Stonewall’s Prayer Life

“Prayer implies a Providence. For if God hath not a present means of influencing the course of natural events, it is a waste of breath to petition for his intervention. Hence it will be anticipated, that he who was so clear in his recognition of Providence was so eminently a man of prayer. This was one of the most striking traits of Jackson’s religious character. He payed much, he had great faith in prayer, and took much delight in it. While his religion was the least obtrusive of all men’s, no one could know him and fail to be impressed with the regularity of his habits of private devotion. Morning and night he bent before God in secret prayer, and rare must be the exigency which could deprive him of this valued privilege. There was in him an unusual combination of courage and modesty in this duty. If the presence of others were unavoidable, it had no effect whatever, be they who they might, however great or profane, to cause him to neglect his secret orisons. Yet, it is presumed, no one ever had the idea of ostentation suggested who witnessed one of the sacred scenes. He was accustomed, during the active campaigns, to live in a common tent, like those of the soldiers. Those who passed it at early dawn and at bed-time were likely to see the shadow of his kneeling form cast upon the canvas by the light of his candle; and the most careless soldier then trod lightly and held his breath with reverent awe. Those who were skeptical of the sincerity of other men’s prayers, seemed to feel that, when Jackson knelt, the heavens came down indeed into communion with earth.”

Dabney, Robert Lewis. Life and Campaigns of Lieutenant General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. (First published in 1865, reprinted in 1983 by Sprinkle Publications, Harrisonburg, VA), 103.

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About Eric Smith

Sinner saved by the grace of Jesus, husband of Candace, father of Coleman and Crockett, West Tennessean, pastor of Sharon Baptist Church, student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
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