayer ushered in the famous 1857-1859 revival (sometimes called the Third Great Awakening) along the eastern coast of the United States, then spread west, resulting in the conversion of hundreds of thousands of people.
Beginning in the fall of 1857, six men gathered at noon every day for corporate prayer in the consistory room of a Reformed church in New York City. Prayer was the Spirit’s means to germinate the seeds of revival. By early 1858 more than twenty prayer groups were meeting at noon in New York City. In Chicago, more than 2,000 people gathered daily for prayer at the Metropolitan Theatre. The movement spread to nearly all the major cities of America, then made its way to the British Isles and around the world. Prayer meetings sprang up everywhere: in churches, on college campuses, in hospitals, among sailors, on mission fields, and at orphanages and colleges. To mention only one example, at Hampden-Sydney College, one student found another student reading Joseph Alleine’s Alarm to the Unconverted, and told him that there were two other students who were also in favor of such literature. The four students held a prayer meeting, while fellow students harassed them. When the president heard that the four young men were accused of holding a prayer meeting, he said with tears, “God has come near to us,” and joined them himself at their next meeting. A remarkable revival swept through the college and into the surrounding area. Soon, more than half the college was attending prayer meetings.
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 45, Prayer Meetings and Revival in the Church by Joel R. Beeke). Click on the title for more information about this resource.
Lord God, when You move, everything changes! I give You praise for the ways You have met Your people in the past, and I ask You now to please “do it again!” Meet with us as You did in the prayer meetings of News York and Chicago! May we seek You on college campuses, in our workplaces and in our homes. Fill us with an overwhelming desire to draw near and to encourage others to do so as well. Fill us with great passion for prayer even in the midst of trials, ridicule and persecution! Come near to us as we come near to You!
God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. Praise God for the radiance of his presence. Give thanks that you can have fellowship with him and walk in the light. Confess any dark sin that you have not yet exposed to that light. Commit yourself to living by the light of God’s truth (1 Jn. 1:5-7). Ask “that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness . . .” (Phil. 1:9-11).
Pray for husbands that they will give spiritual leadership in their households and will love their wives as Christ loved the church.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend (Click on title for more information about this resource).