TRUE PRAYER STORIES

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FLOUR BARREL MIRACLE

When Grandma was much younger than she is now, she lived on a small farm hundreds of miles from a big city. Her nearest neighbors were so far away she scarcely ever saw them.

Sometimes she would feel very lonely, especially when her husband was working far from home, and she was left alone with the children for weeks on end.

Sometimes food would get scarce, and the children would have to go on short rations until their daddy got back with fresh supplies.

One bad winter he didn't get back when he said he would, and the food ran out.

Grandma was worried. She hated to see the children suffer. Gladly would she have driven to the nearest village to buy food, but there was no way for her to get there. Her husband had the horse and cart.

She couldn't telephone for help, because farmhouses didn't have telephones in those days. So the last little bit of food was eaten, and Grandma wondered what would happen if her husband didn't return soon. Next morning she went to the flour barrel and looked in. It was empty. This meant there would be nothing to eat for breakfast.

At this moment Grandma remembered another barrel that belonged to a woman like her, and how the prophet Elijah promised that if she would put God first, the barrel would never be empty.

She knelt by the barrel and prayed.

"I've always tried to put You first, dear God. I've paid my tithe and brought up my children to love You. Now we are in great need, and I claim the same promise."

As she prayed a voice seemed to say to her, "Bang the barrel!" So she stood up and banged it, good and hard, with the flour dipper. Then she looked inside. There was flour at the bottom. Quite a lot, in fact; at least enough to make a nice little breakfast for everybody. Next day Grandma banged the barrel again, and once more found flour at the bottom of it, this time enough to make a pan of biscuits. The third day she banged it again, and still more flour came.

The day after that she banged it again.

Believe it or not, she kept on banging that barrel for a whole month, and without fail always found enough flour at the bottom to give them something to eat. She was still banging it when her husband arrived home with fresh supplies of food. He laughed when he heard the story, but she didn't. To her it was something very precious. Ever after she would remember 1 Kings 17:14.

"The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth."

She had claimed God's promise, and He had kept it, as He always does.

   

A 'TEENY' MIRACLE

I might as well tell you at the start of this story that I don't expect you to believe it. In fact, I would find it hard to believe myself, if one of my own granddaughters had not told it to me. And she would never tell me a story that didn't really happen. Not she! She knows better!

Well, it all began in a mountain cabin up in the high Sierras of California during the winter of 1961. One very cold day a mother cat had five kittens in that cabin. It was a bad day to bring kittens into the world, but all the mother cat could do about it was to try to keep them warm.

The owner of the cabin helped her by making a wooden box for her new family. The box had high wooden sides so the kittens could not fall out. When he had finished it, he put a cozy blanket inside and set the box on the back porch.

It wasn't long, of course, before Freda and Florry, the little girls who lived in the next cabin, heard about the arrival of the kittens. Their mamma had told them that the mother cat was "expecting," and now that the blessed event had happened,  they wanted to be the first to see the kittens. So they ran over right away and were thrilled when the owner said that they could each have one of the kittens when they were big enough. "To keep, all for ourselves?" they said.

"Yes indeed," said the man. "All for yourselves."

Each chose a kitten. Freda called hers "Teeny" and Florry called hers "Toots."

Every day, sometimes several times a day, the two girls would go over to see their kittens, and as the fuzzy little things grew older and bigger, they would pick them up and pet them, then give them back to their mother.

One snowy morning when the girls arrived at the cabin they saw a sad, sad sight. One of the kittens was lying outside the box, very cold and still. Somehow it had climbed over the side of the box in the night, and unable to get back, had frozen. It was Teeny!

"0 my poor little kitty!" cried Freda, bursting into tears. She put out her hand to touch Teeny but drew back. Teeny was stiff as a board.

"Oh, dear!" she cried, "if only we had come earlier we might have saved you. You poor little thing!"

"We'd better go and tell Mamma," said Florry. "Maybe she'll know something to do."

"And we'll take poor Teeny with us," said Freda, picking up her poor frozen kitten by the tail and hurrying back home with it.

"What in the world have you got there?" cried Mamma, as the two girls burst into the house. "Take it outside at once!"

