In 1857 a New Yorker made a tremendous difference in the moral climate of this country. Our nation was losing its conscience as it is today, and a layman (not an "official clergyman") in New York started "a noon prayer meeting for New York businessmen". From that small beginning the history of our country was changed for many years to come.
"In 1857 churches were sliding down hill. Thousands of Americans were disillusioned with Christianity. William Miller, a new England farmer, had captured nationwide attention with his prediction that Christ would return on October 22, 1844. When nothing happened, many abandoned their faith.
America's moral recovery began when Jeremiah Lanphier, a concerned layman, started a noon prayer meeting for New York businessmen. Only six people came to the first prayer meeting on September 23, 1857 on the third floor of the "Consistory" of the Old Dutch Reformed Church on Fulton Street. By spring daily prayer meetings sprang up in many locations and daily attendance grew to 10,000. America's greatest Spiritual awakening was under way. It was called the Layman's Prayer Revival because laymen led it."
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Our country is in the same situation and worse. We have left our moral foundation The Bible. We spend our time entertaining ourselves with everything but the Bible and prayer.
"According to a 1999 study by the American government, by the time a child reaches the age of 18, he or she will have seen 200,000 dramatized acts of violence and 40,000 dramatized murders. Fully half of the videogames that a typical seventh-grader plays with are violent. Through this exposure, some troubled children develop a taste for violence. The boundary between fantasy and reality that adults can distinguish is much more difficult for children. Add to that the desensitization and conditioning that goes on daily from the media and it's clear that violent programs do have a negative impact."
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Obviously our government is not going to be concerned with the moral diet of our country. Lamentably many of our religious institutions are a part of the problem. Instead of leading men to repentance turning from our sin to conscientious obedience to God, they entertain and appease millions who remain unchanged. The concept of fearing the wrath of God against evil deeds ( http://www.ccel.org/ccel/edwards/sermons.sinners.html ) is missing in many Christian circles today. The world as a whole has lost faith in modern Christianity ... just like they had in 1857.
God is the only One who can turn this thing around. He hears the prayers of common ordinary people who turn to Him with a real desire to please Him and do right. As more Americans earnestly appeal to Him to change the moral climate of our country, it will happen, and He will get all of the glory. It won't come through any certain religious group of people, it will come from ordinary people from all kinds of backgrounds crying out to God, the only One who can fix this mess.