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July 21: The Deliverance of Daniel Loest

Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

Whenever the Christian learns to love the gift more than the Giver, the Lord takes it often away to remind him of his need of dependence upon Him

Daniel Whittle

John Daniel Loest, a celebrated German tradesman of Berlin, Germany, was, by the aid of the Lord, so prospered in his worldly circumstances, that by steady industry, he raised himself to rank with the most respectable tradesmen of Berlin, where he kept a well-frequented fringe and trimming shop.

He was always benevolent, willing to help others, and both fervent in spirit and constant in prayer, asking the help of the Lord in the minutest details of his business.

Yet there once occurred in his experience a season of severest trial, which demanded his utmost trust and unflinching confidence in God. He seemed almost forsaken, and circumstances almost impossible to overcome. But his deliverance so astonished him that he was lost in wonder at the mysterious way in which the Lord helped his business and sent him all that he needed.

By means of acquaintances of high social character, whom he fully trusted as good Christians, never supposing there could be any degree of hypocrisy, he became security for a Christian lady of good property to the amount of six hundred thalers [approximately $100,000]. The attorney assured him that there was not a shadow of a risk in going security for her, as her property would be more than ample to cover any claim.

Months elapsed, and the circumstance forgotten, when Mr. Loest was most unpleasantly reminded by receiving an order from the Court to pay in on the following Tuesday the six hundred thalers for which he had become security, under the penalty of execution.

He now discovered that he had been designedly mystified, and there was no escape. The six hundred thalers must be paid before the next Tuesday. He had just accepted a bill for three hundred thalers, to be paid for on the ensuing Saturday. And in his first thoughts of his perplexity, he hoped to get out of his dilemma by hurrying to a rich friend to obtain a loan. On his way to his friend’s home, he stumbled on another acquaintance who had lent him four hundred thalers on a mere note of hand, and he saluted him with the news that he must try for repayment of that sum on the following Friday, as he required it to pay for a parcel of goods which would arrive that day.

“You shall have it,” said Loest, as he hurried on to his friend. The friend was at home, but before Loest could speak his errand, he is addressed thus: “It is lucky you came, my friend, for I was just going to send for you, to request you to make provision to pay me back the five hundred thalers you owe me, for I must needs have it on Wednesday to pay off a mortgage on my house, which has just been called up.” “You shall have it,” replied Loest, calmly, yet his heart became heavier every moment.

Suddenly it occurred to him that the widow of a friend just dead was possessed of large means, and she might be inclined to help him. But alas, disappointment thickened fast upon him. Loest owed the deceased friend five hundred thalers for note, and three hundred thalers for goods just delivered. As he entered the room of the widow, she handed him an order from the court of trustees, under which he was bound to pay up the five hundred thalers on Thursday, and, continued the lady, before the poor man had time to utter a word, “I would earnestly entreat you to pay the other three hundred thalers early on Saturday to me, for there are accounts constantly pouring in on me, and the funeral expenses,” here her voice faltered. “It shall be cared for,” said Loest, and he withdrew, not having had opportunity to utter one word as to the business that took him thither. He had failed at every turn; not one thing was for him, all seemed against him. But though the waves surged, and rose, and oppressed, yet they did not overwhelm his hope; the more the discouragements, the greater became his faith that all things were appointed for his good, and thought he could not guess, yet even the trial would result by God’s own working hand, to the honor and glory of his great name.

Yet here was his situation. Six hundred thalers to be paid on Tuesday, five hundred on Wednesday, five hundred on Thursday, four hundred on Friday, three hundred Saturday morning, and three hundred on Saturday afternoon; in all, two thousand six hundred thalers. It was already the Saturday just previous, and his purse contained only four thalers. There was only one prospect left, and he went to a rich money lender, and in response to his request for relief in money difficulties, was met with this reply of irony and sarcasm from one who loved to indulge his enmity to the Christian faith. “You in money difficulties, or any difficulties, Mr. Loest! I cannot believe it; it is altogether impossible! you are at all times and in all places boasting that you have such a rich and loving Master! Why don’t you apply to him now.” And the unseen face could not conceal his pleasure at this opportunity of testing a Christian.

Loest turned away; hard as the random taunt and remark of his opponent was, yet it recalled him to a sense of his duty, and his forgetfulness of the fact that he had not hitherto asked of God for special help in this circumstance. With cheerful steps he hurried home, and in long and imploring prayer, asked for help and forgiveness in this, his neglect of trust in one so rich and generous. He was refreshed and comforted, and the Sunday was one of peace and sweetness. He knew and felt assured, “That the Lord would provide.”

