of making your requests known, and the ear trumpet

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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

–Philippians 4:6

Several hundred years ago…

…there is was a story of an old Scotchman, who was one day on his way to some mission week services. The old Scotch pilgrim was poor and ill-clad, as well partially deaf, but he trusted in the Lord whom he served, and rejoiced in his kind providence. On his way to the meeting he fell in with another Christian brother; a younger man, bound on the same errand, and they travelled on together. “When they had nearly reached the place of meeting it was proposed that they should turn aside and have a little prayer. They did so, and the old man, who had learned in everything to let his requests be known unto God, presented his case in language like this: “Lord, ye ken weel enough that I’m deaf and that I want a seat on the first bench if ye can let me have it, so that I can hear thy word; and ye see that my toes are sticking through my shoes, and therefore I want ye to get me a pair of new ones; and ye ken I have nae silver, and I want to stay during the meetings, and therefore I want ye to get me a place to stay. “When the little outdoor prayer-meeting was finished, the two Christians arose and resumed their journey.

As they walked along, the young brother said to the Scotchman that he thought his prayer hardly so reverential as seemed proper in approaching the Supreme Being. “Why, my son,” said the Scotchman. “He’s my Father, and weel acquainted with me, and I take great liberties with him.”

They soon arrived at the church in which the meetings were to be held, and the old Scotchman took a position in the rear of the church, and placed his ear-trumpet to catch the words of the speaker: pretty soon a gentleman motioned him to come forward and occupy the front pew where he could better hear. At the close of the service a lady noticed his ragged shoes, and asked him if they were the best ones he had. “Yes,” said he, “but I expect my Father will get me a new pair soon.” “–Come with me,” said the lady, “and I will get you a new pair.” “–Shall you stay to the end of the meeting,” asked a Christian lady. “I would,” said the Scotchman, ” but I am a stranger here, and have nae silver.” “–You shall be made welcome at my house,” said the good lady.

The old man thanked the Lord that he had given him all that he had asked for; and while his younger brother’s reverence for the Lord was right and proper, it is possible that he might have learned that there is a reverence that reaches higher than the forms and conventionalities of human taste, and which leads the believer to come boldly to the throne of grace, and to find all needed help in every trying hour.

–C. W. Bibb