“O God, remember our much loved sister; go with her to the hospital; heal her quickly, and bring her back to the work here where she is so much needed. In Jesus’ name we ask this. Amen.”
The prayer was simple and sincere; the supplicant most reverent. In response to his “Amen” there were several audible affirmations from other members of the group.
The group represented an extraordinary activity within the cold gray walls and iron-barred windows of a large government institution. Behind those walls men, who in ill mental health had committed deeds of violence, were held in custody and given appropriate psychiatric treatment and care.
Miss M- was engaged in teaching these unfortunate men the rudiments of a grade school education. A few of the men had little education, and all had required help. What an opportunity for those capable of studying! That their teacher was fully equipped for her assignment, none doubted, but some had discovered beyond this that, as a Christian, she was also well qualified to instruct them in the principles of divine grace. She was a modern Dorcas full of good works and alms; a Phoebe, a succourer of many; and a Priscilla who expounded to them the ways of God more perfectly.
Either directly, or through other Christians whom she had interested in these men, several had been definitely led to the Lord Jesus. These had manifested such a change in their behaviour that they were permitted certain privileges, thus their presence at prayers.
Furthermore, through the influence of Miss M--- a weekly Bible Class had been commenced. For this particular work she had solicited the help of some capable Christian brethren. Before each Bible Class the converts and these visiting brethren met for prayer. On this particular evening they had learned of the serious illness of their beloved teacher. The fervency of their “Amens” indicated a deep concern. Their hearts were pleading with God to spare the one who had brought light into their gloomy lives, liberty even where confinement was necessary, and blessing where otherwise hearts would have been filled with resentment and despair.
As the living child breathes so the young convert intuitively prays. Profound reverence is his reaction to the knowledge of infinite holiness. Each experience in his life imposes its own measure of urgency, and awe is quickened in his spirit by a consciousness of God, and of his own personal unworthiness and weakness. All these qualities were in evidence that evening as well as during the anxious days that followed. These sentiments were blended that night into a strange yet holy medley.
Weeks later, just previous to another Bible Class, the group gathered for prayer. “Heavenly Father,” began one of the men, “we praise Thee that Miss M--- is with us tonight. We thank Thee for her recovery, and we earnestly pray that this may be completed in Thy will. We give Thee thanks in the name of Jesus Thy Son our Saviour. Amen.” Many “Amens” again resounded through the room.
Like the converts in that institution may we learn to take everything to God in prayer.