Life Sketches of Ellen G. White


My First Public Prayer

I returned home, and again went before the Lord, promising to do and suffer anything He might require of me, if only the smiles of Jesus might cheer my heart. The same duty was again presented to me that had troubled my mind before,—to take up my cross among the assembled people of God. An opportunity was not long wanting; there was a prayer meeting that evening at my uncle's, which I attended. LS 37.4

As the others knelt for prayer, I bowed with them, trembling, and after a few had prayed, my voice arose in prayer before I was aware of it. In that moment the promises of God appeared to me like so many precious pearls that were to be received only for the asking. As I prayed, the burden and agony of soul that I had so long endured, left me, and the blessing of the Lord descended upon me like the gentle dew. I praised God from the depths of my heart. Everything seemed shut out from me but Jesus and His glory, and I lost consciousness of what was passing around me. LS 38.1

The Spirit of God rested upon me with such power that I was unable to go home that night. When I awakened to realization, I found myself cared for in the house of my uncle, where we had assembled for the prayer meeting. Neither my uncle nor my aunt enjoyed religion, although the former had once made a profession, but had since backslidden. I was told that he had been greatly disturbed while the power of God rested upon me in so special a manner, and had walked the floor, sorely troubled and distressed in his mind. LS 38.2

When I was first struck down, some of those present were greatly alarmed, and were about to run for a physician, thinking that some sudden and dangerous indisposition had attacked me; but my mother bade them let me alone, for it was plain to her, and to the other experienced Christians, that it was the wondrous power of God that had prostrated me. When I did return home, on the following day, a great change had taken place in my mind. It seemed to me that I could hardly be the same person that left my father's house the previous evening. This passage was continually in my thoughts: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1. My heart was full of happiness as I softly repeated these words. LS 38.3