June 17: Daniel Whittle – That $18.75

Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

Yesterday we sang at church the song, The Banner of the Cross. The chorus reminds us:

Marching on, marching on,
For Christ count ev’rything but loss!
And to crown Him King, toil and sing
‘Neath the banner of the cross!

The Banner of the Cross

The military allusions and cadence of the song is no accident, it was written by Major Daniel Whittle, of Civil War fame. Here’s another testimony of answered prayer from his book:

A man who had led a very wicked life, was converted and hopefully saved. Previous to this time, a debt of $18.75 had not given him the slightest thought. After receiving a new heart, he distinctly heard God’s command, “Pay what thou owest;” so called on his creditor, and urged him to send to his house and get a bureau, table and looking-glass (mirror) which he desired him to sell and pay himself the sum due him; but, not wishing to deprive his debtor of such necessary articles, refused, saying he would wait till he could pay. The 18th of November was set, and, as the day approached, the prospect was no brighter; and when the night of the 17th came around, he spent it in prayer that God would deliver him, and rose from his knees at daybreak, with the full assurance that “He knoweth how to deliver.”

On passing down a street the next morning, on his way to business, a man who kept a large store was standing in the door-way, and called to him to stop a minute. Wondering what could be the nature of the call, he retraced his steps, to hear this astonishing news:

“For three days I have been impressed with the idea that I must give you $18.75, and for three days have been trying to ascertain why I must give you this amount, for I do not owe any man a penny. I cannot get rid of the thought, and if you value my peace of mind, I beg you take the money!”

Seeing, instantly, the hand of God in it, he told the story to the astonished storekeeper, then left to pay his debt with the money so strangely given. His creditor, surprised to see him so promptly on time, questioned him as to the manner of obtaining it, thinking, perhaps, he had made a great sacrifice to do so. On being told just how it was given him, said,

“I won’t take it; keep it. If God is as near to people as that, I don’t want it; it seems as if it had come directly from his Almighty hand.”

The result was the conversion of both the storekeeper and creditor, to whom the incident came as the undoubted evidence of God’s presence among them.

June 16: Daniel Whittle: A young boy had faith in his Father!

We’ve been sharing answers to prayer from The Wonders of Prayer: A Record of Well Authenticated and Wonderful Answers by Daniel Whittle (author of the gospel song, Showers of Blessings).

Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

A clergyman writes us these incidents:

“I knew a poor family whose son George, four or five years old, was accustomed to pray. They lived five or six miles from neighbors, and at times, were quite destitute. One day, as little George observed his mother weeping over their destitution, he said, “Why, mother, don’t cry any; we shall not starve; God will send us something to eat, I know He will. I’ve just been praying, and asked Him to.” The little fellow just as much believed God would send them food, as if he had asked a reliable neighbor and obtained his promise to supply their wants. In a day or two after this, some friends living at a distance and knowing they were poor, took them the welcome surprise of a wagon-load of substantial material for food and other comforts. The little boy grew up to be a Christian minister, and about a year ago, on inquiry, his uncle told me he had been at the head of an institution of learning in the South-west.”

Give us this day our daily bread

Matthew 6:11

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

Matthew 6:25

June 15: Daniel Whittle: “He Could Not Flee from the Holy Spirit”

Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

We continue reading about answers to prayer as recorded by Daniel Whittle in his book, The Wonders of Prayer: A Record of Well Authenticated and Wonderful Answers.

A clergyman of distinction gives this instance of the worthlessness of all attempts to flee from the Power of the Spirit.

“I looked out of my window one morning, while it was yet dark, and saw a lady standing at my gate, leaning against a post, and evidently weeping bitterly. I knew her. She was a member of the church, and was an earnest, consistent Christian. She was married to one of the most bitter Universalists [a person who believed everyone was going to heaven regardless of faith] I ever knew. I stepped down the steps to her, and asked, ‘What is the matter?’ She replied, ‘Oh, my poor husband! I had so hoped and prayed that he might be converted in this revival! and now he has rode away, and says that he will not come back till this religious flurry is over. What shall I do to bear up under this?’

“I said, ‘It is near the time for prayer. We will go and lay his case before the Lord, and make special request that God will bring him back again under the power of the Spirit. The Lord can bring him home, and I believe He will do it. We must pray for him.’

“She dried her tears in a moment, and seemed to seize hold of this ‘strong hope,’ as we walked to the place of prayer. We found the room crowded. It fell to my lot to lead the meeting.

“At the opening, I stated the case of this Universalist husband, who had undertaken to run away from the influence of the Spirit, by fleeing into the country. I said that we must all pray that the Holy Spirit may follow him, overtake him, and bring him back again, show him his sins, and lead him to Jesus.

