The Life and Experiences of a Layman by Charles Boller

Pages 123 - 127


and looking like the fine Yankee who remains firmly seated on his chair, stiff from head to toe.

Finally it was time to go to bed. He was repeatedly advised to withdraw to his room and go to bed. But he would rather stay in his chair, he said.

Now the host said, "Before we go to bed it is our custom to read a section of God's word and pray," and he reached for the bible which was on the bookcase. At this moment the great fear disappeared and the heavy stone of sorrow was suddenly rolled away from his heart. After the couple brought forth their evening prayer to the Lord and added an intimate plea for the lost friend, the scales fell from the spiritual eyes of the non-believing banker as it had with St. Paul on the road to Damascus.

The dear word of God had literally evinced its power on him. Oh, how gladly he now went to bed and slept until the light of morning like a small child at the breast of its mother. They showed him the right path out of the forest and at the same time the right path to the beloved savior. The imagined robber baron, of whom he had so much fear,


became the deliverer of his body and soul into the hands of God.The result was that this converted non-believer became a serious preacher.

By such wondrous means the beloved savior finds his sheep. For thirty years I have told this story in Sunday school.

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48. What God's Word is good for

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It is peculiar how one and the same issue can be viewed and judged from various sides. An Indian fairytale tells us this. It goes: Once the owls held school. After a time they wanted to know how much progress their students had made and they asked them a number of questions. The first was, "Why does the moon in the sky shine?" The nightengale said, "So I can sing all night long to the roses in the bright moonlight." The lilies said, "So we can bask our blossoms in the refreshing rays of the moon." The hare replied, "So that in the morning there's enough dew for me to lap up." The dog said, "So I can find the thief who threatens my master's house."


The glowworm answered, "The moon shines because it envies my light." The fox said, "So I can find the henhouse."

It is similar with the word of God. The critic uses it by testing his keenness on it. The cynic and the joker, to drive their wit with it. The doubter, so he may increase his doubt. Those are all bad examples of using God's word.

So how should God's word be used? "The gospel," St. Paul says, "is a power of God to make all holy who believe in it." It will make us holy; that is, happy. And whoever uses the word of God so that he becomes happy and holy throughout his entire life is using it correctly. God's word will comfort and fortify us. Thus whoever uses God's word in order to derive comfort in his distress and strength from his weakness is using it properly.

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49. The Power of Those who Pray

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"What you ask for in my name, that I will do," John 14,13.

That the young will do greater work than Jesus


was a promise which seems even too great for them. Thus Jesus adds, "And, what you ask for in my name, that I will do." Their task is to ask. To do is His task. To the extent that they may ask, so it is that the work is performed through them. In prayer lies the power and the greatness of the ages. No one was small among those who prayed. In prayer also lies the power and greatness of Jesus, as he said, "The son can do nothing by himself." He couldn't emphasize enough that all that he said and did was given through his father. And so his people should imitate him.

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Prayer

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By Cardinal John Henry Newman

My Lord, in thy arms I am safe. Keep me, and I have nothing to fear. Give me up, and I have nothing to hope for. I know nothing about the future, but I rely upon Thee. I pray Thee, to take from me, whatever may imperil my salvation. I leave it to Thee; because Thou knowest, and I do not. If Thou bringest pain and sorrow upon me, give me


grace to bear it well. Keep me from fretfulness and selfishness. If Thou givest me health and strength, and success in this world, keep me ever on guard, lest these great gifts, carry me away from Thee. Give me to know Thee. To love Thee. To serve Thee. To live to and for Thee. Give me to die just at that time, and in that way, which is most to Thy glory. Amen.

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51. A Sunday School Prayer

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Listen to me, scholars! What I am about to say to you: It will please our Heavenly Father, if all the scholars will be real quiet, bow their heads, close their eyes and lift up their hearts to Him in prayer now. Let us pray: "Dear Heavenly Father, we thank Thee for Thy precious Word we have read this hour. And praise Thy holy name, dear Jesus, for this simple lesson. Thou hast given us teachers, a pattern how to teach our classes this afternoon. Come unto Me, all ye that labor, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. I will give you peace, sweet peace. I will give you a new heart. I will give you my love, to


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Text provided by Lockwood Library, State University of New York at Buffalo, BX8080.B65

Susan Kriegbaum-Hanks