Thoughts on Prayer

"God longs to lead and guide us,
And take us by the hand;
Would whisper His assurance,
And help us understand.
But in too great a hurry
To linger long in prayer,
We often rise to duty,
And leave Him waiting there."


In Clifton's Food for Thought, May 15, 1947, I read of a woman who, after returning from a concert in a large opera house of one of our great cities, discovered she had lost a valuable diamond pin. Frantically the woman telephoned the manager of the opera house, and asked whether such a pin had been found.

The man asked the number of her seat, then told her to hold the line, and he would have a look. He found the pin, but when he got back to the phone, the woman had hung up. He waited, hoping she would call again; he even advertised that he had found her treasure, but he never heard from her again.

That is the way some of us pray. We call up our heavenly Father and tell Him all our needs; then we grow weary of waiting, and hang up. When the time comes for our prayers to be answered, we are not there.


In the Youth's Instructor, March 1, 1938, I read a beautiful story of a young woman who walked 150 miles to attend a Christian school in the Southern States.

"I'm sorry," said the matron after learning that she had no money at all, "but I'm afraid you'll have to go home again. You see, it is just impossible to work all your way, and our student-aid funds are all used up. If you had half of the fees in cash, or even one third, you might be able to make it. Of course we can arrange for you to stay here to­night, but in the morning you must start back home again."

In the morning the matron called her in to say good-by. "Try again next year," she said.

But the girl who had walked 150 miles replied, "Matron, I just can't go home. I've been praying for a long time that the Lord would open the way for me to attend one of our Christian schools. And I think the Lord has opened the way and let me come."

"Then," said the matron, "if you have that much faith, suppose you go upstairs, find a room that is not occupied just now, and there pray that God will send some money in this morning's mail."

"All right," said the girl. And she turned toward the stairs.

Several hours went by, and the matron really forgot all about the girl. At last the morning mail came. As the matron opened one letter she found a substantial check enclosed. It was from a church in Illinois that had furnished one of the dormitory rooms and had subsidized a student the previous year. It said in part, "We were so pleased with the report of the girl who occupied our room last year that we have decided to support another student this year."

"Go upstairs," said the matron to one of the teachers who was there, "and find out who is occupying that room please."

The teacher went up and walked along the hall till she found the name plate bearing the name of the church in Illinois. She opened the door, and there in the middle of the floor was the girl who had walked 150 miles to school, still on her knees! And she did stay on in school.