The Businessmen's Revival

I have been told by many older Christians that the most influential thing we can research as young Christians is the history of Revival. I have meant to put that wisdom to use, but until writing this blog I haven’t sat down to do it. Reading about the businessmen’s revival has been amazing, and also convicting.

This revival happened in New York City in 1857, and can be traced back to a businessman named Jeremiah Lanphier. Lanphier came to know the Lord in 1842, but continued to work his normal job. God gave Jeremiah His heart for the lost, and Jeremiah had a deep burden for the people around him to know God. In 1857, he decided to quit his job and change careers to pursue vocational ministry.

Jeremiah joined the staff of the North Dutch Reformed Church. He was given the task of going to the communities around the church to evangelize. After a few months, he decided he would start a prayer meeting that would meet every Wednesday from noon to one. He wanted to make it accessible to people that worked so he set the time for the typical lunch hours. He printed thousands of flyers, and passed them out around the city. Here’s what the flyers said:

How Often Shall I Pray?

        As often as the language of prayer is in my heart; as often as I see my need of help; as often as I feel the power of temptation; as often as I am made sensible of any spiritual declension or feel the aggression of a worldly spirit.

        In prayer we leave the business of time for that of eternity, and intercourse with men for intercourse with God.

        A day Prayer Meeting is held every Wednesday, from 12 to 1 o’clock, in the Consistory building in the rear of the North Dutch Church, corner of Fulton and William Streets (entrance from Fulton and Ann Streets).

        This meeting is intended to give merchants, mechanics, clerks, strangers and business
men generally an opportunity to stop and call upon God amid the perplexities incident to their respective avocations. It will continue for one hour; but it is also designed for those who may find it inconvenient to remain more than five or ten minutes, as well as for those who can spare the whole hour.

So on September 23, 1857, Jeremiah held the first prayer meeting. For the first 30 minutes, no one showed up, but for the last half hour, there were 6 people total. The second week, 20 people showed up and the third, 40. Because of the rapid growth of interest, Jeremiah decided to make the weekly prayer meeting a daily prayer meeting. Other churches joined in on this movement, and before you knew it, there were noon prayer meetings all over the city.

Apparently, the New York Times actually tried to count all of the people that gathered for these meetings, but they weren’t able to make it to all of them before the hour was up. However, it is estimated that 10,000 men were praying during this hour consistently throughout the city. Soon, churches started hosting meetings multiple times a day and these would last for hours at a time.

This movement that started as a way to pray for the people in the city far from God turned into an evangelical awakening. Churches all over the city not only saw new members, they saw people come to know the Lord for the first time. The Gothic Church in Brooklyn had 75 people pray to receive Jesus in January of 1858. And just like the prayer meeting’s humble beginning, this was only the start.

News about these meetings and this revival spread all over the country, and a lot of cities decided to follow suit. Prayer meetings popped up all over the country. So much so that, in some cities, business owners would agree to close down for the hours the meetings were taking place. They wanted to take part, they wanted their employees to take part, and they wanted potential customers to take part. What God did in Jeremiah Lanphier’s heart, He was doing in people’s hearts across the country. He was burdening people to pray for the lost, and He was showing up when they did.

It is reported that 1 million people, out of a US population that was only 30 million at the time, prayed to receive Jesus during this revival from 1857-1858. To put that into context for us, that would be like if just over 11 million people came to know Jesus between now and December of 2023. How crazy would that be? What would change? How different would our country look? I don’t know about you, but I’m also left with the question of why can’t this happen again?

There’s not a formula to make God do something like this, but why not start where Jeremiah Lanphier started? Why not have a prayer meeting for people far from God and see what happens? At the very minimum, we would be spending time in God’s presence for an hour, and we would get more of His heart for the lost. I don’t want to put limits on God, because I believe He can do greater things than the Businessmen’s Revival, but He did it once, so He can do it again. With that being said, I’m going to start praying for the lost every Thursday from 12-1, and after that I’m going to go on campus to share the Gospel from 1-3. And, to quote Jeremiah Lanphier, “It will continue for one hour; but it is also designed for those who may find it inconvenient to remain more than five or ten minutes, as well as for those who can spare the whole hour.”

If you want to learn more about this revival, and because I don’t want to plagiarize, I got all of the information for this blog from two resources:

