Remarkable Answers to Prayer


How continually, as we follow the Lord closely, do His own blessed teachings, His own words, come with full force to our memory, clothed with life and power! One such experience I shall never forget. We were holding tabernacle meetings in Shiawassee county, Mich. One night, as we gathered to commence, everything looked ominous The dark countenances of the men gathered on the outside of the congregation, soon broke out in murmured words of threatening. God was working, and the great adversary, “the devil, and father of lies,” had circulated through all the community the report that we were breaking up families; as some, contrary to the wishes of relatives, had decided to take the “narrow way, to “forsake all, and follow Jesus.” The crowd increased, and soon we found it impossible to carry on the service.

Then came the words of Jesus: “Behold, I send you forth as sheep among wolves.” Our little band, as my eye glanced over them, how helpless they looked! As hemming us in was a rough crowd, whose teeth gleamed and whose howlings were like those of wolves. The scene of the martyrdom of Stephen came up right before me. How they gnashed on him with their teeth!

Soon our leader, Brother S. B. Shaw, sprang upon a stump of a tree, saying: “Every one get on his knees, and hold right on to God.” In a lower tone he said: “They have got Brother Jenkinson, and will tear him to pieces, if we do not hold on to God for him.”

Soon mighty cries went up unto Him who is able to save. For about two hours the scene lasted. While at its very height, the assuring words came to me from the blessed Savior: “There shall not a hair of your head perish.” Then the crowd began gradually to disperse, and full of thankful joy we lay down in our little tents to slumber; the angel of the Lord encamping round about us.

“I knew,” said Brother Jenkinson, “they could not hurt me while you were holding on to God for me in prayer; and while their fists came down upon me they seemed as soft as pads of velvet.” His clothes were much torn, but not one bruise or mark of violence was upon his person. One man, more full of violent hate than the others, had threatened that he would yet take the life of Brother Jenkinson; but the Lord told him to fear him not, for his enemy was no more in his hands than a little stick, and as easily broken. – Mrs. Sarah A. Cooke.

As this sister has contributed several articles to the of this book, it will not be amiss to say, that we have been acquainted with her ever since the day of our conversion she helped pray us into the light of salvation. We never knew a person to spend more time than she does in prayer, or to manifest more joy in the Lord’s work. She is one of the two sisters, so often mentioned in connection with the experience of Mr. Moody. They were so greatly burdened for him that Sister Cooke went to him repeatedly, and told him of his lack of power. He was brought under deep conviction, and requested them to pray for him. The three finally went on their knees, and there wrestled with God; he groaning and agonizing until the baptism of fire fell upon him. The world knows the results of the wonderful experience which, under God, these humble sisters were there enabled to lead him into; and for which multitudes praise God on earth, and will praise him in heaven. — Editor.

Remarkable Answers to Prayer


The following are selected from a list of incidents recorded by Thomas Graham, the noted revivalist preacher, of the Erie Conference of the M.B. church. After his death they were found entered, under the above heading, in a small pass-book, as facts worthy of preservation, from an experience of almost fifty years in the ministry: When the Mr. Knapp, a regular Baptist minister, was holding a protracted meeting in Erie, he was interrupted by one Gifford, a Universalist preacher. Mr. Knapp felt his patience tried. At the conclusion of his sermon he prayed publicly that if said Gifford was within reach of salvation that God would have mercy upon him; but if not that God would take away his speech, so that he might deceive the people no longer. And Mr. Gifford went out of the house that night a perfect mute, nor did he speak another word for more than four years. He said himself he believed he could speak if he could will to do it. He carried a slate about with him all the time, on which he wrote what he wished to say. All physicians who examined him said there was no disease of the organs of speech. It was a direct visitation in answer to prayer. He went to New York, Boston, and other. places, to consult the best physicians; but it was of no use.*

When George Howe was holding a protracted meeting, at which many were converted, the family of a noted infidel experienced religion, which affected him much. Returning home one evening from meeting, he seemed more than usually melancholy; and after going to bed, he began to abuse his wife for letting the children have a certain rope to play with that day, for they had now lost it. She remarked to him that it was not lost, that she knew it was in a certain place which she designated. Apparently he became satisfied, and she fell asleep. That night one of the members of the Methodist society in the neighborhood came to two others of the brethren, stating to them that he was impressed with the idea of going to this infidel’s house, and wanted them to go along with him. They all started off immediately. They came to the infidel’s door and rapped, but received no answer. After waiting some time, they opened the door, and coming in, found the man of the house with the said rope around his neck, and in the act of putting it over a beam to hang himself. Immediately he dropped on his knees, and cried for mercy, and before they left him he was happily converted to God. His name was John James. Ten minutes more and he would have been in eternity.

