Coming from a banking family, I can see all too clearly how close our beloved country is to total economic collapse accompanied by a catastrophic collapse of law and order.
Almost exactly 40 years ago, God gave me a vision of a revival that would penetrate the heart of the United Kingdom as “The fire of the Lord fell!”. Through many a trial, I have been given the grace to hold on to this blessed “burden of the Lord”.
But what will it take to make us cry out to God: “Lord, give us revival or we perish”? Will it take financial collapse such as that which preceded America’s 1857 ‘Prayer meeting revival’?
Back then, a proud and prosperous America, where the rich grew richer and the poor grew poorer, was suddenly struck down by divine judgement. The banks all failed; factories closed down; businessmen committed suicide rather than accept financial ruin; many of the middle classes were forced to return to the tenements they had abandoned for up-market residential areas.
There were an estimated 3,000 children on the streets of New York, with most of the girls surviving through prostitution. The collapse of America only made many turn more bitter still until the revival prayer meetings came into being by a sovereign act of God’s grace.
It wasn’t through any great name like Spurgeon, Moody or Booth, but by an ‘unknown prophet’, Jeremiah Lanphier, who did his utmost to keep out of the limelight.
The national repentance of America in 1857 went so deep and was so genuine that, within a single year, America breathed again. God is so merciful. (My thanks to Gordon Pettie who allows us to quote from his excellent booklet, ‘Prayer Meeting Revival’.)
Do we have to go through the same terrible financial ruin as America in 1857? Or will we all turn to the Lord at this 11th hour?