Author | John Wesley





no categories


1 Corinthians 1 Kings 1 Peter 2 Corinthians 2 Peter Aaron Vickroy Abba Abiding Abigail Bradley Abundance Accountability Actions Adam Salway Addiction Adoration Adventure Alafia Adeleke Alex Hinton Alignment Andrew Elder Andrew Smith Anger Anna DiCosty Anna Goellner Anointing Ansley Davenport Anxiety Armor of God Ashlyn Williams Ashton Brantley Asian American and Pacific Islander Month Aubrey Gold Authority Autumn Pressley Awakening Bailey Meyne Balance Beauty Becca Johnstone Becca Morgan Being Uncomfortable Being mortal Beloved Ben Gill Benji Johnston Bentley Clark Bethel Black History Month Blessing Body Image Body of Christ Boldness Boundaries Brad Schiebel Bravery Breakthrough Brittany Futch Brokenness Brooke DeLoach Brooklyn Holloway COVID-19 Caitlin Cooper Calling Calvary Cam Pace Caroline Barnes Caroline Beasley Caroline Newton Carolyn McLain Celebration Change Charlie Knox Child-like Chloe Glass Chosen Christina Hensley Christlikeness Christmas Survival Guide Christmas Claire Jordan Clarity Colorado Comfort Commitment Communion Community Comparison Compassion Complacency Confidence Connection Consistency Contentment Control Conviction Correction Counseling Courage Covenants Creativity Cristina Rosiles Dating Decisions Dependency Depth Desperation Devon Radford Disappointment Discernment Discipleship Leadership Blog Discipleship Discipline Distraction Diversity Division Doubt Dreams Dutch Williams Easter Eat the Book El Roi El Shaddai Elders Elijah Elizabeth Sprinkle Ellie Knight Ellyzsa Valencia Emily Baker Emily Goldin Emily Helton Emily Summers Emma Kate Shelton Emma Whitmer Emmanuel Fortuchang Emotions Empathy Emptiness Encountering God Encounter Encouragement Rooms Endurance Enough Environment Envy Erin Gilleland Eternity Evan Correa Evangelism Exodus Expectation Faithfulness Faith Family Fear of the Lord Fear Feeling Lost Feeling Safe Fernanda Lima Forgiveness Fredom Freedom Freely Given Freshley Friendship Fruits of the Spirit Fun Future Garner Gay Generosity Genesis Gentleness Gift Giving Giving Glory of God Goals God as a Father God is Smart God is with us God's Character God's Heart God's Names God's Plans God's Plan God's Power God's Presence God's Promises God's Timing God's Voice God's Will God\'s Character God\'s Heart God\'s Names God\'s Plans God\'s Plan God\'s Power God\'s Presence God\'s Promises God\'s Timing God\'s Voice God\'s Will God\\\'s Character God\\\'s Heart God\\\'s Names God\\\'s Plans God\\\'s Plan God\\\'s Power God\\\'s Presence God\\\'s Promises God\\\'s Voice God\\\'s Will God\\\\\\\'s Character God\\\\\\\'s Presence God\\\\\\\'s Voice Government Grace Gratitude Guatemala Guidance Haley Blanchard Haley Hall Hallie Turner Hannah Cole Healing Heart Posture Heaven Hinds Feet on High Places Hispanic Heritage Month History of Prayer History of Revival History of Wesley Holidays Holiness Holly Avera Holy Spirit Holy Week Home Honor Hope Hospitality Humility Hunger Hunter MacInnis I Am Ian Burkes Identity Idols Image of God Imagination Influence Inheritance Intention Intercession Interning Intimacy Isolation Jake Stephens Jamaica Jamie Cherf Jealousy Jennifer Daniel Jessie Thomas Jesus John Wesley John Joseph Josh DeRamus Journaling Joy Judgment Julia Baughn Justice Justin Patton Kalli Drake Karla Sanchez Tavera Katherine Burnette Katie Courson Katie Pilson Katie Pitner Katy Smith Kelley Losinger Kelly Losinger Kelsey Parham Kennedy Browning Kimberly Klaer Kindness Kingdom Knowing God Knowledge Known Kourtney Axelberg Kristen Fikse Kyle Pickett Language Latinx Heritage Month Lauren Forbes Leadership Legacy Lia Herrera Life Light Lindsey Conway Listening Living Water Living with God Logic Loneliness Longing Los Angeles Loss Love Languages Love Luke Luvlan Lee Mackenzie Wells Maddie Marsh Madeline Current Madelyn Livingston Madison Davis Madison McManners Makinizi Hoover Mariah Foote Mariah Taylor Marlena Sculac Marriage Martin Luther King Jr. Matthew Maturity Melissa Merrick Mental Health Mercy Meredith Ashburn Messiah Michael Weidner Miracles Missions Morgan Attebery Mourning Names Narnia Nashville Natalie Mata Nathan DeYoung New Covenant New Year Obedience Old Covenant Olivia Beals Olivia Ellis Openness Outreach Pain Partnership Passover Past Paul Peace Perfection Perseverance Perspective Peter Pharisees Philippians Power Praise Prayer Guide Prayer Meetings Prayer Pride Processing Prophecy Protection Provision Psalm 23 Psalms Purity Purpose Rachel Dow Rachel Erin Taylor Rachel Henderson Rachel Jones Racial Healing Racial Reconciliation Rebecca Mejia Recipes Reconciliation Red Rising Redemption Refinement Reflection Reform Refreshing Relationship Remedy Repentance Resolutions Resources Responsibility Restoration Rest Resurrection Reverence Revival Rhythm Righteousness Riley Orr Risk Romance Romans 8 Romans Rosalie Vendrell Ruth Sabbath Sacred Rhythms Sacrifice Salvation Sam Adams Sam Carroll Sam Darby Samantha Forbes Samantha Richey Sanctification Sarah Savoie Savannah Hill Savannah Shaw Savannah Ugan Scripture Seasons Secrets of the Secret Place Seeking God Selah Self-love Sermon on the Mount Serving Shaking Shame Sidney Counsell Simplicity Singleness Sin Slowing Solitude Sorrow Sovereignty Spiritual Disciplines Spiritual Gifts Spiritual Health Spiritual Themes Spiritual Warfare Status Steadfastness Stephanie Seda Stephanie Stewart Strength Stress Struggles Suffering Summer Survival Guide Summer of Psalms Summer Surrender Temple Temptation Tenderness Tension Testimony Thankfulness The Beatitudes The Church The Cross The Gospel The Law The Lord's Prayer The Lord\'s Prayer The Lord\\\'s Prayer The Prodigal Son The Road to Life The Secret Place The Shack The Ten Commandments The Trinity The Word of God Therapy Tori Kramer Transformation Transition Trust Truth Uncertainty Unity Urgency Values Victory Vision Vulnerability Wandering Wednesday Night Recap Who Am I Wilderness Wisdom Wonder Word for the Year Words Worship Worth