When William Swazy and John Chandler were holding a quarterly meeting in Greenville, Mercer Co., Pa., they gave an opportunity for seekers of religion to come to the altar on Saturday evening. Many came. One young man, who was almost induced to go, held back. The thought, however, that it “was now or never” haunted him, so that at last he arose and went part way down the aisle, with the intention of going forward; he stopped, however, and going back resumed his seat. Still this idea troubled him. He arose and went part way a second time. A third time he arose and went down, but instead of kneeling down at the altar, he went out of the house, intending to go home; but being impressed with the idea that it was “now or never,” he turned about and came back, and stood at the altar, and looked on the scene for a short time; then clinching his fist, and shaking it in the air, he shouted: “God Almighty, I will not! ” and left the house. From that moment he said his feelings left him. He walked on home; but as he stepped on his own doorstep and put his hand to the door to open it, he said a light shone around him, and a voice distinctly said: “He is joined to his idols, let him alone;” and, shrieking aloud, he fell on the pavement. His neighbors came and carried him in. They sent for Swazy and Chandler, who came and offered him the consolation of the gospel, but without avail. His reply was: “It is too late! Too late! Too late! ” And continued thus to exclaim until about sunrise the next morning, when he died.

Remarkable Answers to Prayer


Two sisters, one about five years of age, the other older, were accustomed to go each Saturday morning, some distance from home, to get chips and shavings from a cooper shop. One morning, with basket well filled, they were returning home; when the elder one was taken suddenly sick with cramps or cholera. She was in great pain, and unable to proceed, much less to bear the basket home. She sat down on the basket, and the younger one held her from falling.The street was a lonely one, occupied by workshops, factories, etc. Everyone was busy within; not a person was seen on the street. The little girls were at a loss what to do. Too timid to go into any workshop, they sat a while, as silent and quiet as the distressing pains would allow.

Soon the elder girl said: “You know, Annie, that a good while ago mother told us that if we ever got into trouble, we should pray, and God would help us. Now you help me to get down upon my knees, and hold me up, and we will pray.” There, on the sidewalk, did these two little children ask God to send some one to help them home. The simple and brief prayer being ended, the sick girl was again helped up, and sat on the basket, waiting the answer to their prayers. Presently Annie saw, far down the street on the opposite side, a man come out from a factory, look around him, up and down the street, and go back into the factory. “O sister, he has gone in again, ” said Annie. “Well,” said Vanie, “perhaps he is not the one God is going to send. If he is, he will come back again. “There he comes again,” said Annie. He walks this way. He seems looking for something. He walks slow, and without his hat. He puts his hand to his head, as if he did not know what to do. O sister, he has gone in again; what shall we do?

“That may not be the one whom God will send to help us,” said Vanie. “If he is, he will come out again.” “Oh yes, there he is; this time with his hat on, ” said Annie. “He comes this way; he walks slowly, looking around on every side. He does not see us; perhaps the trees hide us. Now he sees us, and is coming quickly. ” A brawny German in broken accents, asks “O children, what is the matter?” “O sir,” said Annie, “sister here is so sick she cannot walk, and we cannot get home.” “Where do you live, my dear?” “At the end of this street; you can see the house from here.” “Never mind, ” said the man, “I takes you home.” So the strong man gathered the sick child in his arms, and with her head pillowed upon his shoulder, carried her to the place pointed out by the younger girl. Annie ran round the house to tell her mother that there was a man at the front door wishing to see her. The astonished mother, with a mixture of surprise and joy, took charge of the precious burden, and the child was laid upon a bed.

After thanking the man, she expected him to withdraw, but instead, he stood turning his hat in his hands, as one who wishes to say something, but knows not how to begin.

