Prayer Sermon Illustrations

Prayer Sermon Illustrations

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Prayer to Men and to God

Man's plea to man is that he nevermore
Will beg, and that he never begged before;
Man's plea to God is, that he did obtain
A former suit and therefore sues again.
How good a God we serve that, when we sue,
Makes His old gifts the examples of the new!

(Ps. 40. 1-4, 11, 17)

Visitors to the famous Gallery in St. Paul's Cathedral, London, can hear the guide's whisper travel around the whole dome, the sound bouncing back many times from the smooth walls. If you put your ear close to the wall, you can hear what is said on the opposite side of the dome, even though it may be said in the lowest of tones.

A number of years ago, a poor shoemaker whispered to his young lady that he could not afford to marry her as he hadn't money enough to buy any leather, and his business was ruined. The poor girl wept quietly as she listened to this sad news.

A gentleman on the other side of the gallery, which is 198 feet across, heard this story and the shoemaker's whispered prayer, and he decided to do something about it. When the young shoemaker left St. Paul's the gentleman followed him, and after finding out where he lived, had some leather sent along to the shop. Imagine how delighted the poor man was! He made good use of this gift, and his business prospered so that he was able to marry the girl of his choice.

It was not till a few years later that he learned the name of his unknown friend. It was the Prime Minister of Great Britain, W. E. Gladstone.

There is always one above who hears our whispered sorrowings and prayers, and will take action. No matter how low we whisper He can hear. We cannot always tell our human friends about things, but God always knows, so we can tell Him all in prayer, and He will hear and answer.

(Phil. 4. 6)

A Moment's Prayer

I cannot tell why there should come to me
A thought of someone miles and miles away,
In swift insistence on the memory,
Unless there be a need that I should pray.

Too hurried oft are we to spare a thought
For days together for some friend away:
Perhaps God does it for us, and we ought
To read His signal as a call to pray.

Perhaps just then, my friend has fiercer fight;
Some overwhelming sorrow or decay
Of courage, darkness, some lost sense of right,
And so, in case my friend needs prayer, I pray.

Friend, do the same for me, if I, unsought,
Intrude upon you on some crowded day;
Give me a moment's prayer in passing thought;
Be very sure I need it, therefore pray.—E. Middleton

(Eph. 6. 18, 19)

Monica's Prayer

For many years Monica had prayed that her profligate son might be saved. When she learned that he was thinking of taking a ship from Carthage to Rome, she earnestly petitioned the Throne of grace that Augustine might be restrained from going to such a centre of corruption and sin. But during the night he secretly took his departure and the mother was left, weeping and praying, behind.

The mother stood on the shore and filled the ear of the Almighty with groans and lamentations. But in Rome Augustine found the Saviour, and Monica, who had seen him depart for a season, had the joy of knowing that it had only been that she might receive him for ever.

(Philem. 15)

Muller's in the Fog.

Charles Inglis, the well-known evangelist, tells the following story of George Muller, and it is worthy of a place under the heading of `Answered Prayers'.

When I first came to America, thirty-one years ago, I crossed the Atlantic with the Captain of a steamer who was one of the most devoted men I ever knew, and when we were off the banks of Newfoundland he said to me: `Mr. Inglis, the last time I crossed here, five weeks ago, one of the most extraordinary things happened that has completely revolutionised the whole of my Christian life. Up to that time I was one of your ordinary Christians. We had a man of God on board, George Muller of Bristol. I had been on that bridge for twenty-two hours, and never left it. I was startled by someone tapping me on the shoulder. It was George Muller. "Captain," he said, "I have come to tell you that I must be in Quebec on Saturday afternoon." (This was Wednesday). It is impossible,' I said. `Very well, if your ship can't take me, but I have never broken an engagement in fifty years.' I would willingly help you. How can I? I am helpless,' said the Captain.

`Let us go down to the chart room and pray,' said George Muller.

I looked at the man of God, and I thought to myself, what lunatic asylum could the man have come from? I never heard of such a thing.

`Mr. Muller,' I said, `do you know how dense the fog is?'

`No,' he replied, 'my eye is not on the density of the fog, but on the living God Who controls every circumstance of my life.' He got down on his knees and prayed one of the most simple prayers. I muttered to myself, 'That would suit a children's class where the children were not more than eight years old.'

The burden of his prayer was something like this: 'O Lord, if it is consistent with Thy will, please remove this fog in five minutes, Thou knowest the engagement Thou didst make for me in Quebec for Saturday. I believe it is Thy will.'

When he finished I was going to pray, but he put his hand on my shoulder and told me not to pray. 'First, you do not believe He will; and second, I believe He has, and there is no need to pray.'

And, as George Muller said, the fog had lifted.

(Ps. 34. 4, 6, 17)

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