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A short but effective life

David Brainerd, though born more than 300 years ago and lived only 29 years, continues to impact Christians worldwide for a deeper spiritual experience and ministry.

The influence

The brief life of David Brainerd has inspired and challenged several great men of God like John Wesley the founder of the Methodist movement, Jonathan Edwards whom God used mightily for the great awakening of the 18th century, and even pioneer missionaries such as David Livingston, William Carey and Jim Elliot.

Interestingly, out of his 29 years of life, he was a believer for only eight years and as a missionary for just four years.

John Wesley said, “Let every creature read carefully over The Life of Brainerd”. William Carey said, “Edward’s book on Brainerd should be regarded as a sacred text”. Some others consider the modern missionary movement also inspired by Brainerd’s short yet challenging life and service.

The uniqueness

What was the unique feature of Brainerd’s life? His diary published by Jonathan Edwards later, reveals the daily thoughts and feelings of David Brainerd.

Despite the many challenges and struggles Brainerd faced, he maintained a deep passion for God’s presence and His Word. For this reason, he used to spend many hours day and night meditating on God’s Word and in prayers.

His uttermost priorities were to enjoy God intimately and to lead a holy and useful life. He often prayed with fasting, in the jungles. His notes reveal the grace and power he experienced from the Lord in connection with the ministry among the Indians.

His life and testimony can be summarized well in the words of John Piper, “God can and does use weak, sick, discouraged, beat down, lonely, struggling saints, who cry to Him day and night, to accomplish amazing things for His glory.”




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