World View and Current Events
Unite for Revival: Remembering Our Roots
Jul 1, 2023

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What is revival? Is it when 50,000 people gather in a stadium? Is it an emotional meeting? Defined simply, "revival" is what happens when something is brought back to life. And when the spiritually dead come alive through the power of the Holy Spirit alone—when God intervenes in a way we could not even imagine or anticipate—that is a true revival.

Let us look at an incredible moment in history when God did such a work among His people—and pray for God to bring spiritual revival and awakening once again to our nation and world.

How we yearn for a return to such days! Our fervent prayer today should be, "Lord Jesus, come quickly—or send us a revival."

During the middle of the nineteenth century, spiritual conditions in the United States had deteriorated considerably. The nation had moved away from its early days of godliness. Moreover, people became obsessed with making money, and as they prospered, they turned their backs on God.

Then a man named Jeremiah Lanphier began a prayer meeting in the upper room of the Dutch Reformed Church in Manhattan. After advertising the prayer meeting in the papers, only six people showed up—out of a population of nearly one million. Each day, the gathering grew. Soon, they filled the church and numerous buildings in downtown New York. Before long, a landslide of prayer began.

People were converted at the rate of 10,000 a week in New York City, and the movement spread rapidly throughout New England. Church bells would bring people together to pray in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Within a year, more than one million people were converted.

The prayer revival even crossed the Atlantic, breaking out in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, southern India, and other parts of the world. The effect of this prayer revival was felt for 40 years! The revival began in a movement of prayer and was sustained by a movement of prayer. It lasted for a generation, but at the turn of the century the nation again needed an awakening.

All around the world—from Chicago to England to India to Australia to Korea—people were united in prayer for God to send a new awakening once again. In 1905, God answered these prayers, just as He had earlier. Some interesting statistics that resulted from the meetings are:

  • Twenty-five percent of the students at Yale University were enrolled in prayer meetings and Bible studies.
  • In Portland, Oregon, 250 store owners closed from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. each day for prayer and agreed that no one would cheat and stay open.
  • Of the 100,000 people who joined churches in the five months of revival, 80,000 remained in the church after five years—that's 80 percent of the original 100,000 converted!
  • In the same year, the famous Welsh revival broke out and had an astounding impact on Welsh society. Judges had no cases to try—no rapes, no robberies, no murders, no embezzlements.

How we yearn for a return to such days! Our fervent prayer today should be, "Lord Jesus, come quickly—or send us a revival."

This article is condensed and excerpted from Dr. Michael Youssef's digital booklet, Unite for Spiritual Revival. Download your FREE copy today at—and join the prayer movement that God is using to awaken a nation.