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Jonathan Edwards’ Prayer Request Written to George Whitefield

November 13, 2012

Writing from Northampton, Massachusetts on December 14, 1740, Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) told his fellow preacher of the gospel—George Whitefield (1714-1770) about the revival at Northampton and asked him to pray for him. Edwards’ prayer request is noteworthy:

Rev. and Dear Sir,

I have joyful tidings to send you concerning the state of religion in this place. It has been gradually reviving and prevailing more and more, ever since you [were] here. Religion [becomes] abundantly more the subject of conversation; other things that seemed to impede it, are for the present laid aside. I have reason to think that a considerable number of our young people, some of them children, have already been savingly brought home to Christ. I hope salvation has come to this house since you [were] in it, with respect to one, if not more, of my children. The Spirit of God seems to be at work with others of the family. That blessed work seems now to be going on in this place, especially amongst those that are young.

And as God seems to have succeeded your labors amongst us, and prayers for us, I desire your fervent prayers for us may yet be continued, that God would not be to us as a wayfaring man, that turns aside to tarry but for a night, but that he would more and more pour out his Spirit upon us, and no more depart from us; and for me in particular, that I may be filled with his Spirit, and may become fervent, as a flame of fire in my work, and may be abundantly succeeded, and that it would please God, however unworthy I am, to improve me as an instrument of his glory, and advancing the kingdom of Christ.[1]

 


      [1] Jonathan Edwards, “Letter to the Reverend George Whitefield,” in Letters and Personal Writings, ed. George S. Claghorn, vol. 16 of The Works of Jonathan Edwards, ed. Harry S. Stout (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1998), 87 (highlights mine).

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