Both biblically and historically prayer brings advancement of God’s cause.
Prayer meetings launched a worldwide missionary movement. In Acts 13:1-3, while in a prayer meeting, the church experienced the Holy Spirit calling Barnabas and Paul to plant churches in the nations. The first recorded launch of the gospel in Europe came from the prayer meeting in Acts 16:12-15. Paul was part of a riverside prayer meeting in Philippi. At that prayer meeting, Lydia’s heart was opened to receive Christ.
Prayer has been as a powerful force throughout church history:
- Jeremiah Lamphier called a prayer meeting in downtown New York in 1857. Within six months, 10,000 businessmen were praying for revival. Within two years, two million people were saved and added to the churches.
- James McQuilkin and three others met in a schoolhouse in Ireland every Friday evening for prayer. By the end of the year 1858, fifty believers had come to pray and they prayed for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The next year, an estimated 100,000 were saved and added to the churches in Ulster.
Corporate, prevailing, intense prayer always preceded every move of God. People began crying out to God in a way they had not previously experienced. May we also fervently and continually pray for God to move as we look at all that awaits us in the year ahead.