Nash pastored a small church in the backwoods of New York for six years,
and traveled with and prayed for a traveling evangelist for seven more
years until his death. As far as we know, he never ministered outside
the region of upstate New York during days when much of it was frontier.
His tombstone is in a neglected cemetery along a dirt road behind a
livestock auction barn. His church no longer exists, its meetinghouse
location marked by a historical marker in a corn field; the building
is gone, its timber used to house grain at a feed mill four miles down
the road. No books tell his life story, no pictures or diaries can be
found, his descendants (if any) cannot be located, and his messages
are forgotten. He wrote no books, started no schools, led no movements,
and generally, kept out of sight.
Yet this man saw revival
twice in his pastorate, and then was a key figure in one of the greatest
revivals in the history of the United States. In many ways he was to
the U. S. what Praying Hyde was to India. He is known almost exclusively
for his powerful prayer ministry.
The great evangelist, Charles
Finney, left his itinerant ministry for the pastorate within three or
four months after this man's death. Finney never counted on his theology,
messages, preaching style, logic, or methods to save souls. He looked
rather to mighty prayer and the resulting powerful work of the Holy
Spirit to sweep in with great conviction on his audience, that his conversions
might be thorough. This may well explain why 80 per cent of those converted
in his meetings stood the test of time. Years later Moody followed a
similar pattern but without such a prayer warrior. He saw perhaps 50
per cent of his converts last. Today, a well-known evangelist (well-financed
and highly organized) recently stated that he would be delighted if
20 per cent of his converts were genuinely converted. In this day of
apostasy with many decisions but few true conversions, with many programs
but little prayer, with much organizing but little agonizing, we would
be wise to learn lessons from the past. One of our godly forefathers
whose life can teach us such is Daniel Nash.
His early years seem mostly
lost from the records. This much we do know-he was born November 27,
1775, and by November 11, 1816, at the age of 40 he had accepted the
pastorate of the Stow's Square Congregational-Presbyterian Church, Lowville
Township. He had moved there from Onondaga County (the area around Syracuse),
and had a farm at least by 1825, the time of the first census in the
During his first year of
pastoring this union church, he saw Revival with at least 70 being converted.
One of the first he baptized was a Sally Porter (December 18, 1816),
to whom he was married by February of 1817. He baptized five of her
children before spring and possibly a sixth several years later. Typical
church problems were dealt with clearly by church discipline--broken
contracts between members, heresy regarding the Trinity, etc.
A meetinghouse was built
beginning June 7, 1819, and "dedicated to the service of God" December
There was a group who split
from the main group during the period of the building program or shortly
thereafter. They located four miles south where the village of Lowville
was beginning to develop. Pastor Nash was able to peaceably work with
this group and establish it as a mission throughout the rest of his
Upon the completion of the meetinghouse and while working with the mission
work to the south, he was able to start a Sabbath School in the union
Such a ministry would seem
to be the basis for a long term relationship. However, on September
25, 1822, a strange church meeting was called at an unusual time and
he was voted out by a vote of nine to three! The only reasons surviving
to this day in the records were that they wanted "a young man to settle
in." At the age of 46 they felt him too old, and resented his traveling.
While his term as pastor
was ended as of November 10, 1822, he often came to preach, act as moderator,
baptize converts, and hold communion over the next several years!
During this ending of his
pastoring and the ministry that followed, there was a second move of
revival (1822-23) where over 200 were converted. This occurred in a
township of only 308 homes with a population of approximately 2,000
people! Imagine God blessing a rejected pastor with such a revival,
and the church taking no steps to recall him! Through all of this God
was breaking and preparing the heart of His man to leave a public ministry
of preaching for a private one of prayer.
Such rejection by those
he loved and had ministered to did its crushing work, and by 1824 he
was so damaged spiritually that any human hope of a prayer ministry
seemed impossible. At this time Charles Finney was to be examined for
a license to preach, and he records his first meeting with Daniel Nash
"At this meeting of the presbytery I first
saw Rev. Daniel Nash, who is generally known as 'Father Nash.' He was
a member of the presbytery. A large congregation was assembled to hear
my examination. I got in a little late, and saw a man standing in the
pulpit speaking to the people, as I supposed. He looked at me, I observed,
as I came in; and was looking at others as they passed up the aisles.
As soon as I reached my seat and listened, I observed that he was praying.
I was surprised to see him looking all over the house, as if he were
talking to the people; while in fact he was praying to God. Of course
it did not sound to me much like prayer; and he was at that time indeed
in a very cold and back-slidden state."
After this meeting Nash
was struck with a serious case of inflamed eyes. For several weeks he
had to be kept in a dark room where he could neither read nor write.
During this time "he gave himself up almost entirely to prayer. He had
a terrible overhauling of his whole Christian experience; and as soon
as he was able to see, with a double black veil before his face, he
sallied forth to labor for souls."
His labors did not take
the form of personal evangelism or of evangelistic preaching. Instead
he began one of the greatest ministries of prayer evangelism recorded
in history. This rejected and broken former preacher gave himself to
a labor that would influence praying people to this day.
Charles Finney's labors
in evangelism began in the region of Evans Mills, New York, and here
Daniel Nash headed to start his special prayer ministry. When he arrived,
Finney stated, "He was full of the power of prayer." The two men were
drawn into a partnership that was ended only by Daniel's death seven
years later. Their goals were stated simply in a letter as follows:
"When Mr. Finney and I began our race,
we had no thought of going amongst ministers. Our highest ambition was
to go where there was neither minister or reformation and try to look
up the lost sheep, for whom no man cared. We began and the Lord prospered....
But we go into no man's parish unless called.... We have room enough
to work and work enough to do."
This evangelistic team
operated on the basis of prayer being essential for the preparation
of an area for evangelism. This idea was so strong that Finney often
sent Nash to an area to prepare the place and people for his coming.
Often it would take 3 or 4 weeks of prayer to get the area ready. Let
us examine a little more closely just how such a thing was accomplished.
When God would direct where
a meeting was to be held, Father Nash would slip quietly into town and
seek to get two or three people to enter into a covenant of prayer with
him. Sometimes he had with him a man of similar prayer ministry, Abel
Clary. Together they would begin to pray fervently for God to move in
the community. One record of such is told by Leonard Ravenhill:
"I met an old lady who told me a story
about Charles Finney that has challenged me over the years. Finney went
to Bolton to minister, but before he began, two men knocked on the door
of her humble cottage, wanting lodging. The poor woman looked amazed,
for she had no extra accommodations. Finally, for about twenty-five
cents a week, the two men, none other than Fathers Nash and Clary, rented
a dark and damp cellar for the period of the Finney meetings (at least
two weeks), and there in that self-chosen cell, those prayer partners
battled the forces of darkness."
Another record tells:
"On one occasion when I got to town to
start a revival a lady contacted me who ran a boarding house. She said,
'Brother Finney, do you know a Father Nash? He and two other men have
been at my boarding house for the last three days, but they haven't
eaten a bite of food. I opened the door and peeped in at them because
I could hear them groaning, and I saw them down on their faces. They
have been this way for three days, lying prostrate on the floor and
groaning. I thought something awful must have happened to them. I was
afraid to go in and I didn't know what to do. Would you please come
see about them?'
"'No, it isn't necessary,' Finney replied. 'They just have a spirit
of travail in prayer.'"
"Charles Finney so realized the need of
God's working in all his service that he was wont to send godly Father
Nash on in advance to pray down the power of God into the meetings which
he was about to hold."
Not only did Nash prepare
the communities for preaching, but he also continued in prayer during
"Often Nash would not attend
meetings, and while Finney was preaching Nash was praying for the Spirit's
outpouring upon him. Finney stated, 'I did the preaching altogether,
and brother Nash gave himself up almost continually to prayer.' Often
while the evangelist preached to the multitudes, Nash in some adjoining
house would be upon his face in an agony of prayer, and God answered
in the marvels of His grace. With all due credit to Mr. Finney for what
was done, it was the praying men who held the ropes. The tears they
shed, the groans they uttered are written in the book of the chronicles
of the things of God."
