Rev. Hamilton Moore, minister of the local Presbyterian Church in Connor to which most of the praying men belonged encouraged the prayer meetings. His own preaching was simple, direct, lacking great eloquence but certainly having spiritual power in the conversion of sinners. He preached both the terrors of the Lord against sin as well as the mercy of God towards sinners. He preached Hell as well as Heaven. His was not half a message as most today. His grasp of God’s truth was full and solid; his voice loud and clear; his heart soft and warm. He never talked about numbers but only the souls of men. He sought not after ministry or fame, but only sought to honour God and reach hearts.
He was destined to be a leading light in this forward Movement of God in the land. His local efforts to stir his people to prayer over previous years seemed almost futile. The lowest point of his ministry was reached when only two could be found attending regular united prayer.
But then came the stirring. The prayer meeting was full, other prayer meetings were started; the people realised a hunger for prayer and the power of prayer as lives were changed.
Reports of a stirring in this area began to spread and so that same year at the General Assembly he was asked to bring a report to the other ministers of this work of the Spirit of God.
At the same time reports were being received from America that a great stirring was taking place there. The Assembly appointed two ministers, Dr. William Gibson and Rev. William McClure to go to America and to report back. Amazingly it had also started there in September 1857 with one man, then a few, then many, praying for revival. This did not begin with preachers but the normal rank and file of believers most of whom were business men. By this time there were 12,000 men praying in New York City for a move of God.
Reports began to be heard from other ministers in the land who had laboured long and hard without seeing any results who now had packed congregations and full prayer meetings.
Believers in Ulster did not flood to America for a blessing but turned to God in prayer.
Back in the church at Connor by the beginning of 1859 there were about 100 separate prayer meetings a week. These were held in homes, barns, schoolrooms and work places. These were mostly run by normal church members, one being a butcher who was only saved two years before but was now on fire for God. Another prayer meeting was held in a mill made up of about 500 people with the local farmers being the preachers. The church was never empty and the 1,000 families that made up the local community who attended the church were seeking God earnestly, and souls were being saved on every side. The meetings were solemn, the people earnest with many being moved to tears.
This was Revival. (To be Continued)