The following testimony comes from the Forward to Andrew Murray’s book The Prayer-Life (1913) regarding Pentecost Prayer Meetings.
I wish to add one word more, in regard to “the Pentecostal prayer-meetings” held throughout our Church [Dutch Reform Church of South Africa]. These have had a very interesting and important place in our work. At the time of the great Revival in America and Ireland in 1858 and following years, some of our elder ministers issued a circular urging the Churches to pray that God might visit us too. In 1860 the revival broke out in various parishes. On April, 1861, there was very deep interest shown in the Paarl, in one of our oldest congregations. During the week preceding Whitsunday the minister, who ordinarily preached only once on a Sunday, announced that in the afternoon there would be a public prayer-meeting in the Church. The occasion was one of extraordinary interest, and many hearts were deeply touched. As one result the minister suggested that in future the ten days between Ascension and Whitsunday should be observed by daily prayer-meetings. This took place the following year. The blessing then received was such that all the neighbouring congregations took up the suggestion, and now for fifty years the ten days of prayer have been observed throughout the whole Church. Each year notes were issued as subjects of addresses and prayer, and the result has been that throughout our whole Church Christians have been educated in the knowledge of what God’s Word teaches regarding the Holy Spirit, and have been stirred to seek and to yield themselves to His blessed leading. These ten days have often proved the occasion for special effort with the unconverted, and of partial revival. And they have been the means of untold blessing in leading ministers and people to recognize the place that the Holy Spirit ought to have of the Godhead in the heart of the believer, in the dealing with souls, and in consecration to the service of the Kingdom.
There is still very much indeed lacking of the full knowledge and power of the Holy Spirit, but we feel that we cannot be sufficiently grateful to God for what He has done through His leading us to dedicate these days to special prayer for the movings of His Holy Spirit.
I have written this with the thought that there may be some who will be glad to know of it, and in their sphere to unite in the observance.
During the 8 days of consecration, plan for some corporate prayer experiences. Provide specific suggestions for a variety of prayer emphases during the week or for each day. Where appropriate incorporate a brief message and music, only don’t substitute them for an extended time for prayer each day. Prayer should dominate your time together. The following are some suggestions for your consideration.