At the noon hour on the twenty-third day of September, 1857 Jeremiah Lanphier sat alone in a room on the third floor of the Old Dutch North Church on Fulton Street in New York City. Hired by the church for the work of visitation, he had spent the last three months in nothing but slow and fruitless visitation.
The bustle of the city’s streets, however, gave him a thought: what if the businessmen of the city would enjoy a short time of prayer at noon?
Lanphier, then, calmly waited. Noon…ten after…now twenty… finally, at 12:30 six footsteps could be heard climbing the stairs to Lanphier’s Mt. Carmel.
The second week he welcomed twenty; then, the financial collapse of 1857 hit. Within weeks, Lanphier was welcoming lawyers, bankers, porters and mechanics to the tune of 3,000 in number. Revival had sprung from the wells of prayer!
The revival went worldwide. From Philadelphia, Chicago, Pittsburgh to the British Isles, spiritual awakening had spread through prayer. Charles Finney remarked, “People very extensively seemed to prefer meeting for prayer to meeting for preaching. The general impression seemed to be, ‘We have had instruction until we are hardened; it is time for us to pray’.”
The Bible says of the early church, When they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31).
We, too, need a moving of God in our day. It is time for us to pray!