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Mostly Maria Prayed

Maria rose up from her seat and approached the exhausted Charles Finney just as he was walking out from behind the pulpit. With tears in her eyes, she asked the preacher: "Rev. Finney, would you please come and preach in my city? I live in Stephentown (Ohio). And it is only a few miles down the road. Would you come and preach there?"

Finney looked at the young girl and smiled. While he sympathized with her concern, Finney explained that he would have to decline the request because his hands were already too full with the revival in New Lebanon.

The next Sunday Maria petitioned Finney again. And again Finney explained that while he would like to come to Stephentown, he still must refuse her offer.

"But, Mr. Finney, if you knew anything of the state of things in Stephentown, you would surely come." Maria persisted.

Finney paused for a moment to probe the girl's spirit. Looking deeply into the her tear-stained eyes, he replied: "Next week. If you will locate an appropriate place to meet, I will come to Stephentown and preach then, but only after I have preached my two Sabbath sermons in New Lebanon. I finish up here about 5 PM." Maria was ecstatic. She bounded out of the church and headed home to prepare the way for Finney.

The next Sunday Maria greeted Finney as he arrived in Stephentown, and accompanied him to her father's house. Mr. Sackett (Maria's father) showed Finney to a private room where he could pray alone before preaching. As Finney began to pray, he could hear the plaintive intercession offered up in the room directly above his. It was Maria. Sobbing and weeping, the girl cried out in the greatest of agony for the lost of her town.

After the service (which was unproductive in Finney's eyes), the revivalist returned to the Sackett house to spend the night. Again Finney was moved by the sounds of Maria's praying in the room above. The young girl prayed all night long.

It was to the credit of Maria's spirit of prayer that Finney agreed to return the next week, and then a third week, and by the end of the service on the third Sunday night God moved on the people of Stephentown. As Finney left the pulpit, Maria called him over to talk to a young lady who was under conviction. Her name was Henrietta Platt, the daughter of a very prominent judge.

Henrietta immediately gave her heart to God. From that day on those two young ladies, Henrietta and Maria, bonded themselves together in a union of prayer that changed their whole community forever, and, to a degree, changed the whole nation.

It was at that time, after the third week, Finney was captivated by the spirit of prayer that seemed to rule Maria's life. So much so that he closed out his meetings in New Lebanon, and moved his entire ministry to Stephentown! Maria and Henrietta prayed without ceasing, and Finney preached under the powerful anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Many had to be carried home after the Holy Sprit had fallen upon them. I One prominent lawyer of the time, Mr. Zebulon Shipherd, upon hearing about the unusual events surrounding the revival preaching of Finney, traveled a long distance to visit one of Finney's services. He was so taken up with the revival, he disposed of his lucrative practice, and joined Finney in the work.

The revival grew stronger and stronger, so that before Finney left Stephentown nearly every single person in the entire area had accepted Jesus. Many of the people saved under Finney in Stephentown later became effective ministers of the Gospel. Henrietta Platt met and married Almon Underwood. Together they ignited revival fires throughout New Jersey and New England.

J. J. Shipherd, the son of Zebulon Shipherd, went on to found two world-renown centers of Christian education in the Midwest: Oberlin College in Ohio, and Olivet College in Michigan. These two colleges alone produced thousands of pastors, evangelists, missionaries and Christian lay leaders.

But what about Maria? Did she ever become famous?The answer is, "No."  You will not read much about Maria in history books. Nor will you find her name chiseled in a granite cornerstone. Such is not the fate of an intercessor. And that is exactly what Maria was—an intercessor.

God, please send us more girls like Maria! Please send us intercessors! Please send us revival!

(For more stories like this read “The Memoirs of Charles G. Finney,” published by Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI (1989), and “WIND,” by Mike Carrier, Alistair Rapids Publishing, 2010.)

That’s why the revival he started, the Second Great Awakening, lasted for several generations.

Accept the challenge—pray for national revival, now!

We must have revival.

My book, WIND, is the roadmap for this revival. It is available from Amazon, and Kindle. Please consider buying it. Whether or not you get the book, I will provide one article on this site every week until we have revival. If you like it, email the link to a friend, and put it on Facebook.

You may email your thoughts and comments to If you choose to email me, please know that I might print some or all of your thoughts on this site. If you don't like what I advocate, let me know.

Mike Carrier, M.A., NYU

Click here to buy WIND on Amazon Kindle. ($2.99)
Click here to buy WIND on Amazon (Print Book). ($14.99)

Buy and send copies of WIND to your children and grandchildren. It will make them angry (at first), but in the end they will thank you.

Read previous posts:

Revivals in history (6-3-16)

Is it good to be tolerant? (5-27-16)

Just how close can we get to God? (5-20-16)

Failure of public schools (5-13-16)

Trump/Hillary/Biden/Sanders (5-6-16)

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Some thinkers have already written America off. For instance, in 2008 Fareed Zakaria wrote a New York Times Best Seller entitled The Post-American World in which he outlined just such a scenario.

According to many academics and philosophers (such as Mr. Zakaria), America’s role as a leader in the world is on the wane. Even some of our current political leaders are looking to the rest of the world for guidance through our tough times. They are speaking as though America’s best days are long gone.

Well, perhaps they are right. Maybe it is time to give up and bow down to what the world wants us to do; to surrender our liberties, and our leadership. Perhaps it is time for capitulation.

But, we do have a choice. And the choice is clear and real. In earlier times, when faced with similar circumstances, America (and other God-centric countries) simply heeded the imperative stated in the Old Testament: "If . . . My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chron. 7:13-14).

Nothing could be more clear, or more simple. Within that short statement resides all that is required of us to find our way back. It has worked before, and it will work again.

This book explains in clear terminology how you can do your part to help bring about the restoration of our country through a Third Great Awakening.

WIND is a call for national revival—a clarion call.

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*WIND Vol. 2 is not yet available, but if you would like to preview a chapter of it you may: "Revivals in History--The Correct View"