Readers of this blog know that I am a great one for prayer. Recently I was reading (in Springs in the Valley by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman) about the great 19th century Presbyterian minister Charles Grandison Finney (August 29, 1792 – August 16, 1875), abolitionist and president of Oberlin College.
The summer of 1853 was unusually hot and dry; pastures were scorched. There seemed likely to be a total crop failure. At the church in Oberlin the great congregation had gathered as usual. Though the sky was clear the burden of Finney’s prayer was for rain.
“We do not presume, O Lord, to dictate to Thee what is best for us; yet Thou didst invite us to come to Thee as children to an earthly father and tell Thee all our wants. We want rain. Our pastures are dry. The earth is gaping open for rain. The cows are wandering about and lowing in search of water. Even the squirrels are suffering from thirst. Unless Thou givest us rain our cattle will die, