Been reading the 800 some page journals of George Whitefield, famed preacher around the same time as John Wesley. Both started off as close friends in an accountability group, are proported founders of the Methodists (although Wesley with his organizational skills methodically did much more of the administration - thus the name).
Whitefield is arguably the greatest preacher in world history. He had an uncanny ability to speak to the heart of his listeners and an indellible anointing and gift of the Holy Spirit to preach the Gospel. It was Whitefield that first began field preaching in his era, and Whitefield's success in this that launched Wesley onto the national scene.
So far I've enjoyed reading of Whitefield in his early years and I've appreciated what I've seen. A man of humility, discipline, purity of heart, dedicated endurance to reach lost souls and a man of impassioned prayer. Whitefield constantly wrote in his journal that he spent time interceding in prayer for the salvation of absent friends and all mankind.
Several times throughout my life I've watched friends who once loved the Lord turn away from their faith in Christ. It is like a slap in the face, when the reality of God looms so strongly in your own heart. I've been through these frustrations recently, and been encouraged by the thought that God wants these people saved more than I do! So I will pray like Whitefield in daily intercession for the salvation of absent friends.
Whitefield didn't stop there. Many people stop with personal prayers and never move beyond self. God's heart is clearly for all of humanity, across the world. It is no wonder Whitefield was used so greatly for God in his later life, when his early life was spent saturated in broken cries for a lost humanity, apart from Christ in his generation. When you intercede for the world so much, God just might use you to shake it for his glory. So I will pray like Whitefield in daily intercession for the salvation of all mankind.