A prayer for us all
I was reading The Life and Diary of David Brainerd and found myself in a condition almost completely foreign to what I saw from the accounts that he wrote. David Brainerd was a missionary to the Indians. He lived from 1718-1747, a period which I see the works of God so near… Sometimes in the midst of reading I paused and my heart was troubled, and I could not help asking why we have gone so far… and could not help seeing the helplessness of my state…
I long that God will visit us still and not turn away from us…
August 8, 1745
… the power of God seemed to descend upon the assembly “like a rushing mighty wind,” and with an astonishing energy bore down all before it.
I stood amazed at the influence that seized the audience almost universally, and could compare it to nothing more aptly than the irresistible force of a mighty torrent, or swelling deluge, that with its insupportable weight and pressure bears down and sweeps before it whatever is in its way. Almost all persons of all ages were bowed down with concern together, and scarce one was able to withstand the shock of this surprising operation.
I long that God will work in our hearts a deeper realisation of sin…
… Old men and women, who had been drunken wretches for many years, and some little children, not more than six or seven years of age, appeared in distress for their souls, as well as persons of middle age. And it was apparent these children (some of them at least) were not merely frightened with seeing the general concern; but were made sensible of their danger, the baldness of their hearts, and their misery without Christ, as some of them expressed it.
… They were almost universally praying and crying for mercy, in every part of the house, and many out of doors, and numbers could neither go nor stand. Their concern was so great, each one for himself, that none seemed to take any notice of those about them, but each prayed freely for himself. And, I am to think, they were to their own apprehension as much retired as if they had been, individually, by themselves in the thickest desert; or, I believe rather, that they thought nothing about any but themselves, and their own states, and so were everyone praying apart, although all together.
August 9, 1745
… There was indeed a very great mourning among them, and yet everyone seemed to mourn apart. For so great was their concern, that almost everyone was praying and crying for himself, as if none had been near. “Have mercy upon me, have mercy upon me,” was the common cry.
I long to see God claiming His rightful place…
August 16, 1745
… I never saw the work of God appear so independent of means as at this time. … God’s manner of working upon them appeared so entirely supernatural and above means that I could scarce believe He used me as an instrument, or what I spake as means of carrying on His work. It seemed, as I thought, to have no connection with, nor dependence upon means in any respect. Although I could not but continue to use the means which I thought proper for the promotion of the work, yet God seemed, as I apprehended, to work entirely without them. I seemed to do nothing, and indeed to have nothing to do, but to “stand still and see the salvation of God.” I found myself obliged and delighted to say, “Not unto us,” not unto instruments and means, “but to thy name be glory.” God appeared to work entirely alone, and I saw no room to attribute any part of this work to any created arm.
I long that God will not take away His love from among us…
August 25, 1745
… This was a desirable and sweet season indeed! Their hearts were engaged and cheerful in duty, and they rejoiced that they had in a public and solemn manner dedicated themselves to God. Love seemed to reign among them! They took each other by the hand with tenderness and affection, as if their hearts were knit together, while I was discoursing to them. All their deportment toward each other was such that a serious spectator might justly be excited to cry out with admiration, “Behold how they love one another”! Sundry of the other Indians, at seeing and hearing these things, were much affected and wept bitterly, longing to be partakers of the same joy and comfort that these discovered by their very countenances as well as conduct.
I long that God will give us a desire after Him and His holiness…
August 26, 1745
… the dear Christians in the congregation began to be melted with affection to, and desire of the enjoyment of Christ and of a state of perfect purity. They wept affectionately and yet joyfully, and their tears and sobs discovered brokenness of heart, and yet were attended with real comfort and sweetness. This was a tender, affectionate, humble, delightful melting, and appeared to be the genuine effect of a Spirit of adoption, and very far from the Spirit of bondage that they not long since labored under. The influence seemed to spread from these through the whole assembly, and there quickly appeared a wonderful concern among them. Many who had not yet found Christ as an all-sufficient Saviour were surprisingly engaged in seeking after Him. It was indeed a lovely and very desirable assembly. … almost all affected either with joy in Christ Jesus, or with utmost concern to obtain an interest in Him.
I long for God to enable me to pray all these.
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- September 29, 2006 / 05:14