The eventful week opened, and on Monday he arose with a cheerful thought in his heart; ere he had had full time to dress, he noticed with great surprise, that both his sister and the assistant in the store, seemed, notwithstanding the earliness of the hour, to have full as much as they could do in serving customers and making up parcels, and he at once hastened into the shop to give them assistance, and thus it continued all day. Never, in all his experience, could Loest remember such a ceaseless stream of customers as poured, on that memorable Monday, into his rather out-of-the-way shop. Cooking dinner was out of the question; neither masters nor maid had time for that; coffee and bread, taken by each in turn, served instead of the accustomed meal, and still the customers came and went; still three pairs of hands were in requisition to satisfy their wants.

Nor was it for new purchasers alone, that money came in. More than one long outstanding account, accompanied by excuses for delayed payment, and assurances that it had not been possible to settle it sooner, enlarged the contents of the till; and the honest-hearted debtor, on whom this unwonted stream of money flowed in, was tempted every minute to call out, “It is the Lord.”

At length night came, when Loest and his literally worn out assistants, after having poured out their hearts in thankful adoration in family prayer, sat down to the first meal they had that day enjoyed in common. When it was over, the brother and sister set themselves to count over the money which had that day been taken. Each hundred thalers was set by itself, and the result showed six hundred and three thalers, fourteen silver groschen.

This was sufficient to pay the first debt due the next day, and leave but ten shillings and eight pence over, a trifle less than they commenced the day with. Loest was lost in wonder and grateful emotion at this gracious testimony of how faithfully his Lord could minister to him in his earthly necessities.

“How countless must be the host of his ministering servants, seen or unseen, since He can employ some hundreds of them, and send them to buy of Daniel Loest to-day, or pay him that bill which thou owest. What a wondrous God is ours, who in the government of this great universe, does not overlook my mean affairs, nor forget His gracious promise, ‘Call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee.'”

Tuesday was a repetition of Monday’s splendid business, and brought in the five hundred thalers which he needed the next morning to pay off the mortgage of his friend’s house, due that day.

Wednesday’s sales gave him five hundred more thalers, which he was obliged to have ready to pay on Thursday morning into the court of trustees.

Thursday’s sales brought him four hundred thalers, just the amount he had given promise to pay the next day for goods delivered.

And Friday’s sales gave him just three hundred thalers with which to honor the widow’s demand on Saturday, to pay funeral and contingent expenses.

During these days of wonderful business and deliverances, after each indebtedness was discharged, there still was not left cash in hand a sum exceeding three to five dollars.

On Saturday morning, after he had sent the three hundred thalers to the widow, he had left precisely two thalers and twenty silver groschen (six shillings eight pence sterling), the smallest balance he had yet had; and what seemed most alarming, the rush to the shop seemed to be entirely over; for while during the five days past, he had had scarcely time to draw his breath from hurry and bustle, he was now left in undisturbed possession of his place. Not a single customer appeared. The wants of the vicinity seemed to have come to an end, for not a child even entered to fetch a pennyworth of thread, or a few ells of tape. This utter cessation of trade was as unusual and out of the accustomed shop business, as the extra rush had been.

At five o’clock on Saturday, was due the debt of three hundred thalers to his scoffing and tantalizing money lender. Three o’clock came, and still there was but six shillings eight pence in the till. Where was his money to come from? But Loest sat still, and “possessed his soul in patience” for he knew the Lord would choose the best time, and he desired to be found waiting and watching for the Lord’s coming. The trial was severe. It seemed hopeless, and if it should happen that, the creditor came and went away unsatisfied, his commercial character would be injured, his credit shaken, and his reputation severely suffer. That last hour ran slowly on. At a quarter to four, almost the last few moments of painful suspense, a little old woman came in, and asking for Mr. Loest, said to him half in a whisper, “I live here close by, quite alone, in a cellar, and I have had a few thalers paid me, and now I want to beg of you to be so good as to keep them for me. I have not slept over night since I had them; it is a great charge for a lone woman like me.”

Loest was only too glad to accept the money, and offered interest, which she declined. She hurried back, brought in her money, counted it out on his table, and there were just three hundred thalers, six rouleaux of fifty thalers each.

