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John Byers' Prevailing Prayer

Maggie, an Irish girl of about twenty years, burned herself by lighting the morning fire with kerosene. Dr. Benjamin, the leader of the infidel club here, was called, who bound her up in cotton and oil.

A neighbor sent for John Byers, an old Scotch shoemaker, to pray with her. As he came into the house, the doctor was coming out, and ordered him away, saying, he didn’t want any praying done about any of his patients. But Brother Byers paid him no heed, and taking the girl’s hand, asked her:

“Maggie, are you in great pain?” “Oh! Awful, sir,” was her answer. “Well, we will ask God to take it away,” he said; and falling upon his knees at her bedside paying no more attention to the room full of women that stood about, than if they had been so many flies, he asked the Lord to take all the pain away, so that he could talk to her about her soul; and very soon he got the perfect assurance that his prayer was heard.

So he arose and said:

“Do you feel any pain now, Maggie?”

“No, sir, it has all gone away.”

Then he presented a Savior to her mind, as dying for dying Maggie, so that she, by believing on Him, might live forever; and soon she accepted Him as her Redeemer.

After a little while she opened her eyes, and looking around, said to the women: “Don’t you hear it?”

“No, we don’t hear anything, Maggie,” they replied.

“Oh, I never heard such singing before! And the music! I can’t tell you how fine it is” And then she lay, listening till starting up, she sat up in bed, and pointing upward, said: “ Don’t you see them? Oh, how beautiful they are! What are they?”

“They are the angels, coming to take you home, Maggie,” said Brother Byers.

Then she laid back again on her pillow perfectly quiet, as if fearing to lose sight of the beautiful vision. Brother Byers turned to go home, but had not got a hundred steps from the house, when one of the women called out to him: “ She’s gone, sir.”

But the case of the doctor lay heavily on John Byers’ mind; and that night, he did not go to bed until he had made the case a subject of earnest prayer, and had received the assurance that he should be converted, Seeing the doctor a few days after that, he told him of his answer to prayer for him. But the doctor laughed at the idea of such a fool getting any such a promise from the Maker of the universe.

But the next fall the doctor went to Florida for his health, and within two months, the news came back that Benjamin had knelt at a Methodist mourner’s bench, and was converted.

The next spring he died, rejoicing in the faith.

- Dr. H. Durham.

Touching Incidents & Remarkable Answers to Prayer - 1893

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