It is said of Finney that "his evangelistic party consisted of prayer
partners, who went before him and sought the Lord in some secluded spot.
And when Finney was preaching Father Nash and Mr. Clary were hidden
away somewhere praying for him. No wonder cities were stirred and a
vast harvest of souls reaped." This concept of an evangelistic party
made up of praying men has nearly been lost in these days of organizers,
promoters, big names, etc. Such praying men not only sustained Finney's
ministry, but explain the power in preaching and long-lasting results.
Charles Finney could always
go to Brother Nash when an obstacle arose in the meetings. One such
occasion occurred at Gouverneur where some "young men seemed to stand
like a bulwark in the way of the progress of the work."
"In this state of things,
Brother Nash and myself (Finney), after consultation, made up our minds
that that thing must be overcome by prayer, and that it could not be
reached in any other way. We therefore retired to a grove and gave ourselves
to prayer until we prevailed, and we felt confident that no power which
earth or Hell could interpose, would be allowed permanently to stop
Now there are times when
confidence gained in prayer requires action, and this was such a time.
Brother Nash was by nature a quiet man, and by practice stayed out of
the limelight. Yet confidence in prayer may cause this to change if
God so leads. Here is Finney's own account of what happened in a service
shortly after the victory was won in prayer:
"The meeting-house was
filled. Near the close of the meeting, Brother Nash arose, and addressed
that company of young men who had joined hand in hand to resist the
revival. I believe they were all there, and they sat braced up against
the Spirit of God. It was too solemn for them really to make ridicule
of what they heard and saw; and yet their brazen-facedness and stiffneckedness
were apparent to everybody.
"Brother Nash addressed
them very earnestly, and pointed out the guilt and danger of the course
they were taking. Toward the close of his address he waxed exceeding
warm, and said to them, 'Now, mark me, young men! God will break your
ranks in less than one week, either by converting some of you, or by
sending some of you to Hell. He will do this as certainly as the Lord
is my God!' He was standing where he brought his hand down on the top
of the pew before him, so as to make it thoroughly jar. He sat immediately
down, dropped his head, and groaned with pain.
"The house was as still
as death, and most of the people held down their heads. I could see
that the young men were agitated. For myself, I regretted that Brother
Nash had gone so far. He had committed himself, that God would either
take the life of some of them, and send them to Hell, or convert some
of them, within a week. However, on Tuesday morning of the same week,
the leader of these young men came to me, in the greatest distress of
mind. He was all prepared to submit; and as soon as I came to press
him he broke down like a child, confessed, and manifestly gave himself
to Christ. Then he said, 'What shall I do, Mr. Finney?' I replied, 'Go
immediately to all your young companions, and pray with them, and exhort
them, at once to turn to the Lord.' He did so; and before the week was
out, nearly if not all of that class of young men, were hoping in Christ."
There is no doubt that
Finney's "over-wrought" concern "that his co-worker had gone too far"
in this bold handling of the problem was relieved by such a speedy answer
(from Sunday night to Tuesday morning). He never did get to speak words
of warning and correction to "this man of prayer."
Nash's prayer ministry
made him "as remarkable a character in his way as Finney himself." The
importance of such to Finney's ministry and success cannot be over estimated.
"Finney depended more upon the prayers of Fathers Nash and Clary to
bring down Holy Ghost revival than upon his own resistless logic. So
accustomed are we to the Laodicean condition of the church that the
all-pervading influence of prayer in Finney's time amazes us." Of the
great revival in Rochester, "Finney said that the key which unlocked
the Heavens in this revival was the prayer of Clary, Father Nash, and
other unnamed folk who laid themselves prostrate before God's throne
and besought Him for a divine out-pouring."
