The great Prayer Meeting revival was not just in the north. However the Confederacy did not have the resources to employ as many chaplains and ministers as the north could. Great Christian generals like Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Leonidas Polk Lee were instrumental in the great revival as well and did everything they could to promote and encourage it. In fact, Jackson even went so far as to refrain from battle on the Sabbath if at all possible so that the men could attend worship. There were several other generals that made that same commitment during the war. This revival is often referred to as being led from 'the top down' because of the influence that the officers held over the men.
According to William Jones' documentation of the Great Revival, nearly every southern brigade was affected by this movement and approximately 10% of the soldiers accepted Christ in the Army of Northern Virginia. Tracts and Bibles were not easy to come by as there was a limited supply, but the men were hungry for them! They would pass around the tattered and worn Bibles that they did have and night after night the men would gather for prayer, worship, reading of the Scriptures and the preaching of the gospel. If the opportunity presented itself, they would baptize in a nearby brook or pond, regardless of how cold the water may be.
One remarkable thing about this revival, is that it manifested changed lives. This revival was not just an emotional show inspired by hard times, but it led to real repentance and devotion. We'll take a look at some of the individual stories in the following weeks.
During this great revival, an estimated 100,000 Confederate and between 100,000-200,000 Union soldiers accepted Christ as their Savior. That turns out to be about 10% of the men involved.
Another interesting note, is that it was during this time period that churches started forming all over the south, specifically those of the Baptist denomination. This explosion of churches is what started the formation of what is known today as the Bible Belt.
Tune in next week as we take a more personal look at the Prayer Meeting Revival. Subscribe to email updates and get the posts directly to your inbox!
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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