In September 1857 Jeremiah Lanphier started a businessmen’s prayer meeting in Manhattan. By March of 1858, every church and public hall in downtown New York was filled with praying businessmen. A famous editor sent a reporter with a horse and buggy racing around to the prayer meetings to see how many men were praying. In one hour he got to only twelve meetings, but he counted 6,100 men attending. A landslide of prayer began, which overflowed to the churches in the evenings. People began to be converted, ten thousand a week in New York City alone.
Across the ocean, a few dozen years later, the Holy Spirit anointed a 25-year-old unknown Welsh coal miner, Evan Roberts, who for thirteen years prayed for a move of God’s Spirit. One year prior to the revival that flooded Wales, the Spirit of God broke through and washed over this young man. He prayed so loud and so hard that his landlady kicked him out of his apartment. Here was his prayer: “Bend me. Bend me. Bend me, O Lord.”
Evan Roberts had a vision that the revival would see a hundred thousand people saved in Wales and would literally sweep around the world. He was loudly ridiculed and scorned by religious leaders; nevertheless, within five months, the revival added a hundred thousand people to the Church.
The revival moved through central Europe, Norway, and Scandinavia. It spread down to Africa and India, through China and into Korea. Healings, visions, signs, and wonders such as those recorded in the book of Acts were witnessed throughout this revival in the early 1900s. The Church added more than a million people to its rolls and at least that many more were reportedly saved.
It only takes one obedient person to light a spiritual fire.