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During the winter the village preacher was taken sick, and several of
his children were also afflicted with the mumps. One day a number of the
devout church members called to pray for the family. While they were
about it a boy, the son of a member living in the country, knocked at
the preacher's door. He had his arms full of things. "What have you
there?" a deacon asked him.
"Pa's prayers for a happy Thanksgiving," the boy answered, as he
proceeded to unload potatoes, bacon, flour and other provisions for the
A little girl in Washington surprised her mother the other day by
closing her evening prayers in these words: "Amen; good bye; ring off."
TEACHER--"Now, Tommy, suppose a man gave you $100 to keep for him and
then died, what would you do? Would you pray for him?"
TOMMY--"No, sir; but I would pray for another like him."
A well-known revivalist whose work has been principally among the
negroes of a certain section of the South remembers one service
conducted by him that was not entirely successful. He had had very poor
attendance, and spent much time in questioning the darkies as to their
reason for not attending.
"Why were you not at our revival?" he asked one old man, whom he
encountered on the road.
"Oh, I dunno," said the backward one.
"Don't you ever pray?" demanded the preacher.
The old man shook his head. "No," said he; "I carries a rabbit's
A little girl attending an Episcopal church for the first time, was
amazed to see all kneel suddenly. She asked her mother what they were
going to do. Her mother replied, "Hush, they're going to say their
"What with all their clothes on?"
The new minister in a Georgia church was delivering his first sermon.
The darky janitor was a critical listener from a back corner of the
church. The minister's sermon was eloquent, and his prayers seemed to
cover the whole category of human wants.
After the services one of the deacons asked the old darky what he
thought of the new minister. "Don't you think he offers up a good
"Ah mos' suhtainly does, boss. Why, dat man axed de good Lord fo' things
dat de odder preacher didn't even know He had!"
Hilma was always glad to say her prayers, but she wanted to be sure that
she was heard in the heavens above as well as on the earth beneath.
One night, after the usual "Amen," she dropped her head upon her pillow
and closed her eyes. After a moment she lifted her hand and, waving it
aloft, said, "Oh, Lord! this prayer comes from 203 Selden Avenue."
Willie's mother had told him that if he went to the river to play he
should go to bed. One day she was away, and on coming home about two
o'clock in the afternoon found Willie in bed.
"What are you in bed for?" asked his mother.
"I went to the river to play, and I knew you would put me in bed, so I
didn't wait for you to come."
"Did you say your prayers before you went to bed?" asked his mother.
"No," said Willie. "You don't suppose God would be loafing around here
this time of day, do you? He's at the office."
Little Polly, coming in from her walk one morning, informed her mother
that she had seen a lion in the park. No amount of persuasion or
reasoning could make her vary her statement one hairbreadth. That night,
when she slipped down on her knees to say her prayers, her mother said,
"Polly, ask God to forgive you for that fib."
Polly hid her face for a moment. Then she looked straight into her
mother's eyes, her own eyes shining like stars, and said, "I did ask
him, mamma, dearest, and he said, 'Don't mention it, Miss Polly; that
big yellow dog has often fooled me.'"
Prayer is the spirit speaking truth to Truth.--_Bailey_.
Pray to be perfect, though material leaven
Forbid the spirit so on earth to be;
But if for any wish thou darest not pray,
Then pray to God to cast that wish away.
_See also_ Courage.
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Bryan, William Jennings