"It's my precious Teeny," said Freda. "She fell out of her box last night and couldn't get back. Then she froze, and I'm afraid she's dead."

"She looks awful dead to me," said Mamma.

"Can't you do something for her?" asked Freda.

"There's nothing we can do but bury her," said Mamma. "I'm terribly sorry, but I'll get you another kitty someday."

"But I want my Teeny!" wailed Freda. "I don't want to bury her."

"I'll get a pickax and a shovel and make a hole for her," said Mamma. "I'll make it near the big cedar, where the wild­flowers bloom in the spring."

It was a sad little procession that made its way across the snow-covered garden. First, Mamma with the pickax and shovel, then Florry, looking very sad, and finally Freda with what was left of Teeny now cuddled in her arms.

There was no snow under the big tree, and Mamma didn't have as big a job as she had expected to dig the hole. When it was ready she motioned to Freda to put the kitten into it.

Freda did so, shedding copious tears. Then the two girls dropped on their knees and Freda began to pray.

"Please, Jesus," she said, "I am so sad about my poor little Teeny. I don't want to see her buried in the cold ground. If You could give her back to me, I wish You would, and I would love You always and always."

She was just going to say "amen" when Teeny said it for her.

From the grave came a faint "Meow."

Florry screamed, Freda jumped to her feet, and Mamma dropped the shovelful of earth she was about to put back in the hole.

"She's alive!" cried Freda, grabbing Teeny out of the grave and cuddling her again in her arms. "Thank You, Jesus, thank You so very, very much!"

Soon Teeny's eyes blinked and her tail began to swish. "Well, I never. . . !" muttered Mamma.

"Isn't Jesus wonderful?" said Freda.

"He surely is," said Mamma. "This beats all!"

Now don't ask me to explain it. I can't. And yet, maybe, I can. That warm cuddle on the way to the grave could have had something to do with it. Cats and kittens can take a lot of "killing." But then, too, God has all sorts of lovely ways of making sad children happy and answering their faith-filled prayers. 

Mother’s Prayer

Mrs. Goodyear looked at the clock for the twentieth time that evening. "Eleven-thirty, and such a stormy night, too! Where can the boy be? I hope he is not in trouble. He is getting so difficult and wayward."

Very worried, she knelt beside the kitchen table, and with her hands clasped on her Bible, prayed that God would protect her dear Tom, bring him home safely, and turn his heart to the Lord.

At last, well past midnight, there were sounds in the yard. Evidently Tom had returned and was putting his bicycle away.

A few minutes later the boy entered, looking very pale and weary.

“Hello, Mother," he said. “Still up? I think I'll go straight to bed. A bit tired tonight"

 "You're very late," said Mother. "Has anything happened?"

"I'll tell you all about it in the morning," he said, and with that he went upstairs to bed.

Mother, worried and anxious, followed. "Tom,” she said, “what has happened?”

"Well," said Tom, "Will and I had a strange experience about an hour ago. We were cycling home through the storm, when we felt ourselves moving rapidly downhill. It was pitch dark, and since we had no lights on our bikes, it was almost impossible to see where we were going.

Suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder, pulling me back. I thought it must be Will, and called to him. He called back to me that he had just felt a hand on his shoulder, and thought it was mine.

So we both stopped and got off our bikes, wondering what it all meant. Will said that he thought he would walk to the bottom of the hill, and I agreed to go with him. When we got there, we found a rock slide right across the roadway. If we had run into it, we would most likely have been killed."

“Thank God," murmured Mother, stroking Tom's hair. "I am so thankful that He cared for you."

"But, Mother, how could God have had anything to do with it?"

"Tom, when was it you said you felt that hand on your shoulder?"

"I should say about an hour ago. I suppose it must have been about half past eleven."

"I was praying for you then," said Mother. "That's why I am sure God had something to do with it. He sent His angel to protect you tonight, Tom."

"Do you think so?" asked Tom.

"I'm sure He did," said Mother, "because He wants you to give your heart to Him. I hope you will someday."

So saying, Mother kissed him good night and tiptoed out of the room. When she had gone, Tom lay thinking for a little while. Somehow he still felt that hand on his shoulder. Was Mother right after all? If so, was he not a most ungrateful boy? At least, should he not say Thank You to God for looking after him? He thought he should. By and by he got out of bed and knelt in prayer for the first time in many months.

