Daniel Baker’s Prayer on the Eve of His Being Licensed to Preach the Gospel

Daniel Baker wrote this prayer in his journal on October 12, 1816, during the week preceding his licensure. He was twenty-five years old and had been studying for the ministry under William Hill of Winchester, Virginia, after graduating from Princeton College. These words ought to express the heart of every gospel minister:

“In the prospect of my being licensed in the coming week, I have set apart this day, by fasting and prayer, to draw near unto the Lord  I am now about to go forth to preach the everlasting gospel to poor, perishing sinners; to proclaim liberty to the captive, and the opening of the prison to those that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. O, may I go forth in the strength of the mighty One of Jacob, and lift my banner in the name of the Captain of my salvation! I know that my duties will be arduous, and I am sensible that I am not sufficient for these things; but I know in whom I trust; it is not in myself, it is not in any atm of flesh - it is in the living God, the merciful and covenant-keeping God, who has been pleased to say, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee; my strength shall be made perfect in weakness.’ To thee, O my God, do I commit myself, and again would I solemnly renew the dedication of myself and my all to thy service.  O condescend to accept the unworthy offering, and lay me out for thy glory. I ask not to be rich in silver and gold, and to be admired and caressed; I ask to be rich in faith and good works, and to be blessed and owned in my labors of love. I ask not to be exempted from grievous trials and persecutions, but I ask grace to glorify thee in the hour of trial; grace to be useful, grace to be triumphant in death, and grace to reach, at length, the Mount Zion above, where I may forever sing the triumphs of my dearest Lord. To thee, O my God, do I now commit my way; be pleased to direct my paths, for the Redeemer’s sake. Amen.” 

Life and Labors of Daniel Baker, by William M. Baker, Pages 91-92

 

The Type of Preacher Daniel Baker Desired to Be

“Dry, logical sermons, with rounded periods, delivered in a cold, formal, and heartless manner, I can never relish, however beautified by the superficial elegances of composition; and I question if the good effects which flow from such preaching will be sufficient to compensate the minister for all his care, labor, & refinement. I love warm, animating, lively, evanggelominos  Preaching, full of fire, breathing love and compassion. I may I never, become a cold, lifeless, sentimental preacher, but may I imitate the zeal of a Whitefield, the tenderness of a Hervey, the affection of a Baxter, and blend all with the pure, sound, evangelical principles of a Doddridge.”

Daniel Baker, Life & Labors , p. 62