She had scarcely left the house, with her receipt in her pocket, ere the clerk of the creditor with his demand in his hand, rushed into Loest’s presence. He received his three hundred thalers, and both parted speechless with amazement.

Loest was lost in wonder at the marvelous way and exactness of time in which the Lord delivered him, while the creditor was astonished thus to find Loest’s Mighty Friend had not failed him in his hour of need.

Thus in one short week, from a beginning of less than five thalers, God had so exactly supplied his business needs that he had paid all his obligations of two thousand six hundred thalers, saved him from failure, saved his honor and good name, and now all was peace.

The history of Loest and other providences which helped him in his business, are still further given more at length in a little book, “The Believing Tradesman,” from the records of the Religious Tract Society of Berlin.

This sketch illustrates the necessity of looking to God daily for help, and strength, and success, and deliverance in our business occupations as well as the concerns of our soul, and must effectively prove that those who use their business and the means from it to honor the good works of the Lord on earth, will be blessed on earth with the favor of the Lord. It teaches the sublime lesson that money and prosperity are gifts from the Lord, and must be considered as such, acknowledged with thankfulness, and used to please the Giver.

Whenever the Christian learns to love the gift more than the Giver, the Lord takes it often away to remind him of his need of dependence upon Him. But whenever the Christian loves the Giver because of His gifts, and spends his means again to please his Heavenly Father, he becomes the Father’s steward, and his lap is filled with bountiful blessings, such as one finds by true experience, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”

July 20: Answered prayer for health, leads to another prayer

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Proverbs 3:6
Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

As reported by Daniel Whittle, we see how a minister’s prayer for health was answered – so that God could answer someone else’s prayer!

The Rev. J.B. Waterbury relates several incidents which prove the power of Prayer.

“In the year 1832 he was compelled by pulmonary symptoms, to leave his field of ministerial labor in one of the eastern cities, and travel south, hoping that a milder climate might be favorable.

“He had not proceeded far, before the cholera, that fearful scourge, made its appearance in the States, and obliged him to rejoin his family in the city of Brooklyn.

“Whilst many were dying around him, his health continued to improve; so that with the disappearance of the epidemic he found himself sufficiently restored to venture, if Providence should open the door, to resume his ministerial work.

“But where should he go? The future, to human view, was shrouded in uncertainty. In so important a matter, affecting his usefulness and happiness, there was nothing left, but to give himself to prayer. His faith in that promise, ‘In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct thy Paths,’ led him to pray without ceasing, ‘Lord, what wilt thou have me to do.'”

On a certain day, when the burden lay heavily upon his heart, he retired as usual, to implore light and guidance. He read on that occasion, the chapter of Acts where, by divine direction, Cornelius the Centurion sent messengers to Peter at Joppa, to come to him with the Gospel. The apostle, meanwhile; is instructed by a vision to go to Cornelius.

The case was so applicable to the circumstances that the writer was led to cry mightily to God for light to be shed also upon his path.

While thus praying the door-bell rang, and the servant announced two men who wished to see me.

This was somewhat startling. After introducing themselves, they remarked that they had come on a very important errand, viz: to ask my services for a vacant church in which they were officers.

“But how is this,” I inquired, “How did you know of me?”

They did not until that very day. But inquiring at the Bible House in Nassau street if any of the officers of that Society knew of a minister who could be recommended to fill their pulpit, now vacant for some months.

Dr. B., the Secretary, answered, “Yes, I know a young minister in Brooklyn, whom I can recommend, provided his health, which has been delicate, is adequate.”

So the messenger came inadvertently over to B—-, and I was called from my knees to receive their invitation. I promptly responded, “Yes, I will go?” for what was I that I could withstand God. A successful and happy ministry of fourteen years, attests the good results of that decision.

July 19: Intercession – Praying for the Persecuted

Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.

Hebrews 13:3

As we look at our final aspect of intercessory prayer, we are looking at praying for persecuted brethren.

If you haven’t seen The Printing, it’s a great movie on the persecuted church in the former Soviet Union. Another film on the persecuted church under the Inquisition is Flame in the Wind.

Persecuted believers are just like us – they’re not superChristians – they are merely those whom God has chosen to suffer for His name!

And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

Acts 5:41

How can we pray for persecuted believers?

We can learn about them and pray for them that they remain faithful to Jesus!

