Prayer Sermon Illustrations

Prayer Sermon Illustrations

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No Time Lost Looking Up

There is an old church in Europe in which may be seen a picture of a plowman who has left his plow and turned aside to pray. But while he prays an angel is going on with his plowing for him. The moments that we spend "looking up" are not lost time. We work the better and the more effectively for them when we return to our ordinary duties. Your plowing, whatever it is, will not suffer by your taking some moments every day to direct your prayer unto God and to "look up." "My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee."Triumphs of Faith.

Pray Much

John Welsh, worthy son-in-law of John Knox, thought the day ill-spent if he did not spend several hours in prayer. His wife complained when she found him on the floor praying. He replied, "I have the souls of 3,000 people to answer for, and I know not how it is with many of them." Dr. A. Judson spent several hours a day in prayer. He impressed the empire of Burma for Christ. John Elios, a Welsh preacher, had 2,500 professions of Christ when he preached after spending a night in prayer.—Selected.

Answered, But Not as Expected

James McConkey says that one summer when he was ill he spent the summer on the shores of the Great Lakes. Sailing was the only recreation possible. One day when sailing in the midst of the bay, the wind suddenly died out. His boat was utterly becalmed with not a breath of air astir. The hot rays of the August sun beat down mercilessly upon his weak body. He had come out with a stiff breeze, and naturally he began to pray for a breeze to take him back. For an hour he prayed, but no breeze came. Then he espied a boat coming toward him. An old fisherman, realizing that Mr. McConkey would be helpless out in the bay with no wind, came out to roc the sailboat to harbor. Then Mr. McConkey says he learned his lesson. His real need had been for deliverance, and while God had denied the words of his petition, He provided for his need.—Sunday School Times.

General Dobbie's Testimony

A personal testimony closed an address by Lieut.-Gen. Sir William Dobbie when he spoke to an audience that crowded the largest hall available in Manchester, England, January 9, 1943, on "The Hand of God in Malta." Said the Methodist Recorder, London: "Finally General Dobbie spoke of a lifetime's experience of the friendship of Christ. `Forget all I've said,' he concluded (he had been speaking especially of answers to prayer, 'but that Jesus Christ is a Saviour and a Lord.... He has taken away my sin and He will take away yours; and that is what I am here to say to this great meeting this afternoon.'"—Sunday School Times.

Praying Aright

A number of years ago the football team of Center College, Kentucky, was called "The Praying Colonels." The team that particular year had won the Conference championship and had defeated Harvard. Football coaches all over the country were interested in knowing how the team prayed. "Did the players ask to win by a certain score, or just what course did they follow?" The answer was this: "We do not pray to win by a certain score, but ask that we may live clean lives, to be given wisdom to play a clean game, without any mistakes. To play honestly and fearlessly, free from prejudices, hatred and ill-temper."

God can answer our prayers only as we are willing to do our part in the fulfilling of the answer.—Literary Digest.

A New Argument

Billy Sunday told of an old infidel blacksmith who had boasted that he could meet any argument that a Christian could make. An old deacon heard this boast and he and his wife spent the night till three o'clock praying for him. That morning the deacon went over to see him. As he entered the shop where the infidel was at work, he said, "My wife and I prayed for you until three o'clock this morning." Then his eyes filled with tears and he turned away and left him standing there at the forge. When the deacon arrived back home he said to his wife: "I've made an old fool of myself; it was all for nothing. When I saw him I just broke down and couldn't talk to him." In the meantime the infidel went home. He said to his wife: "I heard a new argument this morning; that old deacon drove in to see me and told me that he and his wife had prayed for us until three o'clock this morning. Then he sobbed and went away." And the infidel said to his wife: "Let's hitch up and go over and see him. I'd like to talk to him." It was only a few moments until he was on his knees with the old deacon, confessing his sin.Sunday School Times.

"Unanswered Yet"

The story is told that Dr. Patton once met a pious friend with a troubled face, who said: "Doctor, you are just the man I have been wanting to see. I wish to ask you a question." "Well," said the Doctor, "what is it that is troubling you today?" "We read that God is good, just, merciful and kind," said the friend, "That is what we preach," replied Dr. Patton. "The Bible further says, 'Ask and ye shall receive, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you."' "Correctly quoted," said the Doctor. "Again," added his friend, "the good Book says, 'Not one jot or tittle of my Word shall fail."' "Very true," said the Doctor. "Now," said the anxious friend, "if all that I have quoted is correct and the Bible be true, I want to ask you how it is, Doctor, that I have been praying to God for the last thirty years that He will do certain things for me, and so far as I know, not a single thing that I have asked for has been granted. Pray tell me why I have not received answers to my prayers?" The Doctor, turning and looking his questioner straight in the face replied: "My friend, did it ever occur to you that you were presenting bills to God and asking payment for the same before they were due?"—Selected.

"Just a whispered prayer,
And the load of care
From the burdened heart is lifted;
And a gleam of light,
Makes the pathway bright,
For the heavy clouds are rifted.

"Do not travel on in darkness,
When you may walk in sunshine fair.
You can find the light,
And the pathway bright,
By the aid of a whispered prayer."Gospel Herald.

The General's View of It

An officer once complained to General Stonewall Jackson that some soldiers were making a noise in their tent. "What are they doing?" asked the General. "They are praying now, but they have been singing," was the reply. "And is that a crime?" the General demanded. "The article of war orders punishment for any unusual noise," was the reply. "God forbid that praying should be an unusual noise in this camp," replied General Jackson.Wesleyan Methodist.

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