Many Christians today know the names of Jonathan Edwards and George Whitfield. They are familiar with Charles Finney, DL Moody, and Charles Spurgeon. Yet most have not heard the name of Jeremiah Lanphier, a business merchant in NYC who became burdened for revival.
Lanphier began inviting business people to pray from 12:00-1:00 on Fulton Street in Lower Manhattan. On September 23, 1857, he sat in the 3rd floor alone. No one had come to the prayer meeting. As he was praying alone, about 12:30 another man joined him, and soon an additional five men came. Lanphier prayed with this six men asking God to move in hearts and revive His church.
The next week 13 or so were present. The third week, 20 and then 40. The men asked to move from a weekly prayer meeting to a daily prayer meeting. During that same week, the Stock Market crashed and people were open to praying for God’s favor. Within six months, 10,000 people were meeting daily for prayer. Then it was 25,000, and upwards to 40,000 people were praying in NYC daily. It is estimated that one million people were converted during this prayer revival and for a season, an average of 10,000 New Yorkers were trusting Christ daily.
One of the original six men who joined in that first prayer meeting was from Philadelphia. He wondered aloud as to why God couldn’t work this mightily in Philadelphia as well. So, he went back to his home town and began prayer meetings there. The results were astounding. This prayer revival could be found in city after city where people were leaving their homes and employment to pray.
This revival has been called the Fulton Street Revival, the New York City Prayer Revival, the Third Great Awakening, and the Businessman’s Prayer Revival. Call it what you will – but don’t forget that God did a great work!
One man – Jeremiah Lanphier, a layman – One Hour – from noon to one daily – One Prayer – Lord, Revive Your People.
Lord, do it again.