Prayer saved the ship



When I reached the beautiful home of Mr. and Mrs. McGranahan I found that my helper in the meeting was to be that grand old hero of many a battle-field and devoted soldier of the cross, General O.O. Howard. Sitting together with the friends who had come in from the surrounding country to attend the meeting, the name of Mr. Moody was mentioned, and General Howard said, "I was with him on the steamship Spree, when, Mr. Moody says, 'God heard our prayer and saved the ship.' A good many people have criticised this statement," said General Howard, "and there was much controversy in the newspapers; but Moody always believed it. Over 700 people were with us on the ship. One morning, about daybreak, I was awakened by a sound like an explosion, and I heard the people rushing along the halls, and then some one said the main shaft had been snapped asunder, and falling down had made a break in the ship. The passengers were terror stricken. The bulkheads were quickly closed, and the bailing and the pumping began, but when they reached the third compartment of the ship, they found it almost impossible to clear it, and the aft part of the ship was sunk to the gunwale. Mr. Moody, with his son, I found on deck. He was lying back in a chair looking very ill, but after a moment he said, 'General Howard, won't you come with me?' And followed by his son we made our way to the stateroom, and there he fell upon his knees and prayed as only he knew how to pray. He told the Lord that He was the God of the sea, and asked Him that, like as He had stilled the Sea of Galilee, He might save these people in peril on the ship. He asked the Lord to send him a ship to take them safe home that they might finish their work; and when he had prayed, and his son had followed, he opened his Bible and read the ninety-first Psalm, and then said, 'This Psalm is just made for this occasion, isn't it?'


"After that he was always surrounded by a company of people, giving help wherever help could be given. When Sunday morning came he gathered the people in the dining saloon, and conducted the service in his own inimitable style, and after forty-eight hours of drifting, a ship came hurrying over to us to take us safe home. Mr. Moody led a service of thanksgiving and praise, and preached as I never had heard him preach before. That is the story of his sending the cable 'Prayer saved the ship.'"

There was a hush on the little assembly, and I know of one at least who offered up a prayer of thanksgiving that D. L. Moody had not only helped save the people on board the Spree, but had been used of God to save thousands of others just as truly drifting, and whose case was just as apparently hopeless.




For many years a close colleague of Mr. Moody

Originally published in 1900 as a 555-page book.