Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
In the past few weeks I have been reflecting on the origins and the original intent of PLUS. In many ways, PLUS was modeled after the Prayer Meeting Revival of 1857. Yet, after a dismissive response by a chaplain to my early request to advertise daily prayer for our nation at the base chapel during lunchtime, I settled into a mostly individual time of prayer. All along, though, something has been missing.
Recently, the Lord placed on my heart the need to reinvigorate this aspect of prayer for our nation. After all, the Lord specifically mentions the special power of communal prayer. We need God in our midst.
In 1857, businessman Jeremiah Lanphir was called to be a City Missionary in New York. A few months later he started a prayer meeting for businessmen, though his church board was initially dismissive and unenthusiastic about the idea. Lanphir advertised his prayer meeting by passing out handbills (to be described in the next post) and putting the following placard outside a room in lower Manhattan on Wednesdays:
“Prayer Meeting from 12 to 1 o’clock – Stop 5, 10, or 20 minutes, or the whole hour, as your time admits.”
From a simple and inauspicious start, the Lord used this meeting in a mighty way. America at that time had gone through a recognizable cycle. They had seen great prosperity and had lost interest in God. Then their prosperity and stability started crumbling and they recognized their need to return to their first love. Lanphir’s prayer meetings fostered this need. These God-ordained meetings quickly shifted from weekly to daily, and other prayer meetings sprung up around New York City. It didn’t stop there; meetings sprung up in other American cities and beyond. Within two years, an estimated one million people were saved and national church attendance increased by over 10%.
Wow! We need God in our midst like He was in their midst.
With that in mind, two Wednesday’s ago we started a weekly prayer meeting from 12 to 1 o’clock on Capitol Hill. People are encouraged to Stop 5, 10, or 20 minutes, or the whole hour, as their time admits. We are hoping for God to act in our midst like he did in their midst. These communal meetings don’t replace individual, daily prayer for our nation. Instead, they complement and supplement individual, daily times of prayer with a weekly time of group prayer. Maybe, with God’s help, weekly group prayer meetings will transition to daily meetings like Lanphir’s prayer meetings did.
PLEASE PRAY FOR THE HEAVENLY ANOINTING OF THIS WEEKLY PRAYER MEETING ON CAPITOL HILL. With God in our midst, we look to trigger nationwide prayer and call down supernatural power.
SET YOUR ALARM: If you’re alarmed (that a “Christian” governor would yield to minor pressure and deny religious liberty), set your alarm (to pray for our nation)!