2008-03-26 - 14 Days Until Glory
Psalm 4:1, "Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer."
I want today to tell you of a John Brock. I can't imagine that you have ever heard of him. He was born in 1620. He was a pastor, and known for his godliness. (Do you ever wonder how many godly men and women - I mean very godly - there are who have lived, could serve as examples to us, but we have no record of them?) If you ask what John Brock excelled in, the answer would be that he excelled in godliness. He was so known for his holiness, that it was said of him, "He dwelt as near Heaven as any man upon earth." He had a rare communion with God, and by this I mean (and the reason why I am telling you about him) that he seems to have had revealed to him things of an unusual nature. He, at one time, told a member of his family that he had "besought this favor of Heaven, that he would live but fourteen days after the public labors of his ministry should be finished." You would be correct if you said that is exactly how long he lived after he ended his pastoral duties, due to his age: 14 days.
Brock was mostly a man of prayer, and he had many confirmations, like the one given above, that his communion with the Lord was not only deep, but real and unusual. He was full of the Holy Spirit, and while many examples of his close communion with God are lost to history, some have been preserved. I will only reproduce a couple here, but I hope that this encourages you that deep and meaningful communion with the Lord through prayer is possible in this life. It does happen. We all can and should seek it.
The first I will relate quickly. He was told of a child, named Arnold, six years old, who was near death. Brock starts to pray, "Lord, wilt thou not grant some sign, before we leave prayer, that thou wilt spare and heal this child? We cannot leave thee till we have it." The child sneezed immediately. Mr. Brock gave thanks, and left the house. The very next day, the child visited him in his study, bringing him a present.
Some fishermen attended Brock's church, and on an appointed day of worship, they asked to be excused to go fishing because they had lost many days of work due to foul weather. Brock replied to them, "If you will go away, I say unto you, catch fish, if you can. But as for you that will tarry, and worship the Lord Jesus Christ this day, I will pray unto Him for you, that you may take fish till you are weary." Thirty men left the meeting to go fishing, and five remained to worship. The 30 that left, with all their skill, caught four fish. The five that stayed went after the service and caught over 500. One of the fishermen, who lost his boat in a storm, and often had used it to bring people to the church, told Brock of his loss. Brock said to him, "Go home, honest man; I'll mention the matter to the Lord; you'll have your boat again tomorrow." Brock prayed, and the next day, the anchor of another vessel - by chance - hooked the sunken boat, and brought it up from the bottom of the lake.
Let these illustrations encourage us to pray. Surely our God is a prayer-hearing God.
Soli Deo Gloria,