Prayer Sermon Illustrations

Prayer Sermon Illustrations

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"Have Peace With One Another"

A missionary in West Africa tells the following very pleasing and instructive incident: "In visiting a sick communicant and his wife (who was formerly a student in a Bible school) I asked if they prayed together, read a part of the Scriptures (the woman can read), constantly attended public worship, and lived in peace with their neighbors. All these questions were answered in the affirmative. I then asked if they lived in peace together. The man answered, `Sometimes I say a word my wife no like, or my wife talk, or do what I no like; but when we want to quarrel, we shake hands together, shut the door, and go to prayer; and so we get peace again.'"—Selected.


The "Unknown Christian" of England says: "I have just returned from Italy. I asked an Italian why the people replied 'Prego' when I said 'Gracia' (thank you) for some favor. `O,' said he, `it means, Your prayer is answered, and I'll do the same again.'" This is a beautiful expression of graciousness and love on the part of the one who has been asked to do something for another. And the Italian word `Prego" beautifully expresses God's attitude and response when any of His children ask Him for something He knows it is best for them to have. Let us remember, as we pray how continuously and joyously our heavenly Father answers us with that word "Prego" — "Your prayer is answered, and I'll do the same again."—Sunday School Times.

The King's Bounty

A skillful surgeon recently undertook the responsibility of performing a serious operation on the eyes of an Eastern monarch which proved highly successful. After the king's recovery the problem of presenting his account puzzled the doctor, for he was dubious as to what figure would correctly estimate the value of the result achieved; as in Eastern countries it is a serious wrong to charge the king more or less than the actual value. Taking a blank billhead the doctor wrote across it, "The king can do no wrong," and respectfully submitted it to the monarch. His answer was a letter enclosing a sum far beyond his highest hopes. When we know not what to pray for, let us leave it to our Heavenly King, who doeth all things well.—Christian Herald.

And Paul Was a Pharisee

"See," said an evangelist to a penitent who was slow in taking comfort, "See how even the publican was accepted when he cried for mercy!" "Ah," said the other, "but I have been a greater sinner than a publican; I have been a Pharisee." "Well," was the answer, "since God was so glad to hear a publi­=can say, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!' how glad would He be to hear a Pharisee say so!"Christian Herald.

There's a holy, high vocation
Needing workers everywhere;
'Tis the highest form of service,
'Tis the ministry of prayer.

Do you long to see the millions,
Who are perishing today,
Snatched as brands plucked from the burning?
Do you long, yet seldom pray?

Come and join the intercessors!
Laurels, then, some day you'll wear;
For there is no higher service
Than the ministry of prayer.—Selected.

Prayer Is Practical

The following is taken from an incident recorded by Dr. H. Clay Trumbull, for years Editor of THE SUNDAY School TIMEs. A friend of his was away from home. The wife and children with an invalid friend of the wife, were alone in the house. In the dead of night the wife was awakened by hearing the window bolt thrown back. She realized that a burglar or an intruder was forcing an entrance. What should she do? It was about the time that Professor Huxley had been lecturing and writing on the folly of expecting direct answers to prayer. She thought of this, but it was immediately followed with the thought, "God can help me now, and I will pray to Him." So the following prayer was fervently uttered: "Lord, send me a policeman to our rescue." Pistol shots were heard in the yard. Running to the window, she saw a man slipping away in the darkness, and, a little later, a policeman called for admission to the house. On being admitted, he said he had passed the house and saw nothing out of the way, but, after passing, something told him to return and look again.—Arnold's Commentary.

It Worked Both Ways

At sixteen I joined the church. After that I read a few verses from the Bible each night and morning and prayed for strength to live a Christian life. After a year or so I began to suspect I was not making good, although I did not bring reproach on my profession. When I entered college I didn't let it be known that I was a church member. One afternoon the fellow I roomed with had a fall in the gymnasium. He was carried to our room more dead than alive. The blood gushed from his nose and mouth, and the physician we summoned was not assuring. I shall never forget the terror in my roommate's eyes as he whispered, "Wilson, I—wish you'd pray for me." We were alone, and I kneeled down and said something aloud to God about helping my friend. I was surprised to see the change in him and still more in myself. That faltering prayer opened to me the whole wide vista of intercession. I saw that my Christian faith had languished because I had never prayed enough for others. A Christian must needs be an intercessor.—Youth's Companion.

A Mighty Answer

A plain seaman stood on watch on the bridge of a U.S. battleship several hundred miles out on the Atlantic when a wireless was handed to him. "Little Donald passed away yesterday. Funeral Wednesday afternoon. Can you come? Mary." The seaman forgot his watch. He saw the smiling face of his baby boy as he had left him three months before. His only boy—his hope. Then he broke, and the captain found him sobbing. "What's the matter, my lad?" The seaman stood at attention and handed the captain the message. "Where do you live?" "Cleveland, Ohio, Sir." The captain did some rapid figuring and in a moment the wireless of the big battleship began sputtering out messages to her sister ships in the vicinity. "Full steam ahead" was the order. Soon a gray form appeared—a faster ship; the seaman was quickly transferred. The second battleship raced 200 hundred miles until a torpedo-boat destroyer came up which had also received the wireless, and into it the seaman descended. Then full steam ahead for the nearest port—a waiting taxi— the train which left in four minutes for Cleveland, and the next afternoon, one hour before the funeral, the seaman-father stood looking down on his little boy, with the mother and wife in his arms. Three battleships somewhere on the Atlantic had felt the impulse of his fatherhood. And shall not God hear his own elect who cry day and night unto him? I tell you, yes. Sailor-friend of mine, tossed on the high seas of life, the Captain waits for your message.—Camel's Nose.

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