Life Sketches of Ellen G. White


Seasons of Prayer and Blessing

Three times a day we had special seasons of prayer for the Lord to restore my husband to health, and for His special grace to sustain us in our affliction. These seasons of prayer were very precious to us. Our hearts were often filled with unspeakable gratitude that in our affliction we had a heavenly Father in whom we could trust without fear. LS 170.1

Dec. 4, 1865, my husband passed a restless night of suffering. I prayed by his bedside as usual, but the Lord was not pleased to send relief. My husband was troubled in mind. He thought that he might go down into the grave. He stated that death had no terrors for him. LS 170.2

I felt intensely over the matter. I did not believe for a moment that my husband would die. But how was he to be inspired with faith? I prayed God to guide me, and not suffer me to take one wrong step; but to give me wisdom to choose the right course. The more earnestly I prayed, the stronger was my conviction that I must take my husband among his brethren, even if we should again return to Dansville. LS 170.3

In the morning Dr. Lay called, and I told him that unless there should be a decided improvement in the case of my husband in two or three weeks, at most, I should take him home. He answered: “You cannot take him home. He is not able to endure such a journey.” I answered: “I shall go. I shall take my husband by faith, relying upon God, and shall make Rochester my first point, tarry there a few days, and then go on to Detroit, and if necessary, tarry there a few days to rest, and then go on to Battle Creek.” LS 170.4

This was the first intimation my husband had of my intentions. He said not a word. That evening we packed our trunks, and the next morning were on our way. My husband rode comfortably. LS 171.1

During the three weeks that we were in Rochester, much of the time was spent in prayer. My husband proposed sending to Maine for Elder J. N. Andrews, to Olcott for Brother and Sister Lindsay, and to Roosevelt, requesting those who had faith in God, and felt it their duty, to come and pray for him. These friends came in answer to his call, and for ten days we had special and earnest seasons of prayer. All who engaged in these seasons of prayer were greatly blessed. We were often so refreshed with heavenly showers of grace that we could say, “My cup runneth over.” We could weep and praise God for His rich salvation. LS 171.2

Those who came from Roosevelt were soon obliged to return to their homes. Brother Andrews and Brother and Sister Lindsay remained. We continued our earnest supplications to heaven. It seemed to be a struggle with the powers of darkness. Sometimes the trembling faith of my husband would grasp the promises of God, and sweet and precious was the victory then enjoyed. LS 171.3

Christmas evening, as we were humbling ourselves before God and earnestly pleading for deliverance, the light of heaven seemed to shine upon us, and I was wrapped in a vision of God's glory. It seemed that I was borne quickly from earth to heaven, where all was health, beauty, and glory. Strains of music fell upon my ear, melodious, perfect, and entrancing. I was permitted to enjoy this scene a while before my attention was called to this dark world. Then my attention was called to things taking place upon this earth. [A portion of the instruction given during this memorable vision, urging the establishment of a health institution by the Seventh-day Adventist denomination, is given in Testimonies for the Church 1:485-495, 553-564.] I had an encouraging view of the case of my husband. LS 171.4

Circumstances did not seem to favor our starting for Battle Creek, but my mind seemed fixed that we must go. LS 172.1

We were prospered on our journey. On the arrival of the train at Battle Creek, we were met by several of our faithful brethren, who received us gladly. My husband rested well through the night. The next Sabbath, although feeble, he walked to the meetinghouse, and spoke for about three quarters of an hour. We also attended the communion season in the evening. The Lord strengthened him as he walked out by faith. LS 172.2

The long sickness of my husband was a heavy blow, not only to myself and my children, but to the cause of God. The churches were deprived both of my husband's labors and of my own. Satan triumphed as he saw the work of truth thus hindered; but, thank God! he was not permitted to destroy us. After being cut off from all active labor for fifteen months, we ventured out once more together to work among the churches. LS 172.3