The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.
Daniel Whittle records many answers to prayer from the Fulton Street Prayer Meeting Revival. In 1857, following Jeremiah Lanphier’s invitation to pray, thousands packed the churches of New York City and many cities across the nation for noon-time prayer meetings. Here’s what person wrote:
“Some three weeks ago, I wrote you, stating that my business had been a failure, and asked your prayers that God, in His mercy, would point out a way for me to provide for my family. The clouds grew thicker and blacker, but the more earnest were my prayers. Last Saturday the Lord came to my rescue, and provided me with the necessities of life, and to-day I wish you to join with me in thanksgiving to Almighty God for these favors;–‘For He is good; His mercy endureth forever.'”
We talk a lot about how to pray to God. But how does God speak to us? Elijah figured this out:
 And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:  And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.  And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?
1 Kings 19:11-13
The voice of the Lord came not in wind, earthquake, or fire, but in a still small voice. Do we quiet our hearts to hear His voice?
 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.
What happens when we quiet our hearts to hear His voice? Daniel Whittle shares another fascinating account:
Walking across Palace Square in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with an American ship-master, (says a correspondent of the Watchman) he invited me to accompany him to his hotel. While there he showed me a very large gold medal he had received from the British government for saving a ship’s company at sea. The circumstances were these: One night at sea, when it was the captain’s “mid-watch,”–the watch from twelve, midnight, till four o’clock in the morning–just before turning in, he gave the officer of the watch the ship’s course; the direction in which she was to be steered. While undressing, it was impressed on his mind that he ought to change the course a point; but he could see no reason for the change, as the ship was on the right course for the port of her destination. He turned in and tried to fall asleep, as it was only four hours to his watch; but the impression that he ought to change the ship’s course kept him awake. In vain he tried to throw off that impression; and yielding to it, he went on deck and gave the order for the change. On returning to his berth, he was asleep as soon as his head was on the pillow. The next day he sighted a ship in distress, and made sail for her. The ship was in a sinking condition, and he rescued the whole ship’s company. Shortly after, a gale of wind arose and carried the sinking ship to complete destruction. Had not the American captain changed the course of his ship that evening, he would not have come in sight of the ship in distress, and all of the company would have perished.
Query—What made that Captain arise in the middle of the night and, contrary to all science, reason and his own will, change the course of his vessel, but a Supreme Being, whose power he could not resist, and what made him exactly reach that sinking ship just in time.
Daniel Whittle recounts how in “Memorials of Methodism in Virginia,” Dr. W.W. Bennet relates the following incidents in the life of John Easter, one of the pioneer ministers who labored there nearly one hundred years ago: He is represented as being the most powerful exhortatory preacher of his day. His faith was transcendent, his appeals irresistible, his prayers like talking with God face to face. Perhaps no man has ever been more signally honored of God as an instrument in the conversion of souls. On one of his circuits eighteen hundred members were added to the church in a single year.
Many thrilling scenes under his preaching yet linger among the people in those counties where he principally labored. A most extraordinary display of his faith was witnessed in Brunswick. At Merritt’s meeting- house a quarterly meeting was in progress, and so vast was the concourse of people from many miles around, that the services were conducted in a beautiful grove near the church. In the midst of the exercises, a heavy cloud arose, and swept rapidly towards the place of worship. From the skirts of the grove the rain could be seen coming on across the fields. The people were in consternation; no house could hold one-third of the multitude, and they were about to scatter in all directions. Easter rose in the midst of the confusion–“Brethren,” cried he at the top of his voice, “be still while I call upon God to stay the clouds, till His word can be preached to perishing sinners.” Arrested by his voice and manner, they stood between hope and fear. He kneeled down and offered a fervent prayer that God would then stay the rain, that the preaching of His word might go on, and afterwards send refreshing showers. While he was praying, the angry cloud, as it swiftly rolled up to them, was seen to part asunder in the midst, pass on either side of them, and close again beyond, leaving a space several hundred yards in circumference perfectly dry. The next morning a copious rain fell again, and the fields that had been left dry were well watered.”
