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

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"Some forty years ago, in a rural parish in New England, a young man lay
apparently on his death-bed with a putrid fever. His aunt, in whose
family he was staying, was a woman who had long lived in habitual
intercourse with the unseen world through prayer. One afternoon, when it
seemed to those around him that the sick one must die, she went away
alone to speak with God. With intense earnestness she pleaded for the
young man's life. And, being deeply interested in the portion of our
country then beginning to be settled, she asked also that he might
become a home missionary at the West. There were various circumstances
which made this latter request, as well as the other, seem very unlikely
to be fulfilled. And yet it was. The young man recovered, pursued a
collegiate and theological course, and still lives and labors as a most
devoted and useful Christian pioneer. More than once he has been a
member of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, and his name
is familiar to many."


"I was a poor student in a Manual Labor Institute at the West. The month
of February was our regular Winter vacation. We were privileged to keep
our rooms and have board at one dollar a week. But I had absolutely no
money. I was six hundred miles from my friends, and they were unable to
furnish me with funds. I had no books for the new term, though these
were a necessity if I went on with my class, and there was no work about
the Institution, nor that I know of in the neighborhood at that season.
My case seemed an exceedingly bad one; and I had no idea from where any
help could come. So I went to my room in the third story, locked my door
and carried my case to the Lord. It was a long, earnest, tearful cry for
help from Him who alone seemed able to give it. My prayer was answered.
When I had been there I do not know how long, I heard footsteps in the
empty hall, and in a moment a knock at my door. I wiped my eyes, and put
myself into presentable shape as soon as I could, and opened the door. A
lad stood there who said: 'A man wants to see you at the front door.'
Down the stairs I went, wondering who could want me and what he could
want me for. In the front yard was a man on a restless horse, who at
once said: 'We want you to teach our school for a month. The boys have
driven out the female teacher. We want you to take them in hand, and
we'll give you fifteen dollars and your board.' I said, 'All right, I'll
be down there to-morrow morning.' And then I went back to my room to
thank God for hearing my prayer."


"A deacon living in a Berkshire town was requested to give his prayers
in behalf of a poor man with a large family who had broken his leg. 'I
can't stop now to pray,' said the deacon (who was picking and barreling
his early apples for the city market), 'but you can go down into the
cellar and get some corned beef, salt pork, potatoes, and butter - that's
the best I can do.'"


A clergyman writes that during the ministration of his labors at Battle
Greek, Mich., there were several remarkable manifestations of divine
power - especially in the case of a little girl, the daughter of a Mr.
Smith, a child of about six years.

"In September last, she was taken very sick with spinal fever. She
became much reduced, extremely nervous and helpless, excepting to move
her hands. Physicians gave up the case as a hopeless one, deciding that
should she live, her condition would be that of helplessness, a burden
to herself and to her parents.

"But our gracious God had better things in store for that afflicted
family. It was on a Sabbath afternoon, at the very hour when the crowded
congregation in our house of worship were in prayer for the influences
of the divine Spirit, that a holy, solemn influence came into the
dwelling of Brother Smith, as if an angel had come to touch the child
with healing power. The mother could not leave the bedside of her
suffering child to attend the meeting, and she says that a sudden change
came over her feelings, and it appeared to her that an angel had come
into the house, and had shed a holy influence in every part of it. It
was at that moment that the hitherto helpless child drew herself up in a
sitting posture, and next rose upon her feet. She rapidly recovered to
her usual habits of taking food and sleeping, and now takes the exercise
of the most robust children of her age."


A poor Christian family were in distress. The husband, during a long and
painful sickness, had borne his trials for months with cheerful
Christian resignation; "but, on this day," said a City Missionary, "I
found them, for the first time, in tears. The cause I soon learned was
the want of means to pay the rent of their little home, which would come
due on the following Monday, and must be paid then, or they would have
to leave and go they knew not where. The amount needed, _fifteen
dollars_, and the amount in hand but _fifty cents;_ the future all dark,
and no hope of recovery from sickness, and no hope of being able to meet
their expenses - it might be of a long sickness and want - what could I do
for them? If theirs had been the only case of like wants that day, I no
doubt could have gone to a few friends and have collected the amount.
But that would not do them the good I felt they needed. But I felt sure
of a better way to get it, and lead them to trust in the Lord, and
glorify God and not man.

