All great movements of God are birthed in prayer
Acts 1:14 (ASV)
14These all with one accord continued stedfastly in prayer, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
Acts 4:31 (ASV)
31And when they had prayed, the place was shaken wherein they were gathered together; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
The Christians of Lao Shan Wei earnestly desired revival in their community, so like the Apostles devoted to prayer in the upper room in Jerusalem before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, as described in the second chapter of Acts, the Chinese believers prayed for a whole year. And then the revival came.
During a visit to Korea, a place where revival had just broken out, Jonathan Goforth learned that the Christians there had revival not because they were special in any way, but simply because they prayed and waited on God. It was their persistent prayer that was rewarded with marvelous revival.
Jonathan Goforth explains that all of the revivals in China, indeed all of the great movements of God in history, are birthed in prayer.
Jim Cymbala was a young pastor in the very challenging mission field of Brooklyn. Frustrated and discouraged, Jim cried in prayer to God for help and received via the inner voice of God, a resounding assurance and promise.
In a town in Vermont, religion was declining, and the weekly prayer meetings at the red schoolhouse were cancelled due to a lack of attendance. However, a praying old lady continued to attend and spent an hour in earnest prayer for a revival. She reported to a deacon that she had a blessed time with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and word spread, leading to a crowded meeting the following week and a subsequent revival of great interest.
Dr Wisner recalls how a fervent prayer by his elder, asking God "to trouble the impenitent that they would feel constrained to awaken us in the night to inquire what they should do to be saved", was answered in a powerful way. The prayer led to an unexpected awakening in a nearby Academy; many were convicted of their sins that night and many more were rejoicing in hope the next morning.
A sick and poor man in New York prayed for the salvation of an unconverted businessman who had shown him kindness. The man's prayers led to the businessman's conversion, and eventually a powerful revival spread throughout the region. The man kept a diary in which he recorded his prayers for over thirty ministers, churches, and missionary stations, and the revival occurred in the same order he had prayed for them.
The remarkable revival experienced by the people of Umuofai in Abia State of Nigeria in 1996 was birthed from a place of deliberate prayer. The Nwankpa brothers who led the revival spent 80 days of partial fasting and of prayer; seeking direction from the Lord. And He guided them most remarkably.
Marie Monsen got an assurance in the place of prayer that revival could come to the field she was working if only she prayed, and solemnly she declared; “Then I will pray until I receive.” And for about twenty years, she persevered, until the signs of revival began to show forth.
A group of humbled believers joined together in prayer to ask for God's leading in their missionary work. They experienced a revival and great success wherever they went. It was a direct product of their prayer and unity.
Believers felt the call to pray for Harvey despite fierce opposition and discouragements. Their prayers were answered. God sent two devoted sisters who coordinated the work of God in Harvey, leading to the conversion of many and the transformation of the whole city.
The great revival of Rochester was a success; some even called it the greatest revival in the Christian era. Yet, it was a success not because of Charles Finney's eloquence but rather the spirit of prayer that enabled him to prevail.
Shaw went to New Haven to hold a revival meeting. However, in getting there, they faced so many difficulties. They soon realized it was the powers of darkness working against the work. They went to the Lord in prayers. That marked the turnaround of the revival meetings. There was an outpouring of confessing and conversion, and the whole area experienced the flame of revival.
After holding revival meetings for three weeks without tangible results, church members began to complain and request that the revivals end. A leading member told the pastor that the revivals must end because they wanted to hold a fair at the same venue. The pastor replied that the revivals must go on with or without them. He spent the night in prayer. The next day, the Spirit of the Lord broke out amongst the people!
Believers in Tai Ku gathered like the early church did to pray for ten days, seeking revival and on the seventh day, the Holy Spirit flooded their meeting causing a year on year increase in membership for three straight years with churches springing up even where there was no evangelist or missionary.
Inspired by the story of the revival at Kassia Hills, India, missionaries from different denominations gathered together to pray for the same move of the Spirit to happen in Ping Yang. For four months they continued to pray to God after which the most important result became obvious; they were United in Christ.