Daniel Whittle shares about a prominent business man who failed in the Spring of 1877. He had been for years a prominent and consistent member of a Christian church. He had even supported a church once almost entirely. Nothing was known against his character, but he failed; he failed in business. No one knew the reason why, but there it was, failure.
At last, in moments of bitter repentance before God, he unbosomed himself to his pastor, and said, “Long ago I promised to give the Lord one-tenth of all the profits I gained from my business, and while I did so, I was immensely prosperous and successful; never did any one have any such splendid success,–but I forgot my promise, stopped giving, thought that I did not need to spend so much, and I began to invest my means in real estate. When I stopped giving I stopped getting. Now all is gone. I lost my all because I did not keep my promise to the Lord.”
This incident is a practical one, telling how utter is the impossibility of true success, without the aid of the Lord, and how absolutely necessary it is to our own peace and comfort of mind to religiously observe one’s promises made to God. The Bible only too truly tells of the end of those who forget Him.
But Jeshurun waxed fat… then he forsook God which made him… And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them….And he said, I will hide my face from them
Deuteronomy 32:15, 19, 20
…ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the LORD, he hath also forsaken you.
2 Chronicles 24:20
…There shall be desolation 10 Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength…
Daniel Whittle shares the following incident, marvelous, as at the time of its occurrence neither party had ever been known to each other:
In New Haven, Conn., lives a little invalid widow, almost helpless, with no one upon whom to rely for support, and only indebted to friendly acquaintances for a temporary home. With no money, no acquaintances, she had nowhere else to turn to but to the Father of all good. She had prayed often, and often had answers, but this time, though needing money, still she received none. The answer was long delayed; she was almost discouraged. “Was God at last to fail and forget her? No, it could not be. Let God be true even if I perish, I shall still cling to Him. I can not give Him up.”
Just at that time a business man in New York, who had been absent on a long journey for the Summer and had just returned, happened to pick up a note among many hundred lying on his desk, and noticed that the writer asked for some trifling favor, saying she was poor, had no means.
Her circumstances were unknown: he knew nothing but her name. He was eager to minister to the little ones of the Lord, and felt deeply impressed in prayer that morning, in asking a blessing on his day’s labors, that he might be able to help the need of some of “his children” who might then be in want. In his business hours the thought came over him with the depth of emotion, “WHAT CAN I DO? LORD, THY SERVANT IS READY.” Just at that moment he picked up this note of the little invalid, who asked the trivial favor, saying it would be such a comfort. (No money whatever was asked for in this note.)
Suddenly the thought came to him, “Perhaps this is my very opportunity. This may be the Lord’s little one in need.” But there was nothing in the letter to indicate she was a Christian. She solicited no money or pecuniary help.
Immediately there came to his mind, amid floods of tears, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these, my children, ye have done it unto me.” Instantly he understood it as a message from the Lord, and the intimation of the Holy Spirit. He immediately sat down and wrote a check for $25, and enclosed it to her, saying, “I know not your need; you have not asked me for help, but I send you something which may be useful. I trust you are a Christian. I shall be happy to learn if it has done good, and made you happy. Give me no thanks. The Lord’s blessing is enough for me.”
The letter was sent and forgotten, but a strange presentiment came over the mind of the writer. “I am afraid I did not direct that letter right.” He sent a second postal card, asking if a letter had been received at her home; if not, to go to her post office and inquire.
Now notice the wonderful singularity of incident. Here is a man sending money, never asked for, to an unknown person, about whom he knew nothing; then misdirecting his letter, and then remembering and sending another message to go and find where the first had gone to. But notice the marvelous result. The little invalid received the postal card, but not the letter. She sent to the post office, and sure enough there was the first letter with its misdirection. She was just in time to save it from being sent to another woman of the same name living in another part of the same city.
She opened her letter, and with tears of thankfulness perused this wonderful reply, a marvelous witness to the power of an overruling Spirit, who had directed everything.
