The Prayer of a Righteous Man Availeth Much

[Have you ever heard the prayer of an old saint and knew by just listening to him or her that here was a person accustomed to talking to God? Did you not feel just a wee bit Jealous? I have. There is something about the sacred and respectful familiarity, the familial closeness, the trusting communication of a friend that speaks volumes of a mutually close and dear relationship. As I was thinking about this, I am reminded of an old story… M.W.P.]

cwm_5One night, during the Revolutionary war…

…near a British camp not far from the Hudson, a Highland soldier was caught creeping stealthily back to his quarters out of the woods.

He was taken before the commanding officer, and charged with holding communication with the enemy. The poor Highlander pleaded that he had only gone into the woods to pray by himself. That was his only defense. The commanding officer was himself a Scotchman, and a Presbyterian, but he felt no tenderness for the culprit “Have you been in the habit, sir, of spending hours in private prayer?” he asked sternly. “Yes, sir.” “Then down on your knees and pray now” thundered the officer. “You never before had so much need of it.”

Expecting immediate death, the soldier knelt and poured out his soul in a prayer that, for aptness and simple expressive eloquence, could have been inspired only by the piety of a Christian. “You may go,” said the officer when he had done.

“I believe your story. If you had not been often at drill, you couldn’t have got on so well at review.”


It is my prayer that each of us grow in our prayers and in our prayer life. But to start, remember first, that the power of the prayer does not depend on the one who makes the prayer, but on the one who Hears the prayer.

Therefore, we can tell God that we, or our loved ones, are tired, sad, hungry, lonely, fearful, or perhaps depressed, that we need help, that we need Divine guidance. The words of our prayers vary, but God’s response to our praying never changes. Our Savior hears our prayers. He won’t miss a word.