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Text Sermons : ~Other Speakers M-R : Old Paths Magazine - Issue 14 : David Brainerd by David Smithers

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SOME CHRISTIANS MAY have a difficult time understanding David Brainerd's zeal and love for JESUS. "To him the material and physical world had little value. He was of the race of the early martyrs. To him all things were naught that he might attain a deeper spiritual fellowship with God." Brainerd's diary states, "Thirsting desires and longings possessed my soul after perfect holiness. God was so precious to my soul that the world with all its enjoyments appeared vile. I had no more value for the favor of men than for pebbles." He spent a great deal of time in prayer and frequently set aside days for prayer and fasting. He loved to retire into the woods to be alone with God. "Prayer became Brainerd's priority and it was his joy to spend two hours at a time in secret communion with Christ. He would rise early in the morning and get alone with God to enjoy His presence. He thirsted for God, the living God and he was not disappointed!"

Determined to share Christ, Brainerd embraced a life of self-denial and sacrifice. He spent as much as twenty hours a week on horseback. His diet consisted of hasty pudding, boiled corn, bread baked in the ashes, and sometimes a little meat and butter. His home was a small log room complete with a heap of straw laid upon boards for a bed. David Brainerd consistently and fervently interceded for the lost souls of the American Indians. Often he would travail with such earnestness that when he rose from his knees he was covered in sweat and could hardly walk straight. Like the persistent widow in Luke 18, David Brainerd's prayers were finally answered. Entire camps of Indians were converted by the power of God as he proclaimed a message of repentance and grace. Brainerd now saw a remarkable change in the lives of the Indians. He recorded in his diary, "I know of no assembly of Christians where there seems to be so much of the presence of God, where brotherly love so much prevails." David Brainerd poured a lifetime of holy passion, prayer and preaching into four short years. He ministered from 1743-1747, dying of tuberculosis at the age of 29, Brainerd once wrote in his diary, “I longed to be a flame of fire continually glowing in the divine service and building up of Christ's kingdom to my last and dying breath." That prayer was abundantly answered.

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