“My heart is full, that God should so answer my simple prayer. I first asked him for $10, then $15, and then for $25. I asked him for $25 several times, and was astonished at my boldness, but the amount was so fixed in my mind, I could not ask for anything else, and then I humbly trusted it to Him, and from that time I thought, I will not name any sum; let it be as He knows my need. And how He has honored my simple faith and trust in these dark days. Your letter contained exactly the $25 I prayed for. I have not had $1.50 to spend this Summer. I have suffered for everything. But through it all I have felt such perfect faith in the Lord, that his hand was leading me, even when I could not see a step before me; and that He should move your heart to help me seems so wonderful, so good. I am so glad I can thank you now, but ah, so much “over there” where words will express so much more in the beautiful atmosphere of heaven. Your letter and kind gift was mailed the very same day that I was praying in great distress and trial. I knew not but that I should be without even a home. My verse was Psalms 50: 15. O, how I had to pray that day. So day by day I was comforted, and now to-day the answer has come.”
Here, then, is a portion of the story of a sweet life who trusted God, not as a God of the past, nor far off, but ever living, ever present, ever faithful, and believed Him able, willing, and that He would help her in her daily life. She tried her Lord, to prove if his promises were indeed true, and she clung to them to the very last. No one knew her need. No one knew what she was praying for. The stranger did not know anything of her. She had asked money of no one but the Lord. Hesitant ever, she dared not name any amount of the Lord, but that ever present Spirit of God guided her heart, made her fix the amount, and then touched the heart of the stranger and fixed the amount also in his mind, and then, by his own guidance saved the letter from being lost, and behold! when opened the prayer of the one and the gift of the other was the same.
What a comfort, what a privilege, then, it is for the true-hearted Christian thus to feel, “There is one who careth for us.”
Daniel Whittle tells us of God’s help even in the courtroom!
And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
“In one of our northern cities, a trial at law took place between a Christian and an infidel. The latter had sued the former for a heavy sum, falsely alleging his promise to pay it for some stocks which he claimed to have sold him. The Christian admitted AN OFFER of the stock, but protested that so far from promising the sum demanded, he had steadily refused to make any trade whatever with the plaintiff. Each of the parties to the suit had a friend who fully corroborated their assertions. Thus the case went before the jury for decision.
“The charge of the judge was stern and significant. ‘It was a grave and most painful task which devolved upon him to instruct the jurors that one of the parties before them must be guilty of deliberate and willful perjury. Their statements were wholly irreconcilable with each other; nay more, were diametrically opposite; and that either were innocently mistaken in their assertions was impossible.
“‘Your verdict, gentlemen,’ he said in conclusion, ‘must decide upon which side this awful and heaven-daring iniquity belongs. The God of truth help you to find the truth, that the innocent suffer not.’
“It was late in the day when the judge’s charge was given, and the finding of the jury was to be rendered in the morning. The plaintiff went carelessly from the court arm in arm with the wicked associate whom he had bribed to swear falsely on his behalf. The defendant and his friend walked away together in painful silence. When the Christian reached his home, he told his family of the judge’s solemn charge and of the grave responsibility which rested upon the jurors. ‘They are to decide which of us has perjured ourselves on this trial,’ he said; ‘and how terrible a thing for me if they should be mistaken in their judgment. There is so little of any thing tangible for their decision to rest upon, that it seems to me as if a breath might blow it either way. They cannot see our hearts, and I feel as if, only God could enable them to discern the truth. Let us spend the evening in prayer that he may give them a clear vision.'”
The twelve jurymen ate their supper in perplexed silence, and were shut in their room for deliberation and consultation. “I never sat in such a case before,” said the foreman. “The plaintiff and defendant have sworn point-blank against each other; and how we are to tell which speaks the truth, I can not see. I should not like to make a mistake in the matter; it would be a sad affair to convict an innocent man of perjury.” Again there was silence among them, as if each were weighing the case in his own mind. “For myself I feel as if the truth must be with the defendant; I am constrained to think that he is an honest man. What say you, gentlemen?” Every hand was raised in affirmation of this opinion. They were fully persuaded of its truth, and gave a unanimous verdict accordingly.