The mother, observing this, repeated her thanks, and finally said: “Would you like me to pay you for bringing my child home?” “O no,” said he with tears, “God pays me! God pays me! I would like to tell you something, but I speak English so poorly that I fear you will not understand.” The mother assured him that she was used to the German, and could understand him very well. “I am the proprietor of an ink factory, ” said he. “My men work by the piece. I have to keep separate accounts with each. I pay them every Saturday. At twelve o’clock they will be at my desk, for their money. This week I have had many hindrances, and was behind with my books. I was working hard at them with the sweat on my face, in my great anxiety to be ready in time. Suddenly I could not see the figures; the words in the book all ran together, and I had a plain impression on my mind that some one in the street wished to see me. I went out, looked up and down the street, but seeing no one, went back to my desk, and wrote a little. Presently the darkness was greater than before, and the impression stronger than before, that some one in the street needed me. “Again I went out, looked up and down the street, walked a little way, puzzled to know what it meant. Was my hard work, and were the cares of business driving me out of my wits? Unable to solve the mystery, I turned again into my shop and to my desk. “This time my fingers refused to grasp the pen. I found myself unable to write a word, or make a figure; but the impression was stronger than ever on my mind, that some one needed my help. A voice seemed to say: “Why don’t you go out as I tell you? There is need of your help.” This time I took my hat on going out, resolved to stay till I found out whether I was losing my senses, or there was a duty for me to do. I walked some distance without seeing any one, and was more and more puzzled, till I came opposite the children, and found that they were indeed in need of my help. I cannot understand it, madam.” As the noble German was about leaving the house, the younger girl had the courage to say: “O mother, we prayed.” Thus the mystery was solved, and with tear-stained cheeks, a heaving breast, and a humble, grateful heart, the kind man went back to his accounts. I have enjoyed many a happy hour in conversation with Annie in her own house since she has a home of her own.

The last I knew of Annie and Vanie, they were living in the same city, earnest Christian women. Their children were growing up around them, who, I hope, will have like confidence in mother, and faith in God. JEIGH ARRH

Annie was the wife of James A. Clayton, of San Jose, California. I have enjoyed their hospitality, and esteem both very highly. JAMES ROGERS, Of Alabama Conference, M. E. Church.

Remarkable Answers to Prayer


“No,” said the lawyer, “I shan’t press your claim against that man; you can get some one else to take your case, or you can withdraw it, just as you please.” “Think there isn’t any money in it?” “There would probably he some money in it, but it would, as you know, come from the sale of the little house the man occupies and calls home; but I don’t want to meddle with the matter, anyhow.” “Got frightened out of it, eh?” “No, I wasn’t frightened out of it.” “I suppose likely the old fellow begged hard to be let off?” “Well, yes, he did.””And you caved, likely?” “No, I didn’t speak a word to him.” “Oh, he did all the talking, did he?” “Yes.” “And you never said a word?” “Not a word.””What in creation did you do?” “I believe I shed a few tears.””And the old fellow begged you hard, you say?” “No, I didn’t say so; he didn’t speak a word to me” “Well, may I respectfully enquire whom he did address in your hearing?” “God Almighty.” “Ah, he took to praying, did he?””Not for my benefit, in the least. You see” and the lawyer crossed his right foot over his left knee, and began stroking his lower leg up and down, as if to state his case concisely; “you see, I found the little house easily enough, and knocked at the outer door, which stood ajar; but nobody heard me, so I slipped into the hall, and saw, through the crack of another door, just as cozy a sitting-room as there ever was. There on a bed, with her silver head way up high on the pillows, was an old lady, who looked for all the world just as my mother did the last time I ever saw her on earth.Well, I was right on the point of knocking, when she said as clearly as could be: “Come, father, begin; I’m ready.” And down on his knees by her side went an old, white-haired man, still older than his wife, I should judge; and I could not have knocked then for the life of me. Well, he began; first he reminded God they were still His submissive children, mother and he; and no matter what He saw fit to bring upon them they shouldn’t rebel at His will! Of course, ’twas going to be terrible hard for them to go out homeless in their old age, especially with poor mother so sick and helpless; but still they’d seen sadder things than ever that would be. He reminded God, in the next place, how different all might have been if only one of their boys might have been spared them; then his voice kind of broke, and a thin, white hand stole from under the coverlet, and moved softly over his snowy hair; then he went on to repeat, that nothing could be so sharp as the parting with those three sons unless mother and he should be separated. But at last he fell to comforting himself with the fact that the dear Lord knew it was through no fault of his own, that mother and he were threatened with the loss of their dear little home, which meant beggary and the alms-house; a place they prayed to be delivered from entering, if it could be consistent with God’s will. And then he fell to quoting a multitude of promises concerning the safety of those who put their trust in the Lord; yes, I should say he begged hard; in fact it was the most thrilling plea to which I ever listened. And at last he prayed for God’s blessing on those who were about to demand justice” — The lawyer stroked his lower limb in silence for a moment or two, then continued more slowly than before: “And, I believe, I’d rather go to the poor-house myself, tonight, than to stain my heart and hands with the blood of such a prosecution as that.” “Little afraid to defeat the old man’s prayer, eh?” queried the client.”Bless your soul, man, you could not defeat it!” roared the lawyer. “It doesn’t admit of defeat! I tell you, he left it all subject to the will of God; but he left no doubt as to his wishes in the matter; claimed that we were told to make known our desires unto God; but of all the pleading I ever heard that beat all. You see, I was taught that kind of thing myself in my childhood; and why I was sent to hear that prayer I’m sure I don’t know, but I hand the case over.”

