I had a very hard time picking the subject for this week's blog post, because there is such an abundance of stories to pick from! In America's history alone there are countless stories of the hand of Providence changing the situation miraculously. And we'll get to see some of those as we journey through HIStory together.
After lots of internal deliberation, I've decided to start with what I've been studying on. The American Civil War has long been my favorite era of history, and I am working on a novel set in that period, so along with that comes a lot of study and re-learning things I already knew from my school days.
One thing that most people don't know about the Civil War is the amazing revival that unfolded during that time. But this revival was much different than others because it was not started by great evangelists or preachers, but rather by a desperate people coming together to pray. That's why this revival has been coined as the Prayer Meeting Revival.
America in 1855 was in a very similar state to what we are today. We were on the point of despair, teetering on the ledge of financial and spiritual collapse. Banks failed, businesses faltered, and unemployment rates soared. But unlike today, Americans during 1855 turned Heavenward and pleaded with God for relief.
In New York, a minister by the name of Jeremiah C. Lanphier (pictured above) was struggling to keep his church from folding up entirely. He made great efforts to reach out to the community and invite them to church. Finally, on September 23, 1857 he placed a sign outside of his church which read: "Prayer Meeting from 12 to 1 o’clock -- stop 5, 10, or 20 minutes." At noon, the faithful minister started the prayer meeting with a church full of empty pews. Just when he thought he would be the only one in attendance, and that another one of his attempts had failed, people began to arrive. Six people were present for that first meeting. Those in attendance decided that they would like to come together again on Wednesday to pray. At the next meeting there was 20 people, at the next 40, at the next more until they were holding a prayer meeting every day with 3,000 people in attendance. One man starting a prayer meeting would develop into a mass national revival that saw over one million souls come to Christ, at a time when they needed Him most.
Next week we'll continue our study of the Prayer Meeting Revival.
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Amber Schamel was born in Littleton, CO and has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and the Holy Land. She was raised in a family of 11 children, home-schooled through education and currently works with their 10 family businesses. Amber is a multi-published author and currently lives with her family outside of Colorado Springs, CO..
(c) 2013 Amber Schamel