"On the wall, at the foot of the sick man's bed, I had hung, but a short
time previous, one of those precious silent comforters, a scroll of
Scripture texts, printed in large type, and a different prayer for every
day in the month. On the page before us for _that day_, after calling
their attention to it, I read the following words: '_And all things
whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer believing, ye shall receive_.' Matt.
21:22. 'Again I say unto you, _that if two of you shall agree on earth
as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them_.
Matt. 18:9; remarking, 'Are not those precious promises? Your fears,
dear brother and sister, are that you will not be able to pay the rent
on Monday, and may be turned out into the street, unless you get the
means to pay the rent; are they not?' 'That is so,' said they. 'There
are two ways: one, to try to get some one to lend you the amount until
you can pay, if the landlord will not wait; another, to go and beg for
it.' I have learned a better way, and wish I could lead you to do the
same. Do as David did. Have you ever gone to the Lord as directed above,
and found in Him, as David did, a very present help in time of trouble?
Would not your faith and confidence in God's word and in his kind,
overruling providence be more strengthened, if, in going to Him now and
making known your present troubles and wants, He should in a way,
without your making known your wants to any other person, on Monday
enable you to pay all?' The answer was, 'We should.'

"After prayer and encouragement to do so, I left them, with the promise
to call the following Tuesday. Doing so, I was met at the door by the
wife with a countenance full of joy. '_Oh, brother, we could not wait
until you came, to tell you the wonderful answer to our prayer_. On
Monday, _the very day_ that we had to pay the rent, one gentleman came
and handed my husband _five dollars_, and early in the morning Mrs.
F - - called and handed me _ten dollars_, making in all _just fifteen
dollars_, the amount we needed; was it not wonderful? Oh, how good the
Lord is!' The same week another called and gave them an order for fifty
dollars more, so that they were able to pay up all their debts, and the
sudden joy soon led to a speedy restoration to health, and the husband
is now one of the most active Christian workers and teachers in a
mission school, and the wife and daughter are also trying to do all they
can to lead others to trust in Jesus."


A City home missionary has told us of the case of a poor colored family,
the husband nearly one hundred years old, totally incapacitated for
work, and confined to his room by sickness nearly twelve years.

Although very often in straitened circumstances, the Lord has never left
them to want for any good they needed, having, in a truly wonderful
manner supplied their wants, in answer to prayer. The wife, having for a
long time been kept from the enjoyment of church privileges by close
confinement, she had been sorely tempted to doubt her acceptance in
Christ, and was in great darkness for days; but one day, in reading the
following words, found in the fifteenth chapter of John, _"If ye abide
in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall
be done unto you,"_ she was led to go to God in prayer, and to ask, if
not wrong in his sight, to grant her a request, that she might know that
her prayer was answered, and that she was abiding in Him. The request
was that, as they were in trouble for the rent coming due the next day,
and still in need of _three dollars,_ that the Lord would send them a
friend in a stranger, some one that they had never seen before, and that
he would put it into the heart of that stranger to give them three
dollars, and then they would not be tempted to believe, as they had
sometimes before, that it would have been sent by a friend even if they
had not prayed.

"But," said she, "I knows if a stranger comes, none but the Lord could
send, then I would know the Lord heard my prayer, and I was truly the
Lord's. So I watch for the answer for you knows, brother, when we prays,
the Lord says we must believe we shall receive what we ask of Him, and
then He will give it. So I watch and listen for the knock at the door,
and do you believe me, brother, about three o'clock in the afternoon, I
hears a knock and opens the door, and a strange lady was there, one I
never saw before, and asked me if Mrs. H - - lived here; and said she
had been looking for us before, but could not find us; 'when, to-day I
felt I must try again, and I am so glad I have found you. I heard of you
through a friend who has known you a long time.' She spoke many kind
words, and when she took my hand to say good-by, she left a little roll
of notes, and when she is gone I count it, and _it was just three
dollars._ I is been so happy ever since. I loves to tell how good the
Lord has been to us; every time I does so I feels so happy."