Considering the souls being
saved and the very culture of the area being changed in such a thorough
revival, it should be no surprise that persecution came to these co-laborers.
Some came from jealous ministers, some from those of other doctrinal
persuasions, and some from the lost. False statements were sent to newspapers
by his enemies. Nash wrote a letter May 11, 1826, telling of some of
the opposition. Part of it said,
"The work of God moves
forward in power, in some places against dreadful opposition. Mr. Finney
and I have both been hanged and burned in effigy. We have frequently
been disturbed in our religious meetings. Sometimes the opposers make
a noise in the house of God; sometimes they gather round the house and
stone it, and discharge guns. There is almost as much writing, intrigue,
and lying, and reporting of lies, as there would be if we were on the
eve of a presidential election. Oh, what a world! How much it hates
the truth! How unwilling to be saved! But I think the work will go on."
In this letter he refers
to being hung and burned in effigy. Here is an account of the event:
"Swinging above your heads are two distorted
figures suspended on ropes. At the touch of the torch they leap into
flames and the crowd screams in sheer delight. Sound like a scene from
a lynching . . . a race riot? Not at all. It is a religious gathering.
The charred creatures smoldering in the air represent the public's expression
of opposition to the preaching and praying of America's greatest evangelistic
team. Charles Grandison Finney and his partner-in-prayer, Father Nash,
have just been burned in effigy. Preachers and pew-warmers alike joined
forces against the two men who did more to spearhead revival than any
other pair in American history."
The enemies of revival
counted Nash a full partner to Finney in the work. They feared and hated
his praying at least as much as they did Finney's preaching.
The best-known revival
of this period in American history was that which occurred in Rochester,
New York. Over 100,000 were considered to have been soundly converted
during those meetings. Nash and Clary teamed up for the praying with
the assistance of others. These two men were so similar in their praying
that one is often described to explain the other. Such fervent praying
in agony of soul brought sights that may seem strange to our eyes today.
Our gentle prayers accomplish so little, but then they cost us so little.
"I have never known a person sweat blood;
but I have known a person pray till the blood started from his nose.
And I have known persons pray till they were all wet with perspiration,
in the coldest weather in winter. I have known persons pray for hours,
till their strength was all exhausted with the agony of their minds.
Such prayers prevailed with God. This agony in prayer was prevalent
in Jonathan Edwards' day, in the revivals which then took place."
During the Rochester meetings
there are several accounts of these two men in deep agony of soul while
praying day and night. Some accounts name Nash, some Clary, others both.
It seems they were together in fasting and prayer much of the time,
weeping and crying out to God. Sometimes they lay prostrate without
strength to stand up. Their concern over sinners being lost brought
great stress to their minds and souls. They groaned under the load,
they risked health and gave up comforts that the battle of the heavenlies
might be won. Sometimes they "would writhe and groan in agony" over
souls. God honored their burden-bearing and sent revival. Privately
they prayed and publicly God answered. "Practically everyone in the
city was converted. The only theater in the city was converted into
a livery stable, the only circus into a soap and candle factory, and
the grog shops (bars and taverns) were closed."
Oswald J. Smith explains
the importance of such strivings in prayer during Finney's ministry:
"He always preached with the expectation
of seeing the Holy Spirit suddenly outpoured. Until this happened little
or nothing was accomplished. But the moment the Spirit fell upon the
people, Finney had nothing else to do but point them to the Lamb of
God. Thus he lived and wrought for years in an atmosphere of revival."
We refuse to so strive
and should not be surprised at the lack of God's mighty stirrings. Is
it not amazing that we have no problem with people wearing themselves
out in sports for pleasure, work for money, politics for power, and
programs for charity, but think it fanatical to so pray for souls? We
would die for national freedom, but never for progress in the Kingdom
of God. Is it any wonder we see so little of God's great working? Nash
would pray until he had to "go to bed absolutely sick, for weakness
and faintness, under the pressure." The world would have no problem
with such dedication except that it was due to prayer for souls. Why
should it be such a strange thing to the Church?
