Saturday, November 17, 2007
Praying for loved ones
I have a young man here who has been lately converted. His parents cannot bear him; they entertain the strongest opposition to him, and they threaten him that if he does not leave off praying they will turn him out of doors. Young man! I have a little story to tell you. There was once a young man in your position: he had begun to pray, and his father knew it. He said to him, “John, you know I am an enemy to religion, and prayer is a thing that never shall be offered in my house.” Still the young man continued earnest in supplication. “Well,” said the father one day, in a hot passion, “you must give up either God or me. I solemnly swear that you shall never darken the threshold of my door again, unless you decide that you will give up praying. I give you till tomorrow morning to choose.
The night was spent in prayer by the young disciple. He rose in the morning, sad to be cast away by his friends, but resolute in spirit, that come what might he would serve his God. The father abruptly accosted him — “Well, what is the answer?” “Father,” he said, “I cannot violate my conscience, I cannot forsake my God.” “Leave immediately,” said he. And the mother stood there; the father’s hard spirit had made hers hard too and though she might have wept she concealed her tears. “Leave immediately,” said he. Stepping outside the threshold the young man said, “I wish you would grant me one request before I go; and if you grant me that, I will never trouble you again.” “Well,” said the father, “you shall have anything you like, but mark me, you go after you have had that; you shall never have anything again.” “It is,” said the son, “that you and my mother would kneel down, and let me pray for you before I go.” Well, they could hardly object to it; the young man was on his knees in a moment, and began to pray with such unction and power, with such evident love to their souls, with such true and divine earnestness, that they both fell flat on the ground, and when the son rose there they were; and the father said, “You need not go, John; come and stop, come and stop;” and it was not long before not only he, but the whole of them began to pray and they were united to a Christian Church.
So do not give way. Persevere kindly but firmly. It may be that God shall enable you not only to have your own souls saved, but to be the means of bringing your persecuting parents to the foot of the cross. That such may be the case is our earnest prayer.
From a sermon entitled "Prayer The Forerunner Of Mercy," dated June 28, 1857.
Flickr photo by Art G. ; some rights reserved.