Our prayers can go where we cannot…there are no borders, no prison walls, no doors that are closed to us when we pray

Brother Andrew

Another way is to pray for boldness for ourselves to be faithful.

According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.

Philippians 1:20

At the same point we want to make sure we’re not glorifying martyrdom. God calls us to endure persecution, but not to seek it out!

At the end of a youth camp, teens were telling what God had done in their lives at the campfire service. One teen said that they were so excited they’d be willing to die for Jesus. Another teen echoed the statement. Soon a stream of teens repeated the thought. The camp speaker came to the microphone, and said they missed the point of the messages. “God doesn’t want you to die for Jesus, until you’re willing to live for Jesus.”

Let’s pray that those God has called to pay the ultimate price can be faithful, but pray for faithfulness for those also to “die daily”

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

July 18: Intercession – Praying for enemies!

We’ve looked at praying for those in the ministry, for our brethren, but did you know Jesus told us to pray for our enemies!

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Matthew 5:44

They don’t like you. They mistreat you. They took the promotion that you wanted. They have the position you tried to get. They leave you out of their cliques. They give you that look.

Yet Jesus said we need to love them – and pray for them!

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Matthew 5:44

Επηρεαζοντων from επι against, and Αρης Mars, the heathen god of war. Those who are making continual war upon you, and constantly harassing and calumniating you.

Adam Clarke

How can we pray for our enemies? Again Adam Clarke has a great analysis:

Pray for them – This is another exquisitely reasonable precept. I cannot change that wicked man’s heart; and while it is unchanged he will continue to harass me: God alone can change it: then I must implore him to do that which will at once secure the poor man’s salvation, and contribute so much to my own peace.

Adam Clarke

July 17: Intercession – Brethren, Pray for us

Brethren, pray for us.

1 Thessalonians 5:25

As we continue looking at the hour of prayer – we are looking at interceding for others.

Sometimes we think of praying for people as a Christian culture thing (maybe a 15% chance I’ll pray for you). But Paul concludes both letters to the Thessalonians with a request for prayer.

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:

2 Thessalonians 3:1

In Hebrews, the epistle ends with a similar request for prayer:

Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.

Hebrews 13:18

Colossians see Paul again asking for prayer:

Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

Colossians 4:3

There are a couple people who ask me regularly how they can pray for me – they are an incredible blessing to me – and I am truly grateful for those who pray for me.

I’ve heard a past governor of Wisconsin share that one of the most touching things he ever heard on the campaign trail was people telling him, “I’m praying for you.”

Prayer changes things – so please pray for others!

July 16: Intercession – Praying for others

As we continue looking at the hour of prayer – let’s focus on interceding for others

For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;

Romans 1:9

Paul writes to the Romans that he prayed for them continually in his prayers. Who’s on your prayer list?

Perhaps start by browsing the VCY Prayer Line – and see what needs God is laying on your heart to pray for.

Perhaps instead of discarding the Wednesday night prayer bulletin, keep it by your bed and pray for the requests throughout the week.

Perhaps when someone tells you their troubles, instead of just saying “I’ll pray for you” – make a note in your smartphone or notebook.

Perhaps when a relative shares the family tree and invites you to their Ancestry.com account they’ve been working on – add your family tree to your prayer list and work through the “branches” as you pray for your family.

Perhaps use the school, church, or work directory as a start – and maybe ask some of the people – “Anything I can pray for you for?”

Imagine what it must have been like to be a member of First Church of Rome, to receive a letter from the Apostle Paul – and you read:

For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;

Romans 1:9

Now – what if God wanted to use your prayers like He did Pauls?

July 15: Hour of Prayer – Intercession

As we continue our hour of prayer, we are entering a new segment on the clock – intercession!

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

1 Timothy 2:1-2

Interestingly Paul tells the young preacher Timothy, to begin by praying for rulers. In America we have elected officials – and while many people at church enjoy complaining about the president or the governor or the mayor, there are many more elected officials we have to pray for. Today’s PEP is a good one to bookmark to re-acquaint you with the people who can affect your life.

Federal Executive: The President, Vice President and the Cabinet – a total of 24 officials who have regulatory power to affect your life.

Federal Legislative: Although there are 435 congressmen, and 100 senators, only three of them are directly in line of representation to you.

Federal Judicial: Yes we know about the 9 members of the Supreme Court, but there are also 179 federal Appellate judges in 12 districts. Not to mention 673 federal district judges (find your local judge).