The following incidents are from the life of an invalid, personally
known to the editor of this book, and can be depended upon as authentic
in every particular. They illustrate most beautifully the blessed way in
which the Savior's everlasting arms are around, strengthening, and His
presence comforting His weak and helpless ones, in all their little as
well as great trials of life. The ways in which he sent relief, and the
many hundred promises which he has given; will encourage other Christian
hearts to trust the same _Omnipotent, ever Helping Friend._


"'The first money the Lord gives me I will send to you,' were the last
words I said to my old father, as I stood waiting for the train to bear
me to distant friends. So the weeks passed on, but I remembered my
promise and waited patiently for the Lord to enable me to fulfill that
promise. I had two dollars, but thought I must not give it away until
more came. But this feeling did not last long; something seemed to tell
me the Lord would not send me any until that was gone. One day I
received a letter from a friend containing this sentence: 'I have not
had three cents in five weeks.' My whole nature responded in a moment. I
put part of my money into a letter for him, the rest into a letter for
my father. Now I felt clear. Then I told the Lord all about it. A week
passed, and $5 came to me from my mother to pay my return fare. A few
days longer, and another $5 came from a lady friend, so I was provided
for. I needed a certain article of clothing, and one night made all
arrangements to get it next day. Morning came, and I went to the Bible
for my orders for the day; my eyes rested on these words: 'Be content
with what ye have.' This seemed so strange, because the Lord knew I
needed the dress; I was obliged to stay out of society on this account.
'But the Lord knows best,' I thought, and gave up all idea of getting
it. Nor did it trouble me further. I gave it all into his hands, feeling
He knew best. And afterwards it was made clear to my own heart I had not
trusted in vain. _'Commit all thy ways unto the Lord, for He careth for


"Once, on a visit, I left the company below, and went up stairs for an
hour's quiet and prayer. I was to return the coming week and I had only
just enough to pay my fare. For several days I had been anxious how I
was to get some money. This afternoon I had to pray very earnestly,
because the need was great. An hour passed; I felt weary and
unrefreshed, when a voice clear and near said unto me: 'Trust in the
Lord and do good, and verily thou shalt be fed.' It was not a human
voice, for no one was near me, but I started and looked around, _almost_
expecting to see an angel visitant. I saw nothing, but the sun shone
brighter outside, and the room seemed brighter than before. And why
should it not? The Lord had been there with words of cheer and comfort
for his little child. I arose and went below, where I found other
company had called, and I was introduced to the lady and her husband,
whom I had met five years before. A pleasant chat and they left, after
giving me an invitation to visit them. At the door, as I learned from my
friend who attended them, Mrs. N - - said: 'I should like to give Miss
B - - something,' and handed my friend _a five dollar bill for me_. I
was more than surprised. I cannot tell you the emotions of my heart.
While I was yet asking, even, the messenger had brought my answer. I
could yet hear the soft sound of the voice up-stairs, and the soothing
influence of the unseen presence still lingered round me. How quickly
our needs flow on the wings of prayer into the very presence of our
Friend and Master."


"A year ago this Summer, my sister's little baby, only five months old,
was taken very ill with that distressing complaint which often proves so
fatal, and takes so many sweet little ones out of loving hearts and
homes. I loved baby Ernest, but never so well as when he lay so sick he
could not know it. We all loved him, and everything was done that could
be thought of to ease the little sufferer all those long, close, hot
days. Day after day, for four long weeks, we tenderly cared for him.
Sometimes his mother would watch his every breath, fearing each would be
the last. One Sunday he lay just where we put him, so quiet and still,
with the sweet baby face so white and calm, we thought we should lose
him soon, the little hands and feet were so cold. All through his
illness, I kept asking the Lord to let his parents keep the tender bud
he had sent them. We could not let him die, and to-day I prayed very
earnestly all the time - even when we could not warm the little body at
all - we could not let him go. Well, Ernnie passed over the fearful day
and became a happy, well boy. He was saved. No physician saved him. Our
tender care did not save him. Prayer saved our Ernnie. Precious baby! He
is such a jolly, happy boy now, filling every heart and the whole house
with his sunshine. How I love the little fellow. When I am here at his
home, he always comes to Auntie for love and tenderness. When I am
resting on the lounge, he comes every few moments to kiss me, giving and
receiving real heart-love. We know God only lends these little treasures
to their human friends. But oh, they bring so much love with them, it is
hard to give them up."


