It seems like yesterday I had my car packed for the Windom, Minnesota revival with excitement and expectation of what the Lord would do in that place. It seems like yesterday because the revival that started for me in that place is still burning in my heart. From that revival I came back with a hometown desire to see Jesus at work in our neighborhoods and God is ever so faithful to give us the desires of our heart, especially when He is glorified!
The movement of Christian friends had already began with several men gathering each month from several different churches for a fellowship. So, even before I gathered some gals for a breakfast and ask if they’d like to follow suit, God had prepared the foundation. I was just a willing participant that God chose to use in our plight to see revival in our home town. My friend Dewey Moede was the vessel for Windom. His prayer did not come to fruition in a day or two… it took years. It’s all about God’s timing. That was my response to a friend who ask last night, “How did the fellowships begin.” We were ripe for the pickin’ and God picked us to begin a great work. I believe that.
It has to start somewhere.
Ripe for the Pickin’
I recently read of the great New York revival in 1857 and it has once again stirred the fire of desire within me. The North Dutch Reformed Church of Manhattan decided to reach out to the lost masses of people who surrounded them and to accomplish this, the congregation employed a 48-year old businessman, Jeremiah Lanphier, as missionary to the inner city. That one man started a group of men praying, who became thousands and thousands across America.
Lanphier handed out a pamphlet that on the reverse side said:
A day Prayer Meeting is held every Wednesday from 12 to 1 o’clock in the Consistory building of the North Dutch Church, corner of Fulton and William Streets. This meeting is intended to give merchants, mechanics, clerks, strangers and businessmen generally an opportunity to stop and call on God amid the perplexities incident to their respective avocations. It will continue for one hour; but it is designed for those who find it inconvenient to remain more than 5 or 10 minutes, as well as for those who can spare a whole hour. Necessary interruption will be slight, because anticipated. Those in haste often expedite their business engagements by halting to lift their voices to the throne of grace in humble, grateful prayer.
Following the economic crash of 1857 over 30,000 jobs were lost in New York City. That and other tensions in our nation made that city “ripe for the pickin’” by God too. According to some eyewitnesses, within six months’ time these noontime prayer meetings were attracting 10,000 businessmen, all of them confessing their sins and praying for revival.
Some would say it was just a knee reaction, well, I guess it was if being on your knees is the reaction they’re talking about. Yes, the crisis I’m sure lead to some crying out, but that’s the thing about despair, its usually not until then that anyone bothers to cry out. It’s all about the timing. America is certainly in a time of despair.
Our favorite revival verse 2 Chronicles 7:14 says “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
Ready for Repentence
The people in that city had repentant hearts. They confessed sin, they acknowledge and honored God, they were ready to make things happen once God had chosen them and allowed them to be in the place. Perhaps that’s what’s happening in America now. God is getting ready to do some amazing things because we’re desiring it with a humble heart. It takes a humble heart to get past the name over the door of a church. Revival cannot happen among people who are more concerned with the name of a Church than they are about the name of Jesus. That’s good preachin’ right there.
There are differences in churches attending the meetings in Calhoun, with the exception of Jesus Christ. They are men and women who love the Lord and want to see people come to know Him. They all believe that He is the Way, the Truth and the life and that no man cometh to the Father except through Him. And God is honoring us in this place.
I’m excited about the fire kindled in my soul and I’m praying that it spreads to your town too.