In the fall of 1857, New York was going through a sort of depression. During that time, the North Church in downtown New York hired a missionary named Jeremiah Lanphier. He felt overwhelmed with the work in front of him as well as the needs of the people around him. He decided to call a prayer meeting to seek God. The first week six people came. The following week there were forty intercessors. The week after that, it was decided that people should gather to meet for prayer daily instead of weekly. Within six months, 10,000 men and women were gathering daily for prayer.
This revival spread up and down the coast. In all places it was marked by a deep need for prayer. A few years later, God visited our beloved First Church as well. The pastor at the time was Willis Colton. He wrote about the spring of 1862, when “a gentle visitation of the Holy Ghost was given to us on high.” He wrote that “Jesus came down ‘like dew on the mown grass, like showers that water the Earth.’” People started coming to faith, and more meetings were held for prayer. As a result of the revival, 35 to 45 people at First Church came to believe in Jesus Christ.
In Ezekiel 36, we have the great promise that God is going to gather together His people and give them new hearts and bless them with His Holy Spirit. The way He is going to bring this about is through the prayers of His people. It reads in Ezekiel 36:37, “Thus says the Lord God: This also I will let the house of Israel ask me to do for them: to increase their people like a flock.”
Last week at our midweek Lenten Service we talked about fasting. We learned that we are to fast because we long for His Presence. In Luke 2, we read about Anna, who fasted for Jesus to come. We, too, are to fast and pray for Him not only to come and take us home, but to ask for Him to draw close and revive our land.
A stirring seemed to happen after the service in some of us, where we longed for God to do it again. Some of you came to me and wanted to go deeper in prayer and beg for Him to come.
Well, count me in. I am seeking His face as well. We need our awesome God to bless us mightily. We need to gather together as His people. We need to come together before Him with humble hearts and ask, “Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You? Show us your unfailing love, O Lord, and grant us Your salvation” (Psalm 85:6-7).
Do it again, Lord. Please do it again.