In the late 1780’s God radically redefined the Church’s vision and understanding of corporate prayer. It all started when a handful of young British ministers resurrected a 40 year old prayer strategy called the “Concert of Prayer” movement. The main premise for this prayer call was outlined in a little book by Jonathan Edwards entitled “A HUMBLE ATTEMPT to promote an explicit agreement and visible union of God's people through the world, in extraordinary PRAYER, for the REVIVAL of religion, and the advancement of Christ's kingdom on earth.” Mr. Edwards’ dream of a united and praying Church was suddenly being reignited in the hearts of a whole new generation. This little book with the BIG title was soon reprinted and widely circulated among ministers on both sides of the Atlantic. Pastors throughout America warmly embraced the challenge and began to pray for revival together on the same day of each month.
Never had the Church in America experienced such widespread unity and agreement in prayer among so many believers from so many different denominations. The true potential of united prayer was being reawakened in one generation. As they began to humbly pray together—They learned how to yield to the Holy Spirit—They learned how to tarry and weep together—They learned how to confess their sins to one another—And they learned how to depend on God again! Then the 2nd Great Awakening began to shake America to its core. For 50 years the Holy Spirit swept over our nation. Revival broke out in New England and then spread throughout the Northeast. Then revival transformed the whole western frontier of Kentucky and the Allegheny Mountains. Soon revival began to spread to America’s most respected universities. Almost all of the Ivy League colleges were transformed by this powerful awakening. The 2nd Great Awakening in America continued from 1790 until approximately 1845.
Armed with the power of united prayer, the Church began to intercede for the needs of the emerging generation. Powerful revivals increased on college campuses all across America. By 1823 the practice of adopting a college campus in prayer became an annual event in almost every major denomination. It became known as the Day of Prayer for Colleges. God was confirming that He hears and answers prayer—And if America’s churches, pastors and parents would continue to lay aside their differences and pray, He would continue to COME in revival power! Year after year they prayed, and year after year revival came, until America’s colleges earned the reputation of being one of the best places for a young person to find God.