Finney told of this relationship
of intense prayer and successful preaching. Speaking of Nash he wrote:
"I have seen Christians who would be in
an agony, when the minister was going into the pulpit, for fear his
mind should be in a cloud, or his heart cold, or he should have no unction,
and so a blessing should not come. I have labored with a man of this
sort. He would pray until he got an assurance in his mind that God would
be with me in preaching, and sometimes he would pray himself ill. I
have known the time when he has been in darkness for a season, while
the people were gathering, and his mind was full of anxiety, and he
would go again and again to pray, til finally he would come into the
room with a placid face, and say: 'The Lord has come, and He will be
with us.' And I do not know that I ever found him mistaken."
Nash had great confidence
in a God who heard and answered prayer. He was not satisfied to stop
praying until God answered in mighty power. Praying day and night, great
strugglings and weakened health were but prices to be paid that God
might move in power. The results were opened heavens, glorious power,
souls saved, and God glorified. This may well explain why over 80 per
cent of Finney's converts stood without ever backsliding. This may also
explain why less than 20 per cent of today's converts last a couple
We have seen some of the
importance of Nash's prayer life through various events and results.
Now let us look a little closer at its principles and concepts.
"Someone asked Finney what
kind of man this Father Nash was. 'We never see him,' they said. 'He
doesn't enter into any of the meetings.'
"Finney replied, 'Like
anybody who does a lot of praying, Father Nash is a very quiet person.'
Show me a person who is always talking and I'll show you a Christian
who never does much praying."
The majority of prayer
for those who would be so used must be in private. They do not seek
either the eye nor ear of men, but rather the ear of God. They seek
a closet alone with God. Nash used a cellar, a room in a boarding house,
a nearby house, or a grove of trees where he could pour out his heart
to God alone or with just a few others of similar burden and heart.
James A. Stewart emphasizes this point, "As in the case of 'Praying
Hyde' and Father Nash, it may be a life of isolation from the Christian
public for the ministry of intercession."
FERVENCY IN PRAYER
Though he prayed in private,
yet he often prayed with such fervency that others became aware of his
praying. This was not intended, but simply was the release of a deeply
burdened soul. The lady at the boarding house became aware of his groans
as he prayed. His enemies claimed "that it was impossible for him to
pray in secret since, whether he went into his closet or the woods,
he prayed with such vehemence that he could be heard half a mile away."
While this was likely an exaggeration of his normal practice, there
is a record of a single occurrence of note:
"In the revival at Gouverneur
(in which the great majority of the inhabitants, Finney believed, were
converted), Nash rose very early and went into a wood to pray. 'It was
one of those clear mornings,' said Finney, 'on which it is possible
to hear sounds at a great distance.' Three-quarters of a mile away lived
an unconverted man who was suddenly arrested by hearing the voice of
prayer. He could distinguish that it was Nash's voice, and this brought
to him such a sense of the reality of religion as he had never before
experienced; he experienced no relief until he found it in Christ."
An organized and systematic
list of people and matters to pray for is a common tool of effective
prayer warriors. Preparation of our case, listing our requests, and
thoroughness in prayer help establish a meaningful ministry. It also
helps us rejoice in written evidence of answers to prayer.
Nash used such a method:
"Nash had remarkable power in prayer and
was in the habit of making a 'praying list' of persons for whose conversion
he daily prayed in secret. . . . The answers to his prayers sometimes
seemed almost miraculous, for he did not confine his 'list' to those
whom he thought might be reached by the revival, but the most obdurate
and unlikely cases were made the subjects of prayer, with results that
were truly astounding."
Finney said of Nash and his prayer list,
"Praying with him and hearing him pray in meetings, I found that his
gift of prayer was wonderful and his faith almost miraculous." Nash
would pray for these not only daily, but for some many times a day.
