"Dedicated to strengthening and encouraging the Body of Christ."

The Day Of Prayer Opened The Floodgates

By H. W. J.

    I was holding meetings in Ohio. It was with a single church and in a university town. Because of its aristocracy, university and somewhat unique history, the town was coated over with self-righteousness and a deadening respectability. The people were exceedingly conservative, and what was taught in the schools was adverse to the Word of God and to prayer.

    The pastor of the church, however, was a man of God and a thorough believer in the Bible. For weeks he and many of his noble people had been praying for a revival.

    At the time of which I write, I had been preaching nearly two weeks. There seemed to be no signs of an awakening. The people came, listened attentively and just as before, went away without much prayer and without ringing testimonies. I seemed to be preaching against a cold barrier, back from which my voice rang in mocking echoes.

    Our efforts seemed a flat failure. The self-satisfied people went on in their indifferent ways, while many of the university students scorned the emphasis laid by the evangelist upon the power of the Gospel and the efficacy of prayer.

    We were at the end of our own dependence. We fell prone upon God's precious promises and appointed a day of prayer. To the joy of our hearts, the people came and went all through the day. Fasting was a natural part. The soul had meat to eat of which the multitude knew not.

    We repeated God's promises. We asked in His name. We forsook our sins. We confessed our sins one to another. Victory was given to us by the Lord.

    Toward the evening hour a hush fell upon us. We were upon our knees, but in silence. Tears of repentance fell from the eyes of God's people. The Holy Spirit came upon us in power. That evening we expected a great breaking down of stubborn wills, and a glorious beginning of a mighty revival.

    But when the icy breath of the faithless and scoffing ones swept the audience, it sent a chill through us again. The expected power did not fall. We must be tried further. God had heard. The assurance had been given, but the blessing was withheld.

    The next evening an after-meeting was announced in the room below the auditorium. To reach it everybody had to pass the outside door. Some feared all would go out and to their homes as before. But, no, the Spirit of the Lord directed our footsteps. The large room was crowded to the doors.

    The people were crying to God now. Hearts tender. Conviction was pungent. The singing was of the Spirit. A few audible prayers were offered. A brief word spoken by the evangelist and the invitation extended to publicly confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. The silence was oppressive, then broken by a sob. Soon two sisters came forward, then two more, and a new Pentecost was on!

    Within less than two weeks, fifty-two twice-born men and women entered the church by baptism, and the community was shaken by a most glorious manifestation of divine power. It was the day of prayer that opened the floodgates of power upon God's waiting children!

    – From I Cried, He Answered. Copyright 1918. Moody Bible Institute of Chicago. Moody Press. Used by permission.