Thus the Christian man was rightfully acquitted, and gave thanks to God, with a new and stronger confidence in the power of prayer. “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me,” saith the Lord.
Daniel Whittle records another account of the Lord’s provision:
A poor but pious widow in Boston, in her eighty-seventh year, said to a friend, “When I was left a widow with three little children, I was brought into such extremity that they were crying for bread, and I had nothing for them to eat. As I arose on a Sabbath morning, I knew not what to do but to ask my heavenly Father to feed my little ones, and commit myself and them to his care.
“I then went out to the well to get a pail of water, and saw on the ground a six cent piece, which I took up; and learning that it did not belong to any of those who lived in the same house with me, I thought I might take it to feed my famishing children. Though it was a Sabbath morning, I felt that it would be right to go to a baker who lived in the neighborhood, tell him our circumstances, and buy bread with the money Providence had thus cast in my way. The baker not only did this, but the Lord opened his heart to add a bountiful supply; and from that hour to the present, which is nearly fifty years, I have never doubted that God would take care of his children.”
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
Daniel Whittle shares a remarkable incident, showing how God makes the winds to obey him in obedience to the prayer of his righteous ones, and the expectations of their faith, that occurred also in Samuel Hick’s life, which is really an astonishing proof of God’s supernatural power.
A church gathering was to take place at Micklefleld, and Samuel had promised two loads of corn for their use. The day fixed drew near, but there was no flour in the house, and the wind-mills, in consequence of a long calm, stretched out their arms in vain to catch the rising breezes. In the midst of this death-like quiet, Samuel carried his corn to the mill nearest his own residence, and requested the miller to unfurl his sails. The miller objected, stating that there was “no wind.” Samuel, on the other hand, continued to urge his request, saying, “I will go and pray while you spread the cloth.” More with a view of gratifying the applicant than of any faith he had, the man stretched his canvas. No sooner had he done this than, to his utter astonishment, a fine breeze sprung up, the fans whirled around, the corn was converted into meal, and Samuel returned with his burden rejoicing,and had everything in readiness for the festival.
In the mean time, a neighbor who had seen the fan in vigorous motion, took also some corn to be ground; but the wind had dropped, and the miller remarked to him, “You must send for Sammy Hick to pray for the wind to blow again.”
But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!
Daniel Whittle shares that the life of faith and the necessity of uncompromising hold on the promise’s, expecting their fulfillment, is admirably explained in the illustration of Noah’s prayer. One day Mr. Moody was much discouraged, and it was as dark a Sabbath as ever he had, and a friend suggested to him to study the life of Noah.
“I got out my Bible, and the thought came over me, ‘Here is a man who labored and talked a hundred years, and didn’t succeed; didn’t get a convert notwithstanding all his efforts, all his prayers, but he didn’t get discouraged.’
“But he took God at his word; he worked right on; he prayed right on; and he waited God’s time. And, my friends, from that time, I have never been discouraged. Whenever I think of him, it lifts me up out of the darkness into the light. Don’t get discouraged.”
The lesson of Noah’s life is briefly this: He never converted a soul outside of his own family. That was the work God gave him to do, and he prayed and waited and worked, and never gave up, and he was saved and all his family with him.
So every Christian must recognize that his field is not far off, but right around him, in his house, among his friends, working, praying, waiting, but never getting discouraged. The Lord will never fail those who “abide in Him.”
By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned.
Daniel Whittle shares another account from D.L. Moody:
At one of the prayer-meetings at the Brooklyn tabernacle, Mr. Moody closed by narrating an instance of persevering prayer by a Christian wife for an infidel husband. She resolved to pray for him at noon for eighteen months, and at the expiration of that time, her knocking not having been responded to, she exclaimed, “Lord, I will pray for him, every day, and at all hours, as long as life lasts.”
That day the Lord heard her knock, and gave her the desire of her heart, in the conversion of her husband. When the Lord saw her faith would not give up, he sent the answer immediately.
I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.