CBG reprint: 2006
David Brainerd did his greatest work by prayer. He was in the depths of the forests alone, unable to speak the language of the Indians, but he spent whole days in prayer.
What was he praying for? He knew that he could not reach these savages: he did not understand their language. If he wanted to speak at all he must find somebody that could vaguely interpret his thought. Therefore he knew that anything he might do must be absolutely dependent upon the power of God.
So he spent whole days praying that the power of the Holy Ghost might come upon him so unmistakably that these people should not be able to stand before him. What was his answer? once he preached through a drunken interpreter, a man so intoxicated that he could hardly stand up. that was the best he could do; yet scores were converted through that sermon.
We cannot account for it, only that it was the tremendous power of God behind him. After he was dead, William Carey read his life and went to India; Robert McCheyne read his diary and went to the Jews; Henry Martyn read his journal and went to India.
The hidden life, in communion with God in trying to reach the source of power, is the life that moves the world.
Those living such lives may soon be forgotten. There may be no one to speak an eulogy over them when they are dead. The world may take no note of them. But by and by, the great moving current of these lives will begin to tell as in the case of this young man not quite thirty of age.
The marvelous missionary revival of the nineteenth century is due more to his prayers than to any other thing.
Foreword Dr. A.J. Gordon
By Oswald J. Smith