A cartoon pictured a little boy kneeling in prayer. Obviously disgruntled with the results of his prayers, he was saying, “Aunt Harriet hasn’t gotten married, Uncle Hubert hasn’t any work, and Daddy’s hair is still falling out… I’m getting tired of praying for this family without getting any results.”
When Hutson Taylor was sailing to China to begin his missionary work, his ship was in great danger. The wind had died, and the current was carrying them toward sunken reefs which were close to islands inhabited by cannibals—so close they could see them building fires on the shore. Everything they tried was to no avail. In his journal Taylor recorded what happened next: The Captain said to me, “Well, we have done everything that can be done.” A thought occurred to me, and I replied, “No, there is one thing we have not done yet.” “What is that?” he queried.
In June of 2013 news broadcasts across the country featured a little boy named Grayson Clamp doing something he had never done before. The three-year-old was born without the auditory nerves that carry sound to the brain. Attempts to restore his hearing with a cochlear implant were unsuccessful, so doctors at the University of North Carolina tried an experimental procedure to implant an auditory nerve directly into Grayson’s brain.
D. L Moody used to tell the story of a man who came to him and said, “When the Mexican war began I wanted to enlist. My mother, seeing I was resolved, said if I became a Christian I might go. She pleaded and prayed that I might become a Christian, but I wouldn’t. I said when the war was over I would become a Christian, but not till then.
When a mother has a sick child, it is marvelous how quick her ears become while attending it. Good woman, we wonder she does not fall asleep. If you hired a nurse, it is ten to one she would. But the dear child in the middle of the night does not need to cry for water, or even speak; there is a little quick breathing—who will hear it? No one would except the mother; but her ears are quick, for they are in her child’s heart. Even so, if there is a heart in the world that longs for the things of God, God’s ear is already in that poor sinner’s heart.
A man had a habit of grumbling at the food his wife placed before him at family meals. Then he would ask the blessing. One day after his usual combination complaint-prayer, his little girl asked, “Daddy, does God hear us when we pray?”
“Why, of course,” he replied. “He hears us every time we pray.”
She paused on this a moment, and asked, “Does He hear everything we say the rest of the time?”
A visiting farmer stopped at a city restaurant to eat lunch. When he was served his food he bowed his head and gave thanks to the Lord. Some teenagers sitting at a nearby table noticed the farmer’s prayer and shouted, “Hey, pops, back where you come from does everybody pray before they eat?”
Their laughter was silenced when the unmoved farmer answered, “No, the hogs don’t.”
“You may talk about power; but, if you neglect the one Book that God has given you as the one instrument through which He imparts and exercises His power, you will not have it. You may read many books and go to many conventions and you may have your all-night prayer meetings to pray for the power of the Holy Ghost; but unless you keep in constant and close association with the one Book, the Bible, you will not have power.
While crossing the Atlantic on an ocean liner, F.B. Meyer was asked to address the first class passengers. At the captain’s request he spoke on “Answered Prayer.” An agnostic who was present at the service was asked by his friends, “What did you think of Dr. Meyer’s sermon?” He answered, “I didn’t believe a word of it.” That afternoon Meyer went to speak to the fourth class passengers. Many of the listeners at his morning address went along, including the agnostic, who claimed he just wanted to hear “what the babbler had to say.”
I got up early one
morning and rushed right into the day!
I had so much to accomplish that I didn’t take time to pray.
Problems just tumbled
about me, and heavier came each task.
“Why doesn’t God help me?” I wondered, He answered, “You didn’t ask!”
I tried to come into
God’s presence; I used all my keys at the lock.
God gently and lovingly chided, “Why, child, you didn’t knock!”
I wanted to see joy and
beauty, but the day toiled on, gray and bleak.
I wondered why God didn’t show me. He answered me, “But you didn’t seek.”
During a time of great drought, the Scottish preacher Dr. Guthrie prayed for rain in the morning service. As he went to church in the afternoon, his daughter, Mary, said, “Here is the umbrella, Papa.”
“What do we need it for,” he asked.
“You prayed for rain this morning, and don’t you expect God will send it?”
They carried the umbrella, and when they came home they were glad to take shelter under it from the drenching storm.
A co-worker asked a friend why he got donuts if he is trying to diet. He said, “Well, I came around the corner where the donut shop was. I told God, if He wanted me to buy some donuts to have a parking spot in the front. On the eighth time around, there it was!”
Below are letters that children have written to God.
“I didn’t think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset You made on Tuesday. That was cool.”
“Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don’t You keep the ones You already have?”
“Maybe Cain and Abel would not have killed each other if they had their own rooms. That’s what my Mom did for me and my brother.”
The story is told of a boy named Patrick who asked repeatedly for a watch. His parents forbade him to talk about it anymore. At dinner he was asked to pray and he said, “Before I pray, I would like to quote Mark 13:37, ‘And what I say unto you, I say unto all, WATCH!’”
Evangelist Gypsy Smith, was asked what the secret of revival is. He said, “Go home. Take a piece of chalk. Draw a circle around yourself. Then pray, ‘O Lord, revive everything inside this circle.’”
Source: Personal Revival, S. J. Hill
Submitted by the homiletics class of West Coast Baptist College
A fisherman was at sea with his godless companions when a storm came up and threatened to sink their ship. His friends begged him to pray; but he said, “It’s been a long time since I’ve done that or even entered a church.” At their insistence, however, he finally cried out, “O Lord, I haven’t asked anything of You in 15 years, and if You help us now and bring us safely to land, I promise I won’t bother You again for another 15!”
Unfortunately, many people view prayer as an escape mechanism rather than a constant line of communication with God.
“By profession, I am a soldier, and take pride in that fact, but I am prouder, infinitely prouder, to be a father. A soldier destroys in order to build; a father only builds, never destroys. The one has the potentialities of death; the other embodies creation of life; and while the hordes of death are mighty, the battalions of life are mightier still. It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me, not from the battle, but in the home repeating with him our simple, daily prayer, our Father Who art in Heaven.”—General Douglas MacArthur