“The meeting took up the case with great earnestness, and I could not but feel that prayer would in some way be answered.

“But can you imagine our surprise when, at our evening prayer meeting, this same Universalist came in?

“After standing a few minutes, till the opportunity offered, he said:

“I went away on horseback this morning, and told my wife I was going into the country to stay til this flurry was over. I rode right over the hills, back from the river, into the country, till I had got eighteen miles away. There, on the top of a hill, I was stopped as Paul was, and just as suddenly, and made to feel what a horrible sinner I am. I am one of the worst sinners that ever lived. I have lost my Universalism, and I know that I must be born again, or I can never see the kingdom of Heaven. Oh, pray for me that I may be converted; nothing else will do for me.’

“He took his seat amid the tears and sobs of the whole assembly. The hour was full of prayer for that man’s conversion.

“This strong and intelligent man, once one of the bitterest Universalits I ever knew, is now an elder in a Presbyterian church, and one of the most joyous, happy, energetic men of God you will meet in many a day. He believes he was ‘converted on the spot in that prayer meeting.'”

June 14: Daniel Whittle & how D.L. Moody ended up in between two prayers!

Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

We’ve been looking and Daniel Whittle’s book, The Wonders of Prayer: A Record of Well Authenticated and Wonderful Answers. He shares an amazing account of how D.L. Moody ended up in the middle of two prayer requests!

A trustful Christian, whose heart had been deeply touched with thoughts of religion, was one day thinking and pondering and wishing that he might be more truly convinced of the actual existence of the Holy Spirit. “If,” thought he, “there is a Holy Spirit, a Superior Mind and Will, I reverently and sincerely wish that I may be convinced of it beyond all doubt; that I may indeed know God is a living reality and daily guide and mighty among the plans and ways of men.” Though having all the needed mental, historic and heart belief and trust in God – still there was desired that special satisfaction which can only come by personal evidence.

With reverent feeling one morning, he asked the Lord humbly, in Prayer, “What can thy servant do for thee this day? Teach him, that he may gladly minister to any one in thy name.” In the course of the day there came to him the thought of the revival services then proceeding in Brooklyn, and feeling a cordial sympathy, he sat down and wrote a letter to Mr. Moody, with these words: “I know not how you are supported, or anything of your needs; but I feel like helping you in your good work. Enclosed find check for $25; take it and use it if you need it for yourself; if not, then do some good with it.” The circumstance was almost forgotten, when the day after there came this wonderful reply from Mr. Moody:

“Your letter came to hand in the SAME MAIL, at the SAME INSTANT of TIME, with a letter from a brother in distress WANTING THE SAME AMOUNT. And now you have made him happy, and my heart glad, and the Lord will bless you for it.”

D.L. Moody

June 13: Daniel Whittle on the Dangers of Answered Prayer

Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

Daniel Whittle is the author of the hymn, The Banner of the Cross. Perhaps you remember the chorus:

Marching on, marching on,
For Christ count everything but loss!
And to crown Him King, we’ll toil and sing,
Beneath the banner of the cross!

https://library.timelesstruths.org/music/The_Banner_of_the_Cross/

We’re continuing in his book, The Wonders of Prayer: A Record of Well Authenticated and Wonderful Answers.

There is a danger to be carefully guarded against in the reading of this book and in the consideration of the precious truth. The incidents it relates bring before the mind, of the unlimited resources and the unquenchable love of God, that are made available to beliving prayer. That danger has been suggested by what has been said, that the highest use of prayer is to bring the soul nearer to God, and not the making of it a mere matter of convenience to escape physical ills or supply physical necessities.

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh” and continues flesh until the end. “Have no confidence in the flesh” is always a much needed exhortation. Now, unquestionably, the desires of the natural heart may and do deceive us, and often lead us to believe that our fervent earnest prayer for temporal blessing is led of the Spirit, when the mind of the Spirit is, that we will be made more humble, more Christ-like and more useful by being denied than be being granted. Again, we are in danger of disobeying the plain commands of God’s word in allowing prayer ever to take the place of anything in our power to do, and that we are commanded to do as a means to secure needed good. He who has said “pray always,” has also said, “And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12)

June 12: Daniel Whittle: What is the purpose of answered prayer?

Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

Daniel W. Whittle wrote about 200 hymns, among the better known are “I Know Whom I have Believed,” as well as “Showers of Blessings.” We’ve been sharing highlights from Daniel Whittle’s book, The Wonders of Prayer. However, some may see answered prayer as its own end. Daniel Whittle addresses this concern.