Before we cover more of the elected officials – check out the helpful website from Public Servants’ Prayer – they can connect you to your state and federal elected officials.

Many states provide a system to show you all of your elected officials – such as Wisconsin’s MyVote.WI.gov . It’s amazing how many people at the federal, state, county, municipal, and school board levels represent us (and can tax us!). However, take some time today to pray for those in authority over us!

July 14: Answered Prayer – Help in Paying a Commercial Mortgage

Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

Certain verses of Scripture become far more meaningful when we are in need. Today’s account may be a little technical, but if you’ve ever ran a business – you know exactly what this account is about. Another answered prayer from Daniel Whittle’s book.

To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.

Psalm 41:1

A business man in New York had several large amounts due for payment. An unprecedented series of calls from tradesmen wishing their bills paid sooner than customary, drained his means, and he was satisfied from the situation that his means would not be sufficient to pay them all. His business receipts, at this juncture, fell to one-half what they had usually been. A loan was due at the bank; a mortgage on his property, as well as large notes. He could do no more than ask the Lord constantly in prayer, to either send supplies of business, or open ways of relief. Committing his cares all to the Lord, he endeavored to throw off his burden and with diligence in trade do what was possible for protection.

He was greatly surprised when the bank loan fell due to learn that a trifling payment would be acceptable, and the rest extended at his convenience. This was remarkable, as the security had depreciated somewhat, and the loan had been then extended longer than usual.

The holder of the mortgage did not call as usual for his interest. In great surprise the tradesman dropped a note, saying he would meet his demand, but if not all the mortgage was needed, its extension would benefit the use of the capital in his business. To his surprise, he received a reply that the mortgage would be extended one-half until the next interest day, and the rest might be paid now if it could be spared. This was just the money which the tradesman could spare, and was intending to propose, but refrained from mentioning it.

A sudden opportunity in business arose which enabled him to see how to use the rest of the money he had on hand, as capital, whereby he could clear within three months the remainder of the mortgage before it became due.

Thus the Lord in answer to prayer, relieved his necessities, eased his creditors, gave him knowledge and intelligence of profitable ways of trade, and helped him freely according to his faith.

Thus business needs prayer, as well as the interests of the home, the church and the soul. When the means derived in business is used to bless the Lord’s poor, “The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.”

July 13: Watchman on the Wall

We’re on the “25th” minute of the hour of prayer as we look at what it means to watch.

Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.

Ezekiel 3:17

Ezekiel talks about the watchman and his duties. Again this is not a “security monitor” – this is a security guard. Perhaps you’ve seen this TV commercial:

I’m not a security guard – I’m a security monitor.

God doesn’t want us to be passive – He wants us to be an active warning to our community. Let’s take time to ask God how we can watch – and pass on the warning that we are given!

[17] Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.
[18] When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
[19] Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

Ezekiel 3

July 12: The Watch of the LORD

We’re looking at how we can spend an hour in prayer, and studying how we can watch in prayer:

There’s a phrase that’s found only once in the Bible:

But let none come into the house of the LORD, save the priests, and they that minister of the Levites; they shall go in, for they are holy: but all the people shall keep the watch of the LORD.

2 Chronicles 23:6

Jehoiada was the high priest – he was raising Joash (similar to Samuel) within the temple. Now was time to crown the legitimate heir to the throne of David against the wicked grandmother Athaliah. This was treason against the presumed monarch Athaliah, and those involved could die. Benson’s commentary lends us some light on this topic:

Let them stand in their court to prevent and oppose any person that shall endeavour violently to break into the house, to seize upon the king, or to oppose the present work, which he expected Athaliah and her accomplices would do.

https://biblehub.com/commentaries/benson/2_chronicles/23.htm

The people could not enter into the holy places – that was reserved for the priests and the ministering Levites, but the people were there to stand, be vigilant, be counted with the priests and Levites, support them, and be ready in case they were called upon to assist in the battle.

What a great picture of watching in prayer – taking time to ask God to make us aware of our situation – and not just our situation but our pastor, neighbors, friends, relatives, classmates, churchgoers, coworkers, government leaders (especially at the local level – yes the President needs your prayers, but your city councilman and state legislators shouldn’t be forgotten either!). Ask God to show you how you can be used by Him to intercede. You may not be the one going thru the difficulties, or serving on a foreign mission field, or pastoring a church. But you can stand and watch in prayer, keeping the watch of the LORD!