The Wonders of Prayer A Record of Well Authenticated and Wonderful Answers to Prayer online

. (page 4 of 28)
Online LibraryVariousThe Wonders of Prayer A Record of Well Authenticated and Wonderful Answers to Prayer → online text (page 4 of 28)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

six or seven miles from the mill, and have no horse." "That is in answer
to prayer," said the noble woman; and the husband believed it, though
not a praying man. When, at night, the oldest son came in, the mother
said to him, "God has answered our prayers, and sent a bag of flour." It
is believed that, while this was not miraculous, it was as directly the
interposition of God, as feeding Elijah by the ravens; and it was in
direct answer to prayer for that special blessing."


An educated, accomplished lady, reduced to the very lowest round of
poverty's ladder, whom we shall call Mrs. X - - , bears unfailing
testimony to God's hearing and answering the prayer of faith. The
daughter came up-stairs one day to announce the utter emptiness of the
larder. There was not even a piece of dry bread, nor a drawing of tea;
not a potato, nor a bean; and "Charles, poor fellow, will come home from
his work at six, tired and so hungry; what _shall_ we do, mother?"

"The Lord will send us something, before he comes," said Mrs. X - - . So,
for three hours more the daughter waited. "Mother, it is five o'clock,
and the Lord has not sent us anything." "He will, my dear, before
half-past six;" and the widow went in an adjoining room, to ask that her
daughter might not feel it vain to call upon God. In fifteen minutes,
the door-bell rang violently, and a gentleman, valise in hand, said,
"Mrs. X - - , I left the room which I hired of you one year ago, in a
great hurry, you will remember; and I owed you five dollars. I have not
been in the city since, and am rushing out of it again - jumped off the
car just to give you this money. Good-bye."


"At another time, being sorely pressed by a heartless creditor, and
almost beside herself, she concluded to walk out and get free from the
insupportable burden, by change of air and scene for two or three hours.
Passing the house of a friend, just returned from Europe, she called for
a few moments, and was presented with a small and peculiar plant,
brought from Wales. All the way home she was asking the Lord to release
her from this relentless creditor, and all the way home a man, without
her knowledge, was following her. Arrived at her own stoop, he suddenly
confronted her, bowed, apologized for the liberty, but said he had not
had a sight of that dear old plant since he left home; and if she would
sell it to him, he would gladly give her ten dollars for it. As that was
half the sum for which she was persecuted, and would probably relieve
her from annoyance until she could raise the balance, she accepted the


"At the time of her husband's death, there were _two hundred dollars_
due an institute, for board and tuition of their two little boys. His
death was the flood-gate opened, which let in a successive torrent of
perplexities, losses, dilemmas, delays, law-suits, etc. She had not been
able to pay that bill; the principal was importunate, persevering,
bitter, and, at last, abusive. She cried to the Lord for a week, day and
night, almost without ceasing. Then, a gentleman whom she had taken to
her own house and carefully nursed through a dangerous illness, three
years before, called to say good-bye. He was on his way to a Bremen
steamer, and all other adieus were said, all his baggage on board,
except the valise in his hand. Might her boy ride down to the wharf and
see him off? Of course she was glad to consent. When her son returned he
brought back a letter, which opened, she found to contain _two hundred
dollars_ and the words, 'Not that money can ever express my gratitude,
but the enclosed may be useful for gas-bills or some other little
household matter.'"


"Some gentlemen, urged to contribute to a most worthy cause, said, 'Go
first to Mr. Z. - whatever he gives, we will.' Mr. Z., upon application,
concluded to make his neighbors do something worth while, and, as he was
expecting a thousand dollars in a very few days, subscribed the whole of
that. Upon the arrival of the vessel which was to pay his subscription,
he found the difference in exchange between certain countries, had
swelled his thousand dollars to _twenty-two hundred_."


