Thus says the LORD: “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls.
The first-century church, the one that Jesus started, turned their world upside down. They set their world on fire.
On the other hand, the church of today, which is much larger than the first-century church, has considerable resources and technology to use. Yet it seems as though the world is turning the church upside down.
Why aren’t we setting the world on fire? It’s because we need a revival. We need an awakening.
Speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, God said, “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16 NKJV).
Historically, revivals often began with one person who decided to do something. For example, in 1857, businessman Jeremiah Lanphier decided to start a prayer meeting on Fulton Street in downtown New York. Only a handful of people showed up to pray at the first meeting on September 23.
But Lanphier was persistent, and they kept meeting for prayer. Then something dramatic took place. The stock market crashed, and suddenly the prayer meeting grew. Then prayer meetings began popping up throughout New York City. And within six months, ten thousand people were gathering for prayer throughout the city, calling on the name of the Lord.
Within eighteen months of that first prayer meeting on Fulton Street, an estimated one million people had come to faith in Jesus Christ. It wasn’t orchestrated. It wasn’t a campaign planned by people. Rather, it was a work of God in which He poured out His Spirit. We need to see that today.
Any genuine revival will bring about repentance in the lives of the people, a change in the community, and evangelism en masse.
Jeremiah Lanphier was not a preacher. He wasn’t famous. He was an ordinary person who decided to pray. And you can do the same.