A widow once told the writer of the turning point in her Christian life, when God’s love was so shed abroad in her heart that she had been enabled to go on through all her trials rejoicingly conscious of God’s presence, and casting all her burdens upon Him. She was driven to seek God by great need. Her husband’s death left her destitute, with little children to provide for, and few friends from whom to look for continuous aid. Winter drew on, and one day, her little boy came in shivering with cold and asked if he could not have a fur cap, as his straw hat was very cold and none of the boys at school wore straw hats.

She was without a cent in the world. She gave a hopeful answer to the boy and sent him out to play, and then went to her bedroom and knelt and wept in utter desolation of heart before God, praying most earnestly that God would give her a token that He was her God for her by sending a cap for her boy. While she prayed the peace of God filled her soul. She was made to feel the presence of her Saviour in such a way that all doubts as to his love for her and his fulfillment of all his promises to care for her vanished away, and she went out of her room, rejoicing in the Lord and singing his praise.

She had no burden about the cap, and was quite content for God to send it or not as it pleased Him; and, in the afternoon, when a neighbor called, occupied with the Lord and his wonderful love, the thought of the cap had gone from her mind. When the neighbor rose to depart, she said, “You know my little boy died last fall. Just before he died I bought him a fur cap: he only wore it two or three times. After his death I put away all his things and thought I could never part with any of them. But, this morning, as I went to the drawer to look them over, I felt that I should give you this cap for your little boy. Will you take it of me?

As she took the cap and told her neighbor of the morning trial, prayer and blessing, two souls were filled with the sense of the reality of prayer and the love of God for his children. “My little boy,” said the widow, “wore that cap for three winters. And often, when sorely tried by my circumstances, has God lifted the burden from my heart, by my just looking at it, and remembering the blessing that came with it.”

Experiences like this God gives to all his children, not for the purpose of leading them to look to Him for supplying their physical necessities, as an end, but to make Himself known to them, and to secure their confidence and love, for “this is life eternal, that they might know Thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent,” (John 17:8)

June 11: Daniel Whittle: God answered George Müller’s prayers

Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

We met Daniel Whittle yesterday – and will be looking at some of the answers to prayer that he has collected in his book. Daniel Whittle was talking about the importance of taking everything – large or small – to God in prayer. He continues with a meeting he happened to have with George Müller.

It was my happiness to cross the Atlantic in the company of this dear brother [George Müller] on the steamship Sardinian, from Quebec to Liverpool, in June, 1880.

I met Mr. Müller in the express office the morning of sailing, about half an hour before the tender was to take the passengers to the ship. He asked of the agent if a deck chair had arrived for him from New York. He was answered, No, and told that it could not possibly come in time for the steamer. I had with me a chair I had just purchased and told Mr. Müller of the place near by, where I had obtained it, and suggested that as but a few moments remained he had better buy one at once.

His reply was, “No, my brother, Our Heavenly Father will send the chair from New York. It is one used by Mrs. Miller, as we came over, and left in New York when we landed. I wrote ten days ago to a brother who promised to see it forwarded here last week.He has not been prompt as I would have desired, but I am sure Our Heavenly Father will send the chair. Mrs. Müller is very sick upon the sea, and has particularly desired to have this same chair, and not finding it here yesterday when we arrived, as we expected, we have made special prayer that Our Heavenly Father would be pleased to provide it for us, and we will trust Him to do so.” As this dear man of God went peacefully on board the tender, running the risk of Mrs. Müller making the voyage without a chair, when for a couple of dollars she could have been provided for, I confess I feared Mr. Müller was carrying his faith principles too far and not acting wisely.

I was kept at the express office ten minutes after Mr. Müller left. Just as I started to hurry to the wharf a team drove up the street, and on top of a load just arrived from New York, was Mr. Müller’s chair! It was sent at once to the tender and placed in my hands to take to Mr. Müller (the Lord having a lesson for me) just as the boat was leaving the dock. I found Mr. and Mrs. Müller in a retired spot on one side of the tender and handed him the chair. He took it with the happy, pleased expression of a child who has just received a kindness deeply appreciated, and reverently removing his hat and folding his hands over it, he thanked his Heavenly Father for sending the chair. “In everything by prayer and supplication let your requests be made known unto God.” “Casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you.”

From the book, The Wonders of Prayer, by Daniel W. Whittle.

June 10: Daniel W. Whittle on Prayer

Daniel W. Whittle
Daniel W. Whittle

Daniel W. Whittle is the author of many hymns that we know and love:

A contemporary of D.L. Moody, he also published a book in 1885, The Wonders of Prayer: A Record of Well Authenticated and Wonderful Answers to Prayer, available FREE from Google Books. From the introduction to his book:

To recognize God’s existence is to necessitate prayer to Him, by all intelligent creatures… It would be horrible to admit the existence of a Supreme Being, with power and wisdom to create, and believe that the creatures he thought of consequence and importance enough to bring into existence, are not of enough consequence for him to pay any attention to in the troubles and trials consequent upon that existence.

