The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 49, sermon number 2,841, "Prayer--its encouragements and discouragements.""There is no fact in mathematics which has been more fully demonstrated than this fact in experience—that God heareth prayer."
While he was at sea, one day, a time of deep solemnity came over him, in the course of which he penned a prayer. This prayer was for his wife and for his yet unborn child. He put the prayer into the oak chest in which he kept his papers. He never came home again, for he died at sea.
His chest was brought home to his wife; she did not open it to look at his papers, but she thought they might be of use to her son when he should grow up. That son lived; and, at the age of sixteen,
he joined a regiment at Boston. In that regiment, he became exceedingly debauched, profane, blasphemous, and sinful in every way.
At the age of fifty-four, while he was living in sin with a wicked woman, it struck him that he would like to look through the contents of the old chest which his father had left. He opened it, and, at the bottom, found, tied up with red tape, a paper, on the outside of which was written, “The prayer of Mitchell K______ for his wife and child.”
He opened it, and read it; it was a most fervent plea with God that the man’s wife and child might belong to Christ written fifty-four years back, and before that child was born. He shut it up, and put it where it was before, and said that he would not look into “that cursed old chest” again.
But that did not matter, for the prayer had got into his heart, and he could not lock his heart up in that chest. He became thoroughly miserable; and the wretched woman, with whom he lived, asked him what was the matter with him. He told her what he had read in that paper, and she said she hoped he would not become a hypocrite.
All the jokes and frivolities of his companions could not take out the dart which God had sent into his heart; and, ere long, by true repentance and by living faith, that man was in Christ a saved soul, married honourably to the woman with whom he had lived in sin, and walking in uprightness, serving his father’s God, as the result of a prayer which had lain in an old chest for fifty-four years, but which God’s eye had seen all the while, and which, at last, he had answered when the set time had come.
Be of good courage, all ye who are pleading for your children, for God will yet answer your supplications. As one of the old divines says, “Prayer is the rope which hangs down on earth, and there is a bell in heaven which it rings, and which God hears.”
Pull that rope again to-night, praying father and mother. Make the great bell in heaven ring again and again, and let its notes be, “Save my children; save my husband; save my wife; save my brother; let my sister live before thee.” Your prayers shall be heard, and God shall yet grant your requests.