Delivered through a child's prayer



One November day, in England, a clergyman was telling his two boys, one five and the other eight years of age, about a lady, formerly their governess, who had gone as a missionary from their home to far-off Ceylon. He told of some of the hardships which she had to undergo; of the roof which let the rain through during the long wet season, of the spiders and creeping insects which infested the house, and of the poisonous snakes and reptiles which made it unsafe even to venture out of doors. To the older boy the adventurous nature of the calling appealed most, but to little Fred the thought of poisonous snakes brought fear and sadness, and that night as he knelt before his bed for his evening prayers, the father heard him say, "God bless my dear father and mother, and make me good, for Jesus' sake." Then in a voice which quivered with earnestness, he added, "And, oh, dear God, take care of my Miss Price, and please do keep her safe from the snakes."

Far away in Ceylon, the missionary was wending her way to a house that she called home. Near her house, she saw one of the small but very venomous snakes of that district -- its neck and head raised and arched, its eyes gleaming with a malignant fire, ready with lightning stroke to spring upon her with its awful fangs. To escape seemed impossible, and for one terrible moment she was riveted to the spot in mortal dread. Then, to her inexpressible relief and utter astonishment, the snake seemed suddenly to change its mind, and turning around in the opposite direction, it deliberately resumed its way among the long, thick grass.

With a cry of thankfulness, the tired worker reached her home as fast as her trembling limbs would carry her, and going on her knees, she poured out her heart to God who had saved her from such a terrible death. Mail day came, and among her little pile of letters was one from her English pastor. As she read it, she felt cheered to know that she had become their missionary, greater interest had been stirred up in the parish, and more zeal manifested in the work which was so dear to her heart. But the postscript at the end of the letter thrilled her as she read it: "Little Fred never forgets to pray for you. Two Sundays ago I was telling the children of your life of danger and hardships, and the dear little fellow was so upset to think that his dear Miss Price was in danger of anything, that he prayed so earnestly, of his own accord, that 'God would take care of you, and keep you from the snakes!

The missionary read this over and over again, and her eyes were dim as she laid the letter down. Yes, it was that Sunday! Now she understood; and with new meaning she read the text hanging over her couch, "Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear." Isa. 65:24 -- Prairie Pastor