"A gentleman, not marching in the ranks of 'cheerful givers,' was urged
to bestow five dollars toward the 'Fresh Air Fund.' 'He could not;
business wretched; poor enough himself,' and all the well known line of
excuses. The friend assured him, if the Lord did not more than make it
up to him, before the end of the week, he himself would return the
money. To those terms he agreed, quite sure he should call on Saturday
and get back the $5. But, the very next morning, he ran to the office of
his friend to say that an old debt, given up long ago, and for which he
would have taken one hundred dollars any moment, was paid him about an
hour after the friend left his store. So astonished was he, that he even
doubted the check, which was for _five thousand dollars,_ and sent it to
the bank to test its genuineness before he would give a receipt for it!"


In a dismal basement, A. found a very interesting American family. The
father, in the last stage of consumption; a little girl of ten years, an
invalid from infancy. The mother and two daughters, both under fifteen,
were out all day at work, trying to keep even such a wretched shelter,
and a little coarse food, as daily supplies. The three together could
not make over four dollars a week. The only person to wait on the two
sick ones during the day, was a little boy four years of age, who, when
the missionary entered, was reclining upon the bed. But he started up,
put more coal on the fire, and brought a drink of water, first to his
sister, then his father; without any bidding, and with the consideration
of a grown person.

On A.'s next visit, a few days after, he found the mother at home,
grief-stricken. Her eldest daughter had been taken ill the day previous.
He gave her all the money he had, prayed with them, and sent at once a
kind, assiduous physician. In a few weeks the daughter died, but not
without a good hope in Christ; and was buried at the expense of the few
kind friends whom A. had sent to see the family. The dying daughter
exhorted her dying father to seek his soul's eternal welfare, and not
boast, as heretofore, of his life-long morality. Her conversations led
him to see his danger out of Christ, and, in a little while after his
daughter's departure, he followed. The mother had not before had a sure
Christian hope; but, amidst such influences, her heart was soon opened
to admit the truth. Not long after her bereavement she began having a
"cottage prayer-meeting" in her room, and united with an evangelical
church. She immediately became anxious for the conversion of her two
boys, who were away, and urged the missionary to write them. He did so,
frequently, and his heaven-directed appeals led one of the boys very
soon to Christ. Soon after, he died; the brother returned home with
consumption. He took great pleasure in the little prayer-meetings, and
in three months cheerfully and exultantly exchanged this world of
suffering for the one where father, brother and sister awaited him. Worn
out with anxiety, care, hard work and poor health, the mother followed;
leaving the invalid girl and youngest boy; who are watched over, not
only by their Friend in heaven, but friends on earth. The eldest
surviving daughter is an esteemed and consistent member of a church of


In the very top of a four-story building, used only for various
manufacturing purposes, lived an old man and daughter. They lived
literally _by faith in Christ_, from _day_ to _day_; one hour at a time.
At his voice, followed Him, whether into darkness or light. Neither took
a step but as they held his hand. A lady calling one day, said, "Oh!
Jennie, I thought of your large wash hanging on the roof, last night,
when the drenching rain came; and I was so sorry to think you would have
your hard work all over again!" "_Oh! no ma'am. The Lord woke me up out
of a sound sleep, just as the first few drops fell_! I hastened up and
brought them all down nice and dry, and had only got to the foot of the
stairs with the last armful, when it poured down. Now that was the Lord,
ma'am, for there was not a single noise of any kind to waken me, and I
was sound asleep!"


At one time, the landlord rented the ground floor to a liquor seller.
The loafers going in and out, especially on Sunday, were a great grief
to Jennie and her saintly old father. They concluded to take it to the
Lord together, and, said the old man, "He will be sure to attend to it;
I have been young, and now am old, and I have never known Him fail
me - He _never_ does." _In three weeks after, the dram-seller closed his
place for want of patronage_.


