Encouragement: A Post Midterm Challenge
Analysis. The mid-terms have come and gone. We didn’t see the results that historically have taken place in our nation which is the Party in the majority will lose seats and usually lose the majority. Nor did we see the prophesied Red Wave—which we should have seen based on Biden’s incredibly low approval rating.
What does this election tell us? What is coming and what is essential—that prayer and repentance is the only thing that will save us and which has always been the big picture. Where we are mirrors America in 1857 and a prayer revival that shifted our nation. Will we accept that prayer challenge today?
For the past few years, Dutch Sheets has led our nation in the Give Him 15 prayer movement with a 15-minute inspirational devotion followed by a corporate prayer and decree to see America saved and hearts turned back to Him. Approximately 200,000 people join this corporate devotional and prayer, Monday through Friday.
I want to challenge us to go a step further.
We know God hears our prayers. His remnant is praying and growing — and yet our nation remains in desperate need of revival. Our schools have become cesspools of liberalism, our young people’s hearts are turned far from Him, our churches have become irrelevant to many, and our government is corrupt. This nation cannot be transformed unless people’s hearts are transformed.
We need revival.
America in 1857 was not so different from what America is today. At that time, the United States was in spiritual, political, and economic decline. Recession was looming, and racial tensions were high — after the Supreme Court’s infamous Dred Scott decision that same year, a ruling that denied freedom and citizenship to those of African American descent. Civil war was imminent.
Moreover, people had become disillusioned with the Church after prophets and pastors had erroneously predicted the end of the world by the 1840s. Hopelessness and a lack of trust had set in.
Jeremiah Lanphier had, like many, grown disillusioned. He had been hired to meet with church members who had stopped attending services, in hopes that he could rekindle their desire to attend. Despite his best efforts, he was unsuccessful.
Discouragement began to set in. In order to keep going, Lanphier set aside an hour each day at noon to pray and encourage himself in the Lord before heading out for the second part of his day. He learned one thing during that challenging season: It was his noontime prayer that sustained him and gave him the strength to keep going.
Lanphier recognized that if prayer could so strengthen him that way, perhaps others would benefit as well. He decided to step out in faith and rent a room. He had 20,000 flyers printed to invite others to join him for prayer. On Sept. 23, 1857, in New York City, Lanphier showed up at noon for the prayer — but found himself alone. Undaunted, he knelt to pray. By 12:30 p.m., another man had joined him — and then, yet another. By 1 p.m., a total of six men had assembled at that first prayer meeting to pray for America and cry out for God’s mercy.
Word spread. Attendance grew to 16 after that first week, then to 40, and then to 100. The timing was providential, because approximately three weeks later, the Panic of 1857 hit, and the recession that had already begun turned into a full economic collapse. Banks failed, businesses closed, and bankruptcies skyrocketed. Seemingly overnight, that noontime meeting spread across the nation — with prayer meetings held in Chicago, Cleveland, St. Louis, and other cities. Even the YMCA opened its doors for prayer in its branches across the U.S.
The crisis brought America to its knees. Whereas Lanphier had initially been unable to get anyone to return to church, now people across the nation were flocking to the churches, which had begun opening their doors not only for noonday meetings, but for evening prayer as well.
The result was labeled America’s Third Great Awakening. Hearts were transformed as people began inquiring how they might be saved. It is said that as many as 1 million were converted or spiritually renewed in the revival that followed. Churches that had been dying were now refilled with worshipers. The revival spread around the world, primarily in regions occupied or influenced by the British Empire, but also on the European continent.
Could we see prayer launch such a revival again?
Now, 165 years later, we find our nation in a very similar situation. America is already in a recession and facing an ongoing economic decline, along with potential famine from the disastrous policies and actions of our present government. Trust in our leadership is at an all-time low, and many have yet to return to church after the COVID shutdowns. Do you wonder, as I do, what it will take to again bring us to our knees to cry out to God for mercy — for revival?
If revival prayer stirred and sustained our nation back then, can it do so again? Will you join me and set your alarm for noon each day? Can you give Him 15? Others could probably devote 30 minutes or even an hour daily at noon to pray.
America is in crisis. The world is in crisis. And there is only One who can truly save us from this spiritual, political and economic decline. Let’s give Him 15.
Father, You said, “If my people which are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, then I will hear from Heaven and heal their land.” We humble ourselves before You and call upon You now in our time of desperation and need. Please heal our hearts and heal our land. Transform our hearts and transform our nation. We cry out to You and repent of the moral depravity, corruption, and passivity that we have allowed into our hearts, churches, government, and nation. We kneel before You and repent. We ask that You would cleanse our hearts and cleanse our land. Draw us back to You, and pour out Your Spirit upon this nation and a world in desperate need of You. Save us, O Lord, as we cry out to You.
Father, we decree that You are Lord over America. We were founded on godly principles but have strayed so far from our foundations. We declare that revival is coming and that hearts and voices are returning to You. We humble ourselves before You. We decree that as we have prayed, You are healing our land, our government, our schools, our churches. We declare that we will see revival once again sweep our nation, and that America will be saved.
Let us join together in crying out to heaven daily. Share your own prayers for mercy and revival below.
Karen Hardin is the director of the City-by-City.org prayer movement. Abraham negotiated with God, “if there are ten in the city, would You save it?” — and on that premise, she and her husband seek to raise up 10 people in every city across America to stand and pray for their city for revival. She is the author of several books, including God’s Justice After Injustice. For additional information, visit city-by-city.org or karenhardin.com. Photo Credit: Jacob Bentzinger on Unsplash.
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