Christmastime with John Wesley
In December 1742 John Wesley and trainee leader Thomas Meyrick travelled to the North of England to preach the gospel.
It was a bitterly cold journey and they both became ill. Meyrick’s sickness, however, took a turn for the worse and twice he was feared dead.
Wesley tells the story of this particular event in his journal.
‘Wed 15th Dec. [Each of us had caught] a violent cold by riding the day before. Mine gradually wore off; but Mr Meyrick’s increased, so that on Friday, he took his bed…’
The Physician fears the worst
Mon 20th…they told me the Physician said, he did not expect Mr. Meyrick would live till morning. I went to him but his pulse was gone.
‘He had been speechless and senseless for some time. A few of us immediately joined in prayer: (I relate the naked fact) Before we had done, his sense and his speech returned.
‘Now he that will account for this by natural causes has my free leave: But I choose to say, This is the power of God.’
Keep praying and never give up!
Sat 25th Dec. ‘The Physician told me he could do no more; Mr. Metyrick could not live over the night. I went up and found them all crying about him; his legs being cold, and (as it seemed) dead already.
‘We all kneeled down, and called upon God with strong cries and tears.
‘He opened his eyes, and called for me; and from that hour he continued to recover his strength till he was restored to perfect health.
‘I wait to hear who will either disprove this fact, or philosophically account for it.’
(From John Wesley’s Journal, Baker edition, Vol 1, p.405-6)
A life of service to God
You might wonder what happened next – especially as he sank back into sickness after the initial bout of prayer.
Well, he did indeed recover and live a further 28 years, finally dying in 1770 (see here).
Prayer is not automatic. We come to a Person, to God the Father, who knows our need. But we can come with strong encouragements that He hears us according to His purpose and will.
Jesus said, ‘For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.’ (Matt 7:8 – see the verses in their context here)
What are you asking God for?
© 2009 Lex Loizides