The Prayer Of A Child
An incident is related by Mrs. Howard Taylor concerning a little Chinese girl whose Mohammedan grandfather was in the habit of beating her for praying in the Name of Jesus. The time was one of distress and danger on account of the bandits, and the grandfather had suffered not a little from one company who had taken up their abode on his premises. Great was his alarm one day when, walking on the city wall, he espied the same robbers in uniform returning.
Searching in vain for some hope of aid, the grandfather suddenly thought of the little girl. Why, of course, did she not pray? Hastening home he found her, shook her roughly to awaken her to the seriousness of the situation, and cried – "If ever you prayed in your life, pray now! Those soldiers are coming back. I have seen them from the city wall. They will soon be here. You say God answers prayer. Go into that room and pray. Pray that they may not come to our house!"
Suiting the action to the word, he pushed the child into an empty room and closed the door. All alone, the little girl, who was about eight years old, knelt down. Was she frightened, tearful, uncertain? Her mother who was in an inner room, heard her as she poured out her heart to the Lord.
"Heavenly Father," she said, "I am so happy, so thankful because my grandfather has told me to pray. Always before, he beat me or kicked me if I prayed, and was so angry, but now he has told me to pray. Heavenly Father, now’s Your chance. Please show my grandfather that You do answer prayer. Please don’t let the bandits come to our house." And her prayer was in the name of the Lord Jesus.
The soldiers entered the city and came tramping down their street. The door of the grandfather’s house was standing open, for he knew that it would be of no use to shut it. The officer in front of the band drew up and turned his horse’s head to go into the courtyard. That was the place he was making for, and the little girl was praying inside – "Don’t let them come to our house, Heavenly Father. Now’s Your chance. Please show my grandfather that You answer prayer."
Most unaccountably, the horse would not go in. No, it backed and kicked; it shied this way, and that way, and nothing would make it go in. The officer beat it, and dug his spurs into it, but all to no purpose, until at length, the superstitious fears that are never far away in China, overcame him. He turned to his men and said, "Why, this courtyard is full of demons! We cannot see them, but the horse can. Not one of you go in there!" And he turned his horse and led his men to another part of the town.
What the horse saw or feared we do not know, but we do know what Balaam’s ass saw long ago when it turned aside in the way (Num. 22:23-27), and we know it would be just as easy for the Lord to send His angel with a drawn sword now as it was then.
We know also from a missionary in that city that the grandfather came around to the "Mission House" the next day, and when they met, tears were in the eyes of the proud Mohammedan. "To think," he said, "that all the while that little granddaughter of mine was right, and I was wrong. Teach me about the God who answers prayer like that. Teach me to pray."
– From Answers to Prayer. Reprinted from Pillar of Fire.