“I wish,” said the client, twisting uneasily, “you hadn’t told me about the old fellow’s prayer.” “Why so?” “Well, I greatly want the money the place would bring, but was taught the Bible all straight when I was a youngster; and I’d hate to run counter to such a harangue as that you tell about. I wish you hadn’t heard a word of it; and another thing, I wouldn’t listen to petitions not intended for your ears.” The lawyer smiled. “My dear fellow,” he said, “you’re wrong again; it was intended for my ears, and yours, too, and God Almighty intended it. My old mother used to sing about God’s moving in a mysterious way, I remember.” “Well, my mother used to sing it, too,” said the claimant, as he twisted his claim-papers in his fingers. “You can call in, in the morning, if you like, and tell mother and him the claim has been met.” “In a mysterious way,” added the lawyer, smiling. — Selected by Mrs. E. C. Best.

Remarkable Answers to Prayer


We clip the following from an epistle of the Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius, who was born in the year 121, and died in the year 180, as found in Vol. 2, of the “Anti-Nicene Christian Library.” — Editor.

The Emperor Ceasar Marcus Aurelius Antonius, to the people of Rome, and to the sacred senate, greeting: I explained to you my grand design, and what advantages I gained, on the confines of Germany, with much labor and suffering, in consequence of the circumstance that I was surrounded by the enemy; I myself being shut up in Carauntum by seventy-four cohorts, nine miles off. And the enemy being at hand, the scouts pointed out to us, and our general Pompeianus showed us, that there was close on us a mass of a mixed multitude of 977,000 men, which, indeed, we saw; and I was shut up by this vast host, having with me only a battalion composed of the first, tenth, double and marine legions. Having then examined my own position, and my host, with respect to the vast mass of barbarians and of the enemy, I quickly betook myself to prayer to the gods of my country. But being disregarded by them, I summoned those who among us go by the name of Christians. And having made inquiry, I discovered a great number and vast host of them, and raged against them, which was by no means becoming; for afterwards I learned their power. Wherefore they began the battle, not by preparing weapons, nor arms, nor bugles; for such preparation is hateful to them, on account of the God they bear about in their conscience.

Therefore it is probable that those whom we suppose to be atheists, have God as their ruling power entrenched in their conscience. For having cast themselves on the ground, they prayed not only for me, but also for the whole army as it stood, that they might be delivered from the present thirst and famine. For during five days we had got no water, because there was none; for we were in the heart of Germany and in the enemy’s territory. And simultaneously with their casting themselves on The ground, and praying to God (a God of whom I am ignorant), water poured from heaven upon us, most refreshingly cool, but upon the enemies of Rome a withering hail. And immediately we recognized the presence of God following on the prayer, a God unconquerable and indestructible. Founding upon this, then, let us pardon such as are Christians, lest they pray for and obtain such a weapon against ourselves.

And I counsel that no such person be accused on the ground of his being a Christian. But if any one be found laying to the charge of a Christian that he is a Christian, I desire that it be made manifest that he who is accused as a Christian, and acknowledges that he is one, is accused of nothing else than only this, that he is a Christian; but that he who arraigns him be burned alive. And I further desire, that he who is entrusted with the government of the province shall not compel the Christian, who confesses and certifies such a matter, to retract; neither shall he commit him. And I desire that these things be confirmed by a degree of the senate. And I command this my edict to be published in the Forum of Trajan, in order that it may be read. The prefect Vitrasius Pollio will see that it be transmitted to all the provinces round about, and that no one who wishes to make use of or to possess it be hindered from obtaining a copy from the document I now publish.

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