Psalm 85:6-7 Will You not revive us again, That Your people may rejoice in You? Show us Your mercy, Lord, And grant us Your salvation.
The revivalist D.L. Moody was on vacation in England from his ministry in Chicago. At one point during his sabbatical there, a local pastor prevailed upon Moody to speak at his parish church. So D.L. went to preach the next Sunday morning. That afternoon he recorded in his journal that it was the deadest crowd he had ever seen and the only thing worse than preaching to those people was that he had promised to speak again the same night.
But that night, midway through his sermon something happened. The people started to come to life, and Moody felt compelled to ask if anyone would like to become a Christian. Many people stood up. He was taken aback, "Maybe you don't understand what I am asking. So when we are dismissed if you want to become a Christian come over to this little room and meet with me." When the service was over, D.L went to the room and it was packed, and many became believers.
Now he was on vacation, and so next day, Moody boarded a train for Ireland...but the Lord had other plans. Disembarking in Ireland he found a message awaiting him, "Come back. Revival has broken out." So Moody returned to the church and preached for 10 straight nights and over 400 people came to the Lord. Moody was perplexed. How could he have known that an 80-year-old widow named Mary Ann Adeland had read one of his sermons in the newspaper and begun praying every day that God would bring D.L. Moody to her church?
We might well wonder what this thing is about prayer...especially prayer in the secret place. How does it work? Why does it work? A little old widow's love and concern for her spiritually dead neighbors inspires her to pray relentlessly and specifically, and the vacation plans of a great revivalist are adjusted for a local harvest, a God-orchestrated vacation revival for D.L. Moody, right in her hometown! Believers pray because they love, and little passionate souls like Mary Ann Adeland are hidden gems in the Lord's crown. How many spiritually dead neighbors do you have? If you see them with spiritual eyes, and you truly love them, consider your sister Mary Ann, her deep concern... and how the Lord channeled one of His trusted servants right into her neighborhood for a local revival.