Sermon illustration

Prayer Sermon Illustrations

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Ling Wei's Answer to Prayer

The new Chinese evangelist was very homely but the Lord, looking into his heart, saw there a burning love for Him and a desire for the salvation of his people.

His mother was not a Christian and often persecuted him. One night on his return home she met him at the door and told him that he could not go to church on the morrow and threatened him with all kinds of punishment if he opposed her.

Poor Ling Wei was in great trouble. He went to his room and lay down on his hard mat at the floor. "What shall I do?" he moaned. "My teacher will think I have gone back to my idols if I do not go to church."

Just then the door opened and Cheng, his friend in the Jesus faith, entered. "Why, what is the matter, Ling Wei?" he whispered. "You look so sad, I came for help and I find you weeping."

"My heart is indeed very sad," Ling Wei answered. "When I came home my mother told me I must give up the Jesus religion. And she has hidden my clothes so I cannot go to church tomorrow."

"A Chinese boy or man must mind his parents," said his friend, "but we can pray—get help from our Jesus. Let us pray to Him."

The two friends threw themselves on their faces and prayed to the God who hears the prayers of white and yellow alike.

The night passed away. The early morning light found them still weeping and calling to God to save the poor heathen mother.

Suddenly the door was opened and Ling Wei's mother stood in the doorway.

"Oh, my dream! My dream!" she cried. "The True God you talk to told me in a dream to let you alone or He would punish me. Here are your clothes. Dress and go to church. I will hinder you no more."

When the two friends entered the mission that day their hearts were very happy.—Selected.


A Child's Prayer

One November day, in England, a clergyman was telling his two boys, one five and the other eight years of age, about a lady, formerly their governess, who had gone as a missionary from their home to far-off Ceylon, that she might carry the blessed news of Jesus Christ's love into a land where very few had heard of Him, and fewer still had learned to love Him.

He told of some of the hardships which she had to undergo; of the roof which let the rain through during the long wet season, of the spiders and creeping insects which infested the house, and of the poisonous snakes and reptiles which made it unsafe even to venture out of doors.

To the older boys the adventurous nature of the calling appealed most, but to little Fred the thought of poisonous snakes brought fear and sadness, and that night as he knelt before his bed for his evening prayers, the father heard him say, "God bless my dear father and mother, and make me good, for Jesus' sake." Then in a voice which quivered with earnestness, he added, "And, oh, dear God, take care of my Miss Price, and please do keep her safe from the snakes."

Then the little boy went to bed, and the clergyman, with moist eyes, went to his evening service and preached on "The Power of Prayer" with more earnestness because of the petition he had heard.

But there is another part of the story, and that we take from a narrative by Katherine E. Morgan in Medical Missions.

Far away in Ceylon, the missionary was wending her way to a house that she called home. Her arms were full of books, and she looked as if she had just come from her little Tamil children. She seemed tired, and yet she had that look of brightness and joy characteristic of her.

Near her house she thought of the dear ones in the homeland, and for a moment longed for a glimpse of them and for the opportunity of joining them once more in the Sunday evening worship of that cozy little vicarage, with its two little occupants.

But she was brought back to her present surroundings by a sudden and unexpected danger; right across her path, to her dismay, she saw one of the small but very venomous snakes of that district—its neck and head raised and arched, its eyes gleaming with a malignant fire, ready with lightning stroke to spring upon her with its awful fangs. To escape seemed impossible, and for one terrible moment she was riveted to the spot in mortal dread. Then, to her inexpressible relief and utter astonishment, the snake seemed suddenly to change its mind, and turning around in the opposite direction, it deliberately and noiselessly resumed its way among the long, thick grass.

With a cry of thankfulness, the tired worker reached her home as fast as her trembling limbs would carry her, and going on her knees, she poured out her heart to God who had saved her from such a terrible death.

Mail day came, and among her little pile of letters was one from her English pastor. As she read it, she felt cheered to know that she had become their missionary, greater interest had been stirred up in the parish, and more zeal manifested in the work which was so dear to her heart. But the postscript at the end of the letter thrilled her as she road it—

"Little Fred never forgets to pray for you. Two Sundays ago I was telling the children of your life of danger and hardships, and the dear little fellow was so upset to think that his 'dear Miss Price' was in danger of anything, that he prayed so earnestly, of his own accord, that God would take care of you, and keep you from the snakes! He prayed for this with such simple faith, and with such a natural and eager expectancy for an answer, that he quite put me to shame."

The missionary read this over and over again, and her eyes were dim as she laid the letter down. Yes, it was that Sunday! Now she understood; and with new meaning she read the text hanging over her couch, "Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear" (Isa. 65:24).—Prairie Pastor.


"You Can't Defeat that Prayer"

A lawyer came to his client and said he could not prosecute a certain claim. "I stepped into the little hall, and through a crack in the door I saw on the bed an old woman. She said: `Come, Father, now begin. I'm all ready.' Down on his knees by her side went the old white-haired man. First he reminded God that they were still His submissive children, and that whatever He saw fit to bring upon them they would accept. It would be hard for them to be homeless in their old age. How different it would have been if at least one of the boys had been spared. Then he quoted several promises assuring the safety of those who put their trust in God. Last of all he prayed for God's blessing on those who were demanding justice." "Afraid to defeat the old man's prayer?" asked the client. Said the lawyer, "You couldn't defeat that prayer! My mother used to sing, `God moves in a mysterious way.'" "Well, my mother used to sing that, too," said the client. "You can call in the morning and tell Mother and hint that the claim has been met."Alliance Weekly.

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