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

The Faith and Strength of Prayer…

Taken from, The Works of Thomas Goodwin, The Return of Prayers, p. 400
Written by Thomas Goodwin
Edited for thought and sense.

imagesRejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice… The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.         

                                                                                                        –Philippians 4:4-7, ESV

Men are mistaken in judging of the weakness of their prayers…

…They judge of the weakness of their prayers by their expressions, and gifts in performing them, or by the stirring and overflow of affections; whereas the strength and vigor of prayer should be estimated from the faith, the sincerity, the obedience, the desires expressed in it. As it is not the loudness of a preacher’s voice, but the weight and holiness of the matter, and spirit of the preacher, that move a wise and an intelligent hearer; so not gifts, but graces in prayers are they that move the Lord. The strength of prayer lies not in words, but in that which it is fitted to prevail with God. One prayer is not more strong than another, except in how it is so framed, it hath power with God more or less; as of Jacob it is said, ‘He had power with God,’ Hosea 12. 

Now prayers move God, not as an orator moves his hearers, but as a child moves his father.

Two words of a child humbled, and crying at his father’s feet, will prevail more than penned orations, Rom. 8: it is the meaning of the spirit that God looks unto, more than the expression; for the groans there are said to be unutterable. Hezekiah’s expressions were so rude and broken, that he says, Isa. 38:14, that he did but ‘chatter,’he being then sick, even as a crane;’ yet God heard them.