Jesus taught his disciples to pray, saying, “Our Father which art in Heaven.” As Christians, this is our authority for prayer. In the words, “Our Father,” our Blessed Lord has given us the substance of all that can be said, as to the privilege of prayer, what to pray for, and how to pray. There can be no loftier exercise of soul ever given to created intelligence than to come into conscious contact with the living God, and be able to say “My Father.”

And surely, as my Father, with a loving father’s heart, it must be his desire that I should tell him all my needs, all my sorrows, all my desires. And, so his word commands, “Be careful for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.” (Phil. 4:6) Under this verse there is positively no exception of any request that may not be made known unto God. So there is true faith and right Christian philosophy in the remark, “if a pin was needful ot my happiness and I could not find one I would pray to God for it.”

The mistake of Christians is in not praying over little things. “The hairs of your head are all numbered.” Consult God about everything. Expect His counsel His guidance, His care, His provision, His deliverance, His blessing, in everything. Does not the expression, “Our daily bread,” mean just this? Can there be any true life of faith that does not include this? Whatever will serve to help God’s children to a better understanding of the blessed privileges of prayer, and prove to them the reality of God’s answering prayer in the cares, trials, and troubles of daily life, will approve itself to all thoughtful minds as a blessing to them and an honor to God.

June 9: Lancelot Andrewes on the Lord’s Prayer

Lancelot Andrewes
Lancelot Andrewes

Lancelot Andrewes was leader of one of the companies that translated the King James Bible. Here’s some insights from him on prayer:

Hallowed be Thy Name

This is the first of the seven petitions, and it is the only one that is concerned with God. Hence before seeking our own and our brethren’s needs, we pray that God’s name will be sanctified as He alone is holy, and the Saviour. As we ponder on the holiness of God there should come to us other manifestations of holiness such as His day, the Church, His undershepherds, His ordinances, creation and our fellow brothers and sisters.

sanctus, sanctus, sanctus.  This petition also reminds us that we must not curse the Holy name, and that we must pray for those who do. We must also not give any glory to ourselves but only to God as everything we have comes from Him. When we reverence God’s name it also helps us to fight the sin of pride, so much rooted in us. Above all the petition tells us of our true vocation:

If while we remain on earth our whole desire be to sanctify God’s name, we shall at length come to the place where we shall say and might sing as the Cherubims do, and with the heavenly host of Angels sing, ‘Glory to God on high;’ we shall fall down before His throne, saying always, ‘Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour and praise for ever.’

June 8: Lancelot Andrewes Prayer of Confession

Lancelot Andrewes
Lancelot Andrewes

We’ve been observing some lessons on prayer from Lancelot Andrewes, one of the company captains that translated the King James Bible.

Perhaps you’ve heard people say that we don’t take sin as serious today as we used to take sin. Here’s a prayer of confession from Lancelot Andrewes’ private prayer journal (notice the references to Scripture!)

Lord,
as we add day to day, so sin to sin. 
The just falleth seven times a day; and I, an exceeding sinner, 
seventy times seven; a wonderful, a horrible thing, O Lord. 
But I turn with groans from my evil ways, 
and I return into my heart, and with all my heart I turn to Thee,
O God of penitents and Saviour of sinners; 
and evening by evening I will return 
in the innermost marrow of my soul;
and my soul out of the deep crieth unto Thee. 
I have sinned, O Lord, against Thee, 
heavily against Thee; alas, alas, woe is me! 
for my misery. I repent, O me! 
I repent, spare me, O Lord, I repent, O me, I repent,
help Thou my impenitence. 
Be appeased, spare me, O Lord; 
be appeased, have mercy on me ; 
I said, Lord, have mercy upon me, 
heal my soul, for I have sinned against Thee. 
Have mercy upon me, O Lord, after Thy great goodness, 
according to the multitude of Thy mercies do away mine offences. 
Remit the guilt, heal the wound, blot out the stains, 
clear away the shame, rescue from the tyranny, 
and make me not a public example. 
O bring Thou me out of my trouble, cleanse Thou me from secret faults,
keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins.
My wanderings of mind and idle talking lay not to my charge.
Remove the dark and muddy flood of foul and wicked thoughts.
O Lord, I have destroyed myself; 
whatever I have done amiss, pardon mercifully.
Deal not with us after our sins, 
neither reward us after our iniquities. 
Look mercifully upon our infirmities; 
and for the glory of Thy All-holy Name, 
turn from us all those ills and miseries, 
which by our sins, and by us through them,
are most righteously and worthily deserved