Another issue of prayer lists is knowing the will of God as to who to
put on the prayer list. To go by appearances is to walk by sight and
not by faith. To be able to believe God for a person's salvation requires
some leading of God as to who to put on the list. Nash seemed especially
sensitive in this area, as he put names on as he felt led, even if it
seemed that they were the most unlikely candidates for salvation. Finney
in describing Nash and his list said:
"The plain truth of the matter is that
the Spirit leads a man to pray; and if God leads a man to pray for an
individual, the inference from the Bible is, that God designs to save
that individual. If we find, by comparing our state of mind with the
Bible, that we are led by the Spirit to pray for an individual, we have
good evidence to believe that God is prepared to bless him."
One example of Nash praying
for an unlikely person is often written in various books as an example
of the power of prayer. Here is the account in Finney's own words:
"In a town in a north part of this state,
where there was revival, there was a certain man by the name of D________
who was a most violent and outrageous opposer. He kept a low tavern
in a corner of the village and used to delight in swearing at a desperate
rate, whenever there were Christians within hearing, on purpose to hurt
their feelings. He went railing about the streets respecting the revival,
and his house was the resort of all opposers of the revival. One of
the young converts lived almost across the way from him; and he told
me that he meant to sell his place, or give it away, and move out of
the neighborhood, because every time he was out of doors and D________
saw him, he would come out and swear, and curse, and say everything
he could to wound his feelings. He had not, I think, been at any of
our meetings. Of course he was ignorant of the great truths of religion
and despised the whole Christian enterprise.
"Father Nash heard us speak of this Mr. D________ as 'a hard case',
and was very much grieved and distressed for the individual. He immediately
put his name upon his 'praying list'. The case weighed on his mind when
he was asleep and when he was awake. He kept thinking about the ungodly
man, and praying for him for days. In this manner the Spirit of God
leads individual Christians to pray for things which they would not
pray for, unless they were led by the Spirit; and thus they pray for
things 'according to the will of God.'
"Not many days afterward, as we were holding
an evening meeting with a very crowded house, who should come in but
this notorious D________? His entrance created a considerable movement
in the congregation. People feared that he had come in to make a disturbance.
The fear and abhorrence of him had become very general among Christians,
I believe; so that when he came in, some of the people got up and retired.
I knew his countenance, and kept my eye upon him. I very soon became
satisfied that he had not come in to oppose, and that he was in great
anguish of mind. He sat and writhed upon his seat, and was very uneasy.
He soon arose, and tremblingly asked me if he might say a few words.
I told him that he might. He then proceeded to make one of the most
heart-broken confessions that I almost ever heard. His confession seemed
to cover the whole ground of his treatment of God, of Christians, of
the revival, and of everything good.
"This thoroughly broke up the fallow ground in many hearts. It was the
most powerful means that could have been used, just then, to give impetus
to the work. D________ soon came out and professed a hope, abolished
all the revelry (including liquor) and profanity from his barroom; and
from that time, as long as I staid there, and I know not how much longer,
a prayer meeting was held in his bar-room nearly every night."
Such is one evidence of
Nash's power in prayer in the use of his list.
PRAYING WITH OTHERS
As has been mentioned previously,
Nash customarily sought for a few others to help carry the load in each
of the places he went to minister in prayer. Many times he had as a
partner Abel Clary who was gifted and exercised in a similar fashion.
This praying together multiplies prayerpower: "One [shall] chase a thousand
and two [shall] put ten thousand to flight." The efforts of several
with such a burden for victory greatly increases the power of prayer.
FOCUSING IN PRAYER
Strong praying must be
effectual praying. There must be a desired effect. This effect must
be definite and clear to the one praying. This effect will fill the
mind of the saint and be a focus of thought, concern, and prayer. Scattered
praying in general directions is of little value. A list is a starting
point in this matter, yet the items on the list must be focused on one
by one if we are to expect results. Hear Finney tell of Nash's way in
"I was acquainted with
an individual who used to keep a list of persons for whom he was especially
concerned; and I have had the opportunity to know a multitude of persons,
for whom he became thus interested, who were immediately converted.
