[anzac] ONE MAN PRAYED

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From: "REVIVAL List" <prophetic@...>
Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 21:53:23 -0700
HOW REVIVAL HAPPENS: USA - 1745   
-by Chris "PrayInTongues"

We have seen how united Christian prayer can pray down Revival. But what about
one single Christian? If one person fulfills 2 Chron 7:14, can Revival happen? 

David Brainerd attended Yale University which in those days trained men for
church ministry. Disaster struck. Through an unwise remark about a lecturer, he
was expelled. Only 23 years old, his career seemed in ruins. But his attitude
was exemplary: "I felt thankfulness to God for they have been the means of
making me more humble. I felt pleased to be little, to be nothing, to lie in 
the
dust." 

He gave himself to prayer and fasting and soon sensed God still wanted to use
him: "Though I have been so depressed respecting my hopes of future
serviceableness, yet now I had much encouragement. I was assisted [by God] to
intercede for poor souls, and for special grace for myself, to fit me for
special services." 

These "special services" soon became clear: "I set apart this day for fasting
and prayer, to give me divine aid and direction, and in his own time to send me
into his harvest. I felt a power of intercession for immortal souls and even 
joy
at the thoughts of suffering hardship and even death itself, in the promotion 
of
it, pleading for the conversion of the poor heathen. God enabled me so to
agonise in prayer that I was quite wet with sweat. I gasped for multitudes of
souls." 

The "poor heathen" were the Indians and he was granted a licence to preach to
them. "I rode out to Kaunaumeek and there lodged on a heap of straw." 

There began a terrible battle with loneliness ("I live in the most melancholy
desert"), culture shock ("only one single person who can speak English"), poor
food ("bread baked in the ashes"), poor housing ("a log cabin without any
floor"), poor bedding ("a little heap of straw upon some boards"), and hard
physical labour ("hard and difficult. I travel on foot.") But above all, no
Christian fellowship ("no fellow-Christian to whom I might open my spiritual
sorrows.") 

A dreadful sense of unworthiness and black depression all but consumed him:
"Still in distress. In the afternoon preached to my people, but was more
discouraged with them than before. Feared that nothing ever would be done for
them to any happy effect. I poured out my soul for mercy, but without any
relief." 

As he persisted, God gradually changed his attitudes. Nine months later he 
wrote
in his famous diary: "I love to live alone in my own little cottage, where I 
can
spend much time in prayer. Oh, a barn, stable, hedge, or any other place is
truly desireable if God is there!" 

Returning briefly to civilization he was at last ordained a minister and called
to two churches, one large and wealthy, and the other near his friends. But
Brainerd knew where God wanted him. Turning both churches down, he returned to
his Indians. 

He knew what he was in for: "To an eye of reason, everything that respects the
conversion of the heathen is as dark as midnight, and yet I cannot but hope in
God for the accomplishment of something glorious among them." 

Brainerd now writes of "praying incessantly, every moment, with sweet 
fervency," of going to the woods for prayer where "I was in such anguish and
pleaded with such earnestness that when I rose from my knees I could scarcely
walk straight." He felt "I cared not where or how I lived, or what hardships I
went through, so that I could gain souls for Christ. While I was asleep I
dreamed of these things, and when I woke, the first thought I had was this 
great
work of pleading for God against Satan." 

Illness struck. He often felt to weak to fast and pray. The moment he was well--


"I set apart this day for prayer and fasting. When interceding I enjoyed 
freedom
from wandering and distracting thoughts." Three days later, however, "I could
not keep my thoughts fixed on prayer for one minute. My soul was in anguish. I
was so overborne by discouragement that I despaired of doing any good." 

He began to think seriously of giving up his mission: "God seemed to frown upon
their saving conversion by withholding His blessed Spirit." Over the next few
months his despair deepened: "It was my duty to make some attempts for their
conversion to God, though I cannot say I had any hope of success." 

Still, he stayed on and prayed on. A breakthrough had to come: "Enabled to 
speak
with plainness and warmth, the power of God attended the Word, so that persons
were brought under great concern for their souls, made to shed tears, and wish
for Christ to save them." 

Now when he spoke "a few words about the concerns of their souls," their 
indifference had become "tears, sobs, and groans." 

Finally, on August 8, 1745, the long prayed-for, wept-for, suffered-for, 
agonised-for outpouring took place: "The power of God seemed to descend upon 
the
assembly 'like a mighty rushing wind' and with astonishing energy bore down all
before it. I stood amazed at the influence, which seized the audience almost
universally. They were praying and crying for mercy." 

Those soon assured of sins forgiven went among those still under conviction
"telling them of the goodness of Christ, and the comfort that is to be enjoyed
in Him, and thence invited them to come and give up their hearts to Him." 

Day after day the meetings went on, tears and cries of conviction gradually
becoming the peace of sins forgiven. 

Brainerd prayed, preached, and laboured on. He now looked out beyond his 
Indians: "Here am I, Lord, send me. Send me to the ends of the earth, send me 
to
the rough, the savage pagans of the wilderness, send me even to death itself, 
if
it be but in Thy service and to promote Thy Kingdom." 

But his years of intercession had taken a terrible toll. Soon he was coughing 
up
blood. Two years after the Revival he was dead, a testimony to the price he was
prepared to pay for the Revival he lived to bring. 

Can one person's prayers bring Revival? Yes. But be prepared for the price that
may be required by God to see others blessed at your expense. "Thus death works
in us, but life in you" (2 Cor 4:12).