Part 133

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"Pa's prayers for a happy Thanksgiving," the boy answered, as he proceeded to unload potatoes, bacon, flour and other provisions for the afflicted family.

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 princ.i.p.ally 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 foot."--_Taylor Edwards_.

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 prayers."

"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 prayer, Joe?"

"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 G.o.d 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 G.o.d 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 G.o.d to cast that wish away.

--_Hartley Coleridge_.

_See also_ Courage.

PREACHING

The services in the chapel of a certain western university are from time to time conducted by eminent clergymen of many denominations and from many cities.

On one occasion, when one of these visiting divines asked the president how long he should speak, that witty officer replied:

"There is no limit, Doctor, upon the time you may preach; but I may tell you that there is a tradition here that the most souls are saved during the first twenty-five minutes."

One Sunday morning a certain young pastor in his first charge announced nervously:

"I will take for my text the words, 'And they fed five men with five thousand loaves of bread and two thousand fishes.'"

At this misquotation an old parishioner from his seat in the amen corner said audibly:

"That's no miracle--I could do it myself."

The young preacher said nothing at the time, but the next Sunday he announced the same text again. This time he got it right:

"And they fed five thousand men on five loaves of bread and two fishes."

He waited a moment, and then, leaning over the pulpit and looking at the amen corner, he said:

"And could you do that, too, Mr. Smith?"

"Of course I could," Mr. Smith replied.

"And how would you do it?" said the preacher.

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