A poor, humble Christian woman had a claim on some property in a
neighboring State. It was in law, and she was summoned to attend court
at a certain time. Having scarcely money enough for her daily bread, she
was obliged to borrow the means to take her there, and pay some cheap
board while awaiting the conclusion of the trial. She was positively
assured by the lawyers, that she would receive several hundred dollars.
She was detained five weeks, instead of one, as she expected, and then
the suit was postponed till Fall. She was in agony of mind; in a strange
place - owing for board and washing, and no money to take her to her
home. Having spent a whole night pacing the floor and calling on the
Lord to redeem his promises, she felt the fresh air would do her good,
and sadly took her way down a side street. She had gone but three blocks
when she found a diamond ring. Being accustomed to the ownership of
diamonds in her younger days, she knew very nearly its value; took it
home, watched the principal papers, and the same evening saw a reward of
seventy-five dollars offered for it. We can imagine that joy lent wings
to her feet, and thanksgiving filled her whole heart. The sum was
sufficient to pay her bills, bring her back and return a portion of the
borrowed money.


A piteous wail was heard on the street one day, and a poor Scotchman
crossed over to see the trouble. A widow and three children sat on their
few articles of household furniture. Put in the street, when they could
no longer find five dollars for the rent of the kennel in which, for six
months, they had not lived, but existed. He had just received five
dollars for a piece of work, and was hurrying home with it to his sick
wife, crippled mother and two children. He thought of the piece of
meat - a long untasted luxury - he meant to buy; of the tea his mother so
much craved, and hesitated. Could he give these up? But the streaming
eyes of the children, and the mute despair on the face of the mother,
took down the scale. He ran several blocks and found an empty basement;
hired it for four dollars; enlisted the sympathy and help of a colored
boy to carry the furniture; put up the stove, bought a bundle of wood,
pail of coal, and some provisions with the other dollar; held a little
prayer-meeting on the spot, and left with the benedictions of the
distressed ones filling his ears. The recital of his adventure
obliterated for the time all sense of their own desires, and they
thanked God together that their loss had been the widow's gain. The next
morning, while taking their frugal meal, a tea dealer, for whom this man
had frequently put up shelves, came to say he was short-handed, and if
the Scotchman was not very busy, he would give him a regular position in
his establishment, at a better salary than he could hope to earn.
Meanwhile, hearing his wife was sick, he had brought her a couple pounds
prime tea, and it occurred to him that venison steaks were a little out
of the ordinary run of meat, and, as he had a quantity at home, he
brought a couple. Thus the Lord answered the prayer of the poor, and
repaid the generous giver who sacrificed his money for the Lord.


A most devout, hard-working and poorly paid man, was the object of
constant persecution by a cross-grained, ugly, infidel neighbor. For
three years the thing went on, till the Christian thought he must remove
from the place. He could not do it without breaking up his humble home,
for which he had worked night and day. He and his wife were in deep
distress; told their plans to the Lord; asked Him to direct them to
another home, and then went to a newspaper office to advertise their
little place for sale. The editor was out, and they preferred to see
him - would return home and call again to-morrow. The next morning the
infidel was found dead in his bed, from a stroke of apoplexy.


"Suffice it, then, I was in debt. I was owing the large sum (large for a
poor home missionary) of $90.00. Expecting soon to be called upon for
the payment of it, and not seeing any way to meet it, _I went to the
Lord with it_. Early in life I had made this resolution: that no man
whom I was _owing_ should ever ask me for money, and I not pay him; but
now, I could see no way out; and if, as I expected, it should be
demanded, I was not in a condition to meet it. Such was my condition
when, on a certain day, the demand came. I took the letter from the
office at noon. What now was to be done? Again I took the case to the
Lord, and asked Him to help me pay it, so that my word need not fail, or
_his cause suffer reproach._ I first determined to pay a part; but, as
no letter could be sent out that day, I awaited the results of the day
following. From the northern mail, which first arrived, I took a letter
containing an unexpected draft of $50 to my wife, from parties whom we
did not know, and had never seen, nor they us. Within twenty minutes
more I was presented with a _surprise_ of $40, from a people where I had
preached for the six months past. Here was my $90, and, before the mail
went out, I had my letter written and in the mail. Both were as
unexpected as if they had come from heaven direct."


