I. In the spring of 1858, during the prevalence of the wide-spread revivals described in Prime’s “Power of Prayer,” I was soundly converted to God. At that time I was in mature young manhood, and in business. My health had been poor for a number of years, and when I gave my heart to the Lord Jesus, I appeared to myself to be standing on the very verge of death and hell.
A short time after the mighty change, I was led to pray for "Hezekiah’s fifteen years.” Hezekiah, the pious king of Judah, was "sick unto death;“ but “he turned his face to the wall, and prayed unto the Lord,” and the Lord was pleased to restore him to health, and made him the promise: “I will add unto thy days fifteen years.”
My case occurred long before faith-cure received the attention that it does at present. In fact, nothing special appears to have been known or thought about it in those days. The impression upon my mind was doubtless born of the Holy Spirit. I was not led to pray for restored health, but simply for fifteen years of continued life. My prayer became very earnest, until it resulted in a settled and grounded faith. I most certainly and most devoutly believed that I should yet live fifteen years. But there was a condition in my mind to the promise. This was, that I should not backslide. I felt that if I turned from the service of the God who had wonderfully saved me, I should soon die.
The promise of God -- the witness, if you please -- that my life would be spared, was so clear and pronounced, that I scarcely ever thought of doubting it. Indeed, in preaching funeral sermons, and speaking as one naturally would sometimes of the uncertainty of life, in such a way as to include my own, the words would gag my throat, and I would have to use language that was more guarded and more in accordance with what I understood to be the facts in my own case.
Of course, my life went on in fact, nothing could destroy it while I carefully kept the one only condition-that of fidelity to God But at no time was I impressed or permitted to make any public statement of my assurance, or, indeed, in private, except in possibly a couple of instances, where I thought special good might be the result.
The result was, I not only lived fifteen years -- years added to my natural allotment -- but also, I am now actually considerably advanced on my third fifteenth year! The last fact indicated is no doubt a result of the many prayers of the people of God, as well as my own, that my days of usefulness might still be lengthened out. To God be everlasting glory!
II. I received my first appointment to a pastoral work by Bishop Simpson, in 1860. It was to a comparatively new work, on the northern border of the great “North woods,” and not far from the Adirondacks, in the State of New York. It was a lumber region. There were two lakes, the Upper and Lower Chateaugay, and a river, the Chateaugay, running out from them northward until it crossed the frontier, and emptied into the river St. Lawrence. On the east side of the lower lake was an isolated neighborhood, having a schoolhouse. I learned that the gospel was not preached there at all. I was therefore led to send an appointment into the neighborhood for a meeting. It was to be held at a certain hour in the afternoon. This was during the latter part of the summer of 1860.
When the day came for filling the appointment, about a dozen of us started up the river toward the lake, in a boat. The most of the company went for the pleasure of going, but I went solely to preach the gospel of the Son of God. The boat was moved with oars; there was a sail, but this was use while we were in the river. It was a considerable distance up the river, perhaps a mile. But there was a boom in the whole distance up to the lake, and this, added to the facts that the river was very narrow, and there were logs on one side of the boom a large part of the way, made our progress very slow.
As we at last emerged from the river into the lake, with two miles of lake between us and my appointment, I looked at my watch, and saw at once that by rowing we could not reach the school house in time. There was no wind, so the sail could not be used. I sat in the stern of the boat, and thought.
Being late to meeting was particularly obnoxious to me; what should be done? I prayed. Prayer always brings us out right; praise God! I said nothing to the company, but simply prayed. As I prayed I began to believe. Believe what? That the wind would spring up, so that I could get to the school-house on time. And, sure enough in a very short time the breeze began, at first very gently, and then increasing, until it became almost a gale. The sail was quickly unfurled, and we scud through that little lake at a wonderful speed. Arriving at the shore, the waves ran so high that it was with some difficulty we could safely land.
The result was, myself and wife arrived at the school-house before any of the congregation. In due time the people were on hand, and I had the pleasure of dealing out to them the saving word of God.
There was no wind, but there was a pressing necessity for it. Prayer was made, faith was exercised, and the wind came. Was it a miracle? That is what I call it -- call it what you will. Praise God!
III. In 1882, I received an invitation to assist Brother S. B. Shaw, the editor of this book, in a series of campmeetings in the State of Michigan. I accepted the invitation, and was at several of the meetings. I was in those years as now, conducting the “Christian Harvester,” and depended on subscriptions, etc., received during the campmeeting seasons, for the means of buying a stock of paper, which was usually needed along in the month of September of each year. This year, for some reason or other, I received but little money at the meetings though souls were saved and sanctified and arrived at my home in Ohio with the usual need of paper, and no money to buy it with. I went to God with my need-his need. He inspired my faith that the money should come.
At that time of the year comparatively little money was wont to come in through the mails; but soon after praying, they began to bring in unusual amounts. One man in Illinois sent me twenty dollars -- a man who was an entire stranger possibly he had seen me, but I did not remember him. All he asked in return for the money was a year’s subscription to the Harvester, and that I should pray for him. The unusual in flow of money continued until a sufficient amount was received to pay for the stock of paper then it immediately stopped.
Sammy Hick, the eccentric Yorkshire local preacher, had faith for a wind to grind out his wheat, the flour being needed to feed the people who were coming to the “quarterly-meeting;” and the moment Sammy’s grist was ground the wind ceased, and none of the neighbors could get any grinding -- unless, as the miller said, they had Sammy’s faith. So in my case -- and showing that it was a matter of pure faith, and not in the usual order of things-when money enough came to supply the need, further supply was immediately withheld. Again, to God be all the glory! Amen.
- Thos. K. Daly
Touching Incidents and Remarkable Answers to Prayer - 1893