Mother, listening, heard the movement, guessed what it meant, and felt so happy.

That was the turning point in Tom's life. Beside his bed he gave his heart to God. From that hour, he was a different boy.

How Much Does A Prayer Weigh?

How much does a prayer weigh? The only man I ever knew who tried to weigh one, still doesn't know.

He owned a little grocery store on the west side. The First World War had just ended, and it was the week before Christmas. A tired-looking woman came into the store, and asked him for enough food to make a Christmas dinner for her children. The grocer asked her how much she could afford to spend.

"My husband was killed in the war," she said, "and I have nothing to offer but a little prayer."

This grocer confesses that he was not very sentimental in those days. A grocery store could not be run like a bread line.

So he said, "Write it on a paper," and turned about his business.

To his surprise, the women plucked a piece of paper out of her bosom and handed it to him over the counter and said, "I did that during the night, watching over my sick baby."

The grocer took the paper, before he could recover his surprise, and then regretted having done so. For what would he do with it; what could he say?

Then an idea suddenly came to him. He placed the paper, without even reading the prayer upon it, on the weight side of his old-fashioned scales. Picking up a loaf of bread nearby, he said, "We shall see how much this prayer is worth."

To his astonishment the scale would not go down when he laid the loaf on the other side. To his confusion and embarrassment, it would not go down, though he kept on adding more food, anything he could lay his hands on quickly, for people were watching him.

He tried to be gruff and he was making a bad job of it. His face got red, and he felt flustered. So finally he said, "Well, that's all the scales will hold anyway. Here's a bag. You'll have to put it in yourself. I'm busy."

With what sounded like a gasp or a little sob, she took the bag and started packing the food, wiping her eyes on her sleeves every time her arm was free to do so. He tried not to look, but he could not help seeing that he had given her a pretty big bag and that it was not full, when she had finished. So without saying anything, he tossed down the counter to her several expensive items. Trying not to notice, he saw a timid smile of grateful understanding glistening in her eyes.

When the woman was gone, he went to look at the scales, scratching his head and shaking the scales in puzzlement. Then he found the solution. When the paper had been placed on it, the scales had been broken.

That grocer is an old man now. His hair is white. But he has never forgotten the incident. He never saw the woman again. And, come to think of it, he had never seen her before either. Yet, for the rest of his life, he remembered her better than any other customer he ever had.

And he knew it had not been just his imagination, for he still had the slip of paper upon which the woman's prayer had been written, "Please, Lord, give us this day our daily bread."

Here Kitty, Kitty!

A pastor had a kitten that climbed up a tree in his backyard and then was afraid to come down. The pastor coaxed, offered warm milk, etc. The kitty would not come down. The tree was not sturdy enough to climb, so the pastor decided that if he tied a rope to his car and drove away so that the tree bent down, he could then reach up and get the kitten.

He did all this, checking his progress in the car frequently, then figured if he went just a little bit further, the tree would be bent sufficiently for him to reach the kitten. But as he moved a little further forward, the rope broke. The tree went "boing!" and the kitten instantly sailed through the air - out of sight.

The pastor felt terrible. He walked all over the neighborhood asking people if they'd seen a little kitten. No. Nobody had seen a stray kitten. So he prayed, "Lord, I just commit this kitten to Your keeping," and went on about his business.

A few days later he was at the grocery store, and met one of his church members. He happened to look into her shopping cart and was amazed to see cat food. Now this woman was a cat hater and everyone knew it, so he asked her, "Why are you buying cat food when you hate cats so much?" 

She replied, "You won't believe this," and told him how her little girl had been begging her for a cat, but she kept refusing. Then a few days before, the child had begged again, so the Mom finally told her little girl, "Well if God gives you a cat, I'll let you keep it."? (Can you see where this is heading?) 

She told the pastor, "I watched my child go out in the yard, get on her knees, and ask God for a cat. And really, Pastor, you won't believe this, but I saw it with my own eyes. A kitten suddenly came flying out of the blue sky, with its paws outspread, and landed right in front of her."

Never underestimate the Power of God to answer your prayers!

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