On this day in 1788, four ministers met together at the Baptist church in Northamptonshire, England, for a day of prayer and fasting.  They shared a longing for God’s glory in themselves, in their ministries and throughout the world.  John Ryland, recorded the events of that day in his journal. “Brethren (Andrew) Fuller, (John) Sutcliff, (William) Carey and I, kept this day as a private fast, in my study; (we) read the Epistles to Timothy and Titus; Booth’s charge to Hopkins; Blackerbys’ Life; (we read) in Gillies; and Rogers of Dedham’s Sixty Memorials for a Godly life; and each prayed twice – Carey with singular enlargement and pungency.  Our chief design was to implore a revival of godliness in our souls, in our churches, and in the church at large.”

The scriptures which they read were pastoral epistles, and they were pastors – needy pastors.  Interspersed between the scriptures, they read words of exhortation and encouragement.  And they prayed.  Ryland, in speaking of Missionary Carey’s prayer, used the words “enlargement” and “pungency.”  “Enlargement” meant that he prayed with freedom – with liberty.  And “pungency,” at that time, referred to boldness or aggressiveness.  We don’t know what was said, but we do know what the men wanted.  And God exceeded their desires.

Why don’t we accomplish, today, what those men did two-hundred fifty years ago?  Certainly, God has not changed.  Isn’t it rather that His servants are not as burdened and surrendered as those men were?  Are we as willing to sacrifice for the glory of the Lord as those men were?