Monday 20 February 2012

Workplace Prayer

LICC recently launched its PrayerWorks initiative, seeking to encourage prayer for the workplace by providing creative ways of praying and developing pathways of prayer for Christians to experience together.

So, it was with some interest that I read a piece on the Missional Communities blog on workplace prayer and mission in the 19th Century.

In 1857, a Dutch missionary called Jeremiah Lanphier employed by Fulton Street Church to minister to the unchurched in New York, issued the following invitation.

‘A day of 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. This meeting is intended to give merchants, mechanics, clerks, strangers and businessmen generally an opportunity to stop and call on God amid the perplexities incident to their respective avocations.

‘It will continue for one hour; but it is also designed for those who find it inconvenient to remain more than 5 or 10 minutes, as well as for those who can spare a whole hour. Necessary interruption will be slight, because anticipated.

‘Those in haste often expediate their business engagements by halting to lift their voices to the throne of grace in humble, grateful prayer. Mr. Lanphier set the very first meeting for noon September 23rd 1857 in the lecture room on the third floor of the Consistory Building of the North Reformed Protestant Dutch Church.’

The rest of the post goes on to describe the structure of the meetings and the impact they had in contributing to what has been called ‘the third great awakening’.

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