Prayer of Three College Students

Hampden-Sydney College

Hampden-Sydney College

Following is are two paragraphs from J Edwin Orr’s book, The Eager Feet, and found on page 66.

“In Virginia, a sorry state of affairs existed at Hampden-Sydney College, a Presbyterian school. On campus in 1787, there was drunkenness, cheating, lying and profanity, the students being utterly careless in conduct and character. A group of three students, all unconverted–so far as one can ascertain–but concerned about conditions on campus and about their own spiritual destiny, deciced to hold a prayer meeting to entreat the Almighty. They locked themselves in a room to avoid ridicule or uproar. All were novices about intercession. ‘We tried to pray,’ said one, ‘but such prayer I never heard the like of. We tried to sing, but it was in a most suppressed manner, for we feared the other students.’ They were discovered, and a tormenting mob tried to break down the door and rough them up.”

“The president of Hampden-Sydney College was Dr. John Blair Smith, born 1756, converted 1770. Called upon to investigate the uproar, he rebuked the rowdies and told the praying youths that they could meet in his private room. This they did, and thus began a remarkable college revival. Many vicious and profane students were converted, and the movement was extended over three or four counties by the preaching of Blair Smith, who won more than two hundred young people to Christian faith within a year and a half–several of whom became outstanding leaders in the greater awakening soon to come.”

Never underestimate the power of a small group willing to pray.