A lady of superior culture and refinement, fell from opulence to extreme
poverty, within four years. No less ready when at the bottom of
fortune's ladder, than at the top, to do good as she had opportunity,
she paid another poor woman's way to a neighboring State, where
employment awaited her, and did it literally with her _last_ dollar-and
a-half! Supposing herself the possessor of a ten cent note, over and
above the twelve shillings, she went with her somewhat feeble protege
over Jersey city ferry, and saw her safely in the cars. Starting back,
she was dismayed to find no ten cents in her pocket-book, and, all too
late, remembered having paid it for a quart of milk that morning; the
sole breakfast of herself and daughter. Night was approaching - what to
do she did not know. She had a plain, worn, old gold ring on her finger;
she took it off, offered it to the ferry-master, who would not take it,
though she told him she found her money gone and would redeem it next
day. She went back in the ladies' room and told it to the Lord,
beseeching his assistance. Just then, a girl passing, jostled against
her and knocked down her parasol. She picked it up, happened to turn it
upside down, and out rolled a _five-cent nickel!_ The Lord, then, hears
prayer for even _five cents_ to provide for the comfort and need of
those whom He loves.


A clergyman writes _The Christian_ as follows:

"The Winter of 1872 I spent in missionary work, carrying the glad
tidings of the kingdom of God into new fields in the 'regions beyond.'
With my devoted wife, I labored ardently for the salvation of men 'from
the wrath to come.' We were full of comfort to be thus engaged, though
without pledge from man for support, or promised salary for preaching.

"In spite of our rigid economy, I had contracted some debts for the
necessaries of life. I have since learned to go without what the Lord
does not provide means to pay for at once. I needed the money to pay the
debts, and felt impressed to pray for fifty dollars. I said to my wife:
'_I am going to pray for fifty dollars_.' 'Well,' said she, 'I will join
you;' and we bowed before God and told Him our needs, and unitedly asked
Him for fifty dollars; so that we might not bring ourselves or the truth
we preached, into reproach, by being unable to pay debts. We were agreed
in asking, and thus claiming the promise: 'If two of you shall agree as
touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my
Father which is in heaven.' (Matt, xviii. 19). We had the assurance that
money would come; but from whence we did not know, nor care, for we knew
the 'silver and gold' are the Lord's, as well as the 'cattle upon a
thousand hills,' and he could easily cause some one to give or send us
the money.

"We felt full of peace; for we knew it was for God's glory to answer
that prayer. No one outside of the family knew we were praying for
money. We did not go around among our friends and tell them we were
praying for fifty dollars, in hopes that they would take it upon
themselves to answer the prayer. We told none but the God whom we serve.

"Some little time passed, and no money came, but we did not lose our
faith or assurance. One morning, at family prayer, I was led out to pray
that we might see the Lord's working in our behalf that day, and I rose
from my knees with perfect confidence that our hearts would be made to
rejoice in God that day. When I came in to my dinner I asked my wife if
any one had brought our mail from the post-office. She said, 'Yes, there
are some papers on your table.' 'What!' said I, with surprise, 'no
letters?' I saw a peculiar expression on her countenance, and I asked no
more questions, but sat down to the dinner table and turned over my
plate, and there saw a letter she had put beneath it; and as soon as I
saw the hand-writing I felt, there is money in this, though, of all
sources, this was from the one least expected. I opened the letter, and
there was a draft for _fifty dollars, 'a gift to aid in preaching the
Gospel.'_ If I ever recognized the hand of God in anything, I did in
this; and if there was ever a time of devout thanksgiving to God, and a
humbling of self before Him in my house, it was that day. Since then, it
has been easier to trust in Him than before. He has said, 'I will never
leave thee nor forsake thee.' He has also said, through his apostles,
'Be careful for nothing; but in everything, by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.'"


A request was published by the _Illustrated Christian Weekly,_ asking
that all who could report positive facts as direct results of prayer,
and thus, tend to show that _"God does answer prayer,"_ should
communicate them. Very many were communicated, regarding all trials and
troubles of the heart, and daily temporal or spiritual life. No one can
question they are authentic to the highest degree; they should silence
the skeptic, and convince the worldly of the presence of the mysterious
power and wonderful Spirit of God, which tempers the hearts and lives of
men and controls them as He wills.


