Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
In the mid nineteenth century there was an enormous economic collapse. Thousands of businesses closed and hundreds of thousands were unemployed. A quiet and zealous businessman named Jeremiah Lanphier took up an appointment as a City Missionary in down-town New York. Burdened by the incredible need, Jeremiah Lanphier decided to invite others to join him in a noonday prayer-meeting, to be held on Wednesdays once a week.
Accordingly at twelve noon, on September 23, 1857, the door was opened and the faithful Lanphier took his seat to await the response to his invitation. Five minutes went by. No one appeared. The missionary paced the room in a conflict of fear and faith. Ten minutes elapsed. Still, no one came. Fifteen minutes passed. Lanphier was yet alone. Twenty minutes; twenty-five; thirty; and then at 12.30 p.m., a step was heard on the stairs, and the first person appeared, then another, and another, and another, until six people were present, and the prayer meeting began. On the following Wednesday, October 7th, there were forty intercessors.
Within six months, ten thousand businessmen were gathering daily for prayer in New York, and within two years, a million converts were added to the American Church. Undoubtedly the greatest revival in New York’s colourful history was sweeping the city, and it was of such an order to make the whole nation curious. There was no fanaticism, no hysteria, simply an incredible movement of the people to pray.
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of this great revival, a likeness of Jeremiah was cast of him sitting on a bench (see above) which appropriately placed on Broadway in front of the American Bible Society, as a reminder of the great revival started by one man.
Our world today needs to return to prayer and revival. One person can make a difference. Might there be another Jeremiah Lanphier today? Could it be you?