I have seen him pray for persons on his list when he was literally in
an agony for them; and have sometimes known him call on some other person
to help him pray for such-a-one. I have known his mind to fasten thus
on an individual of hardened, abandoned character, and who could not
be reached in an ordinary way."
Such praying required mental
effort to aim at the proper effect with true soul struggle. To move
from real burden to solid faith often requires the path of soul agony.
We are too committed to cop out with fatalism, unconcern, or shifting
the responsibility to the lost. It may require a wrestling in prayer
until we obtain the desired blessing. This is on a far higher plane
than the physical. These struggles of soul and spirit may produce more
than weariness in the physical realm. But the body agony is but a result
of such praying, and not an integral part. Some would counterfeit this
soul struggle by physical manifestations. This may fool man but such
hypocrisy is of no help in the courts of Heaven.
PRAYER OF FAITH
Nash was convinced that
we have a responsibility for the destiny of souls. He felt that God
has committed great tools to us, and the use or disuse of them was a
serious matter for which we would have to give an account to God. His
ministry of prayer had this as a basic premise. He was despised by those
of a more fatalistic position. He did write a letter on this subject
shortly before his death. The only part of the letter to survive, to
our knowledge, is a group of excerpts given in a book attacking his
position. How fully they represent his position is unknown, but they
do give some glimpses and points to ponder:
"Since you were here I
have been thinking of prayer--particularly of praying for the Holy Ghost
and its descent. It seems to me I have always limited God in this request....
I have never felt, till since you left us, that I might rationally ask
for the whole influence of the Spirit to come down; not only on individuals,
but on a whole people, region, country, and world. On Saturday I set
myself to do this, and the devil was very angry with me, yesterday for
it. I am now convinced, it is my duty and privilege, and the duty of
every other Christian, to pray for as much of the Holy Spirit as came
down on the day of Pentecost, and a great deal more. I know not why
we may not ask for the entire and utmost influence of the Spirit to
come down, and, asking in faith, see the full answer.... I think I never
did so freely ask the Holy Ghost for all mankind. My body is in pain,
but I am happy in my God.... I have only just begun to understand what
Jesus meant when He said, 'All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer,
believing, ye shall receive.'
"I have felt a little like
praying that I might be overwhelmed with the Holy Ghost, die in the
operation, and go to Heaven thus; but God knows."
To our knowledge these
are the last recorded words of Daniel Nash. Notice his humility. Hear
his burden. Consider whether the Fulton Street Revival of the 1850's
was as spontaneous a revival of prayer as has often been thought. The
youth of Nash's day were the leaders of perhaps the greatest revival
of prayer in history.
We now come to the scene
of his death. In the small village of Vernon during the cold winter
of an upstate New York December, when temperatures often run below zero,
Daniel Nash continues this ministry of prayer. Charles Finney gives
the account of the homegoing of his co-worker:
"Said a good man to me:
'Oh, I am dying for the want of strength to pray! My body is crushed,
the world is on me, and how can I forbear praying?' I have known that
man go to bed absolutely sick, for weakness and faintness, under the
pressure. And I have known him pray as if he would do violence to Heaven,
and then have seen the blessing come as plainly in answer to his prayer
as if it were revealed, so that no person could doubt it any more than
if God had spoken from heaven. Shall I tell you how he died? He prayed
more and more; he used to take the map of the world before him, and
pray, and look over the different countries and pray for them, till
he expired in his room, praying. Blessed man! He was the reproach of
the ungodly, and of carnal, unbelieving professors; but he was the favorite
of Heaven, and a prevailing prince of prayer."
Thus he entered glory on
his knees December 20, 1831, at the age of 56. His body is buried near
where he pastored in that former church's graveyard with a small stone
to mark the spot.
Perhaps God will see fit
to raise up others to have a similar ministry in these needy days. Dear
reader, will you consider the cost, the need, and the opportunity? Will
you give yourself to a ministry of prayer as God leads you and enables?
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