As she prayed that night after retiring to her sleeping apartment she was in great distress of mind in thinking and praying for him. She could get no rest from this intense distress. At length she rose, and knelt by the bedside to pray. As she was praying and distressed a voice, an exquisitely quiet inner voice said, “will you abide the consequences?” She was startled. Such a thing was wholly new to her. She did not know what it meant. And without paying any attention to it, went on praying. Again came the same quietly spoken words to her ear, “will you abide the consequences?” And again the half frightened feeling. She slipped back to bed to sleep. But sleep did not come. And back again to her knees, and again the patient, quiet voice.
This time with an earnestness bearing the impress of her agony she said, “Lord, I will abide any consequence that may come if only my husband may be brought to Thee.” And at once the distress slipped away, and a new sweet peace filled her being, and sleep quickly came. And while she prayed on for weeks and months patiently, persistently, day by day, the distress was gone, the sweet peace remained in the assurance that the result was surely coming. And so it was coming all those days down in the thick air of Washington’s lower house, and so it did come.
What was the consequence to her? She was a congressman’s wife. She would likely have been, so far as such matters may be judged, the wife of the governor of her state, the first lady socially of the state. She is a Methodist minister’s wife changing her home every few years. A very different position in many ways. No woman will be indifferent to the social difference involved. Yet rarely have I met a woman with more of that fine beauty which the peace of God brings, in her glad face, and in her winsome smile.
Do you see the simple philosophy of that experience. Her surrender gave God a clear channel into that man’s will. When the roadway was cleared, her prayer was a spirit-force traversing instantly the hundreds of intervening miles, and affecting the spirit-atmosphere of his presence.
Shall we not put our wills fully in touch with God, and sheer out of sympathy with the other one, and persistently plead and claim for each loved one, “deliver him from the evil one, and work in him Thy will, to Thy glory, by Thy power, in the Victor’s name.” And then add amen—so it shall be. Not so may it be—a wish, but so it shall be—an expression of confidence in Jesus’ power. And these lives shall be won, and these souls saved.
IV. Jesus’ Habits of Prayer
1. A Pen Sketch. 2. Dissolving Views. 3. Deepening Shadows. 4. Under the Olive Trees. 5. A Composite Picture.
Jesus’ Habits of Prayer
A Pen Sketch.
When God would win back His prodigal world He sent down a Man. That Man while more than man insisted upon being truly a man. He touched human life at every point. No man seems to have understood prayer, and to have prayed as did He. How can we better conclude these quiet talks on prayer than by gathering about His person and studying His habits of prayer.