"One day I lost my silver thimble, a gift from my mother when I was a
young girl. I prized it _very highly_. I looked everywhere, long and
faithfully. The tears would come, at the best, it had been so long a
constant companion. I gave up the search after a while, thinking some
one had taken it, or a child had lost it - any way, it was gone. Feeling
sad over it, I sat down to console myself, and the thought came - pray
about it; so I did, and while I knelt there something whispered, 'Look
on the bed,' so plainly that I arose and went into my sister's
sleeping-room where I had turned the spread aside, and there nestled, in
a fold of the quilt, _my thimble_. I involuntarily said, 'Thank God!'
out of the depths of my glad heart. I had lain down a moment on this bed
with baby Ernest, early in the morning, and the thimble had fallen out
of my pocket."


"God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform."

"I had a present of twenty-five dollars once, which was a direct answer
to earnest, pleading prayer. I was entirely out of money for months - I
could not earn a dollar. I had those who might have assisted me, but
they did not. I could have borrowed, but I might never be able to return
it; I knew not what to do. One evening, thinking it all over, scanning
the dark cloud with anxious eyes, I said, 'If the Lord cannot help me,
no one else can; I will ask Him.' And so I did, bringing all the
previous promises before Him, pleading my unworthiness, but my great
need; asking first for _ten dollars_; then, as I grew more earnest, I
asked for _twenty-five,_ feeling almost frightened as the words came
from my lips. Sometimes the thought would intrude, 'How can you ask for
any given sum - how do you expect it will come?' so I said, one day, to
the Lord, 'Any sum you choose; you know best; I will be content.'
Several weeks passed, and a sweet feeling of rest and assurance came,
that, whatever came of it, would be all for the best. But, by-and-by,
when the anxious pleading feeling was all gone, one morning came a
letter from one I had never seen, with $25 - just what I had asked for. I
cannot tell you just how I felt; I only know I held the check long in my
hand, scarcely realizing it could be for me."


"My sister's husband wished to raise a certain sum of interest money by
a given time, but could see no way; was very much troubled about it;
said he knew no one to whom he could apply. I told him to pray for it.
He answered, 'God won't hear the prayer of the wicked; suppose you ask
him yourself.' I did ask Him, earnestly and faithfully, and it was even
given me the idea who my brother could ask to loan it him. I spoke of
the man to him - said I thought he might get it; so he called on him one
evening, and the way was made plain for my brother to introduce the
subject; and when he came home that night, he brought with him the three
hundred dollars."


"I will hold thee by thy right hand, saying unto thee, fear
not, I will help thee."

"Once I held in my hand an open letter, containing an invitation to
visit friends I had never seen. My heart bounded with pleasure at
thought of the journey, and the pleasant visit to follow; but, on second
thought, it almost stood still - where could I get money and proper
clothing? Several weeks passed in thought. I could see no way, and so I
wrote my friends I could not come at present; but, in my heart, I could
not give it up. My parents were visiting in the far West, and I had no
one to advise me; so, up in my little room, night after night, I made it
a point to tell the Lord about it; and soon it seemed as easy and right
as though I were talking to a friend. One day, my brother-in-law said he
would pay my expenses to and fro. I thanked him, and took fresh courage,
and still kept on praying. Then the same good brother gave me money for
a dress; then a friend furnished other articles, and soon, I was en
route for the quaint old city by the sea. Every step was accomplished by
the simple way of prayer; and, when I slept, late that night, in a cosy
room at the Methodist parsonage in N.B., I could look back over the last
few weeks, and thank God for the _power of prayer_. But the best of it
all was the lesson I had learned - one which I shall never forget, while
memory holds her magic power - to carry _everything_ to God in prayer; to
trust him in every matter, however small; and this is the whole secret
of the power that lies in prayer."

