Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Looking back to 1857

Good Morning. I grabbed this blog off nppnblog.blogspot.com. It is a great blog site on national prayer. Below, we are reminded of the great prayer movement in New York City

In 1857 America was in crisis. What had begun as a cultural divide over slavery had deepened into a spiritual rift. Had God created blacks to have the same self-evident rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as whites? Or did He intend them to be intelligent beasts of burden, put on earth to serve whites? Hearts North and South had so hardened over this question that resolution by force of arms seemed inevitable.

Then the stock market crashed, the economy collapsed, multitudes were thrown out of work, and no one had any answers.

But one man thought God might. Jeremiah Lanphier invited men in the business district of New York City to gather for prayer at Noon on Wednesdays. The first Wednesday, there were six. The second Wednesday, twenty. The third Wednesday, forty. The Great Men’s Prayer Revival of 1857 had begun.

Today America is again in crisis. The cultural divide has become a spiritual rift. No one has any answers. But perhaps God does. What if – we were to accept the challenge of Jeremiah’s example? What if we were to go and do likewise?

Jeremiah’s Rules

1. All who desire to seek the face of God in meekness and humility are welcome.

2. Come to pray, not to preach or proselytize, or be entertained. Just to pray.

3. Avoid controversial subjects and divisive prayers. Ask God to guide your prayers.

4. As you pray, be sensitive to those around you, who might not come from the same prayer tradition as you.

5. Prayer requests and praise for answered prayer are welcome, as are reports of what the Lord is doing elsewhere. Exhortations are also welcome, but no more than two in a row, and none should exceed five minutes. A bell can be rung to announce the next person’s turn.

6. Promptness is vital. The hour should begin at Noon and end at one. If you can give Him the whole hour, fine. If you can stay only a few minutes, that is also fine. Linger afterwards if you care to, but the closing benediction will be at one.

7. Throughout, be sensitive to the leading of the Spirit of God. It is His hour, not ours; we’ve come to please Him, not ourselves.

Guiding Principles

For he was looking for the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. – Hebrews 11:10

Abraham was looking for a far city, whose foundations were already laid down by the Master Builder. So it will be for the Noon Prayer Hour. Erected on the firm foundation of the Word and Will of God, it will have His Spirit hovering over it, guiding the work.

From inception to completion, it will be His, and when it is ready, He will send His Spirit to speak it into existence.We will be living stones, shaped and prepared by God to fit into His temple of prayer.

Until it is finished, we will serve as watchmen and gatekeepers, awaiting His arrival and His command: Arise, shine for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord shall come upon you.
Isaiah 60:1

Jesus revealed that the glory the Father gave Him is also given to us, that we might be one – in spirit and purpose, in one accord. As the work gets underway, let us always remember: Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. – Psalm 127:1

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