A clergyman says, "I was very anxious for the building of a mission
chapel to accommodate a flourishing mission-school that had been
organized under my pastorate. Knowing that a certain physician of the
city was possessed of abundant means and had a praying Christian mother,
though he had long since given up going to church, I resolved to call
upon him. Before starting from my study I knelt down and asked God to
prosper me in my appeal. Upon going out of my parsonage the physician
was in the act of passing in his carriage. I hailed him, explained to
him my desire, and the result was not only a contribution of money as
large as the largest, but a gift of a lot for the chapel worth several
hundred dollars."


"I was brought up religiously as a servant in a family in Connecticut,
and from twelve years of age until twenty-three, knew no other home. The
old couple died, and I lived with their children, but they were so
different that I became very unhappy and hardly knew what to do or which
way to turn. I had no relatives and knew nothing of any world save the
little one in which I had all my life moved, and I was terribly afraid
to try any other. I could only offer my constant prayer for help, and it
was answered so much beyond my highest hope, and so kind were God's
dealings with me that I was taken, almost without an effort of my own,
into a warm, loving heart, and such a happy home, and all so easily and
smoothly that to me it seems like a miracle; and never can I forget
while I live, nor cease to believe that truly 'He is the hearer and
answerer of prayer.'"


"The writer was once in great trouble to know what was duty. Urged by
ministers and laymen in high standing to undertake a work not exactly in
the line of the ministry, he hesitated. God's displeasure was feared,
lest in doing what was desired 'sin might lie at his door.' To refuse
the wish of good and wise men might be resisting God's call. In this
trial of conscience he sought in fasting and special prayer the guidance
of his Heavenly Father. While so doing the above promise came very
distinctly to his mind. He brought it to God as his own promise, and
pleaded, if it could be graciously done, that He would literally fulfill
it to the suppliant. In the very act of thus pleading, he heard a rap on
the door. Opening it, there stood his mother-in-law. She said, 'Two
gentlemen are in the parlor waiting for you.' I went down, and the
interview revealed the exact fulfillment both of the promise and the
prophecy. The Lord answered my prayer two days before I called on Him.
One of the two came from New York to my home in a Western city to
inquire about _the very thing which was troubling me. He was to me an
entire stranger_, never having heard of him until I saw him. Having
consulted his friend, the Rev. M.W. Jacobus, D.D., they together came to
call on me about the matter at the very moment I was pleading with God
that He would mercifully, 'while yet speaking, hear me.' Now could
Tyndall and his followers desire a more literal, a more exact
fulfillment of this prophecy and promise as proof of its inspiration,
and of prayer as God's ordinance than that prayer for such fulfillment
of these words actually before the prayer was made, and while the
petitioner was 'yet speaking?'"

It will be noticed that the best judgment of good men advise one course,
but trust in God for superior wisdom brought the case to answer in a
totally different manner, by means of an unknown person, a total
stranger, who neither knew him nor his desire. The circumstance should
convince the world.


"About three years since my family comfort was very much disturbed by
failure to obtain a good housemaid. And, having been accustomed to wait
upon God for right direction in my _temporal_ as well as spiritual
affairs, in simple faith I asked Him to direct me on reaching New York
City to where I would find a girl of good character that would
appreciate a Christian home. My steps were led to a boarding-house on
Greenwich street, and on inquiring for a German or Swede girl I was told
they had a nice Swede just landed. I talked to her through an
interpreter and was satisfied from what she said, as well as from her
countenance, that she was the one I was searching for. She came to my
home and proved, in two years' service, almost faultless. In
conversation one day, a short time after she came to our home, she said
she had had several places offered her that morning before I came, but
she did not like them; but as soon as she saw me, felt that she could go
with me - she was a Christian, member of the Lutheran church and wanted a
Christian home. Her desire was granted and my prayer was answered."


Online LibraryVariousThe Wonders of Prayer A Record of Well Authenticated and Wonderful Answers to Prayer → online text (page 4 of 28)