"I found another lady visitor at my friend's and we were to share the
same bed. This was a little trial; I had to ask the Lord to give me
patience - and He did. One night, I was very restless and nervous; I
could not sleep. I knew I was disturbing my friend - soon she said,
'Annie, I am going to ask the Lord to come and put you to sleep. Now,
lay still, and in five minutes you will be all right'. I did so, also
breathing the words, 'Give me sleep, dear Saviour.' The room seemed to
be full of a soft, soothing influence, and I fell asleep. Once only in
the night I awoke, but soon went asleep. When I awoke in the morning,
rested and refreshed, Tillie, who was dressing near me, looked up with
her pleasant smile and said, 'Annie, how wonderful it was. You were
asleep in less than five minutes. It seemed as though Jesus stood close
by your side; I could _almost see_ Him, I felt so clearly His presence.
He is here now, Annie; can't you feel Him near? He was very good to you
last night.' Yes, indeed, I felt the influence of His presence, and, all
day, whenever I entered the room, I felt it, and it seemed as though I
must tread softly, it was so like holy ground. This feeling lasted
through my stay, and, last Winter, while again visiting the home of my
friends, it all came back to me again. This beautiful influence has ever
kept with me, and I never close my eyes in sleep until I say, 'Oh, Lord,
breathe upon me the sweet spirit of sleep.' However weary, sick or
nervous I may be, I feel that the soothing power will come; and, with my
hand in His, I rest peacefully, at last."


"Whatsoever thing ye ask in _My_ name" -

"For a long while I had been without money, and my need was very great.
I wanted a new hat so much; and the question arose in my mind, 'What am
I going to do about it?' As I had no human arm to depend on for
anything, of course there was only one way for me to do - ask the Lord
for money to get me a hat. With me, to think is to act, and so I told
the Lord all about it, asking, if it was His will, to send me, in His
own way, money for the article I needed. Day after day passed, and I
felt almost discouraged. One day, a letter came from a lady friend I had
never seen, enclosing one dollar. I bought my hat - neither could I have
used that dollar for another purpose. Soon after this, my physician
ordered something for me. I had no money to get it, but said I would get
it soon as I could. Three weeks passed, and no money came. Then I asked
the Lord for enough to get my medicine. Another letter came from an old
nurse, with a gift of one dollar. I had my medicine. Time after time, I
have not had wherewith to send my letters, and, as I have a large
correspondence, it often is a real trouble. The only way I have to do is
to _pray for it,_ and always, in some way, it comes; not in _my
way_ - not just as soon as I ask for it - but in His own way, He always
provides. I have learned to trust and not be afraid, even though the
clouds hang heavy, and I see no ray of light, the promise is there, and
for me, 'I will _never_ leave thee, or forsake thee.' I am so entirely
dependent on Him for everything that sometimes, in little matters, my
faith will, for a brief season, droop. Sometimes I have to plead and
plead over again some particular promises; but these times of waiting on
Him only strengthen me for future conflicts. 'Wait on the Lord, and he
shall renew thy strength,' comes in beautifully on such occasions. No
human being to help me; no one but God. Sometimes, when I sit alone,
such a flood of feelings come over me, I well nigh sink. Loneliness,
homesickness, and the great want in every human heart of sympathy and
love, leave me, for a moment, without hope or faith; but, when the heart
is weakest, and the need greatest, the loving Saviour is nearest. 'Like
as a mother comforteth her child, so does He comfort me;' and then,
soothed by his power and love, how the aching heart rests 'by the still
waters, and in the green pastures.' There is nothing but prayer for the

Online LibraryVariousThe Wonders of Prayer A Record of Well Authenticated and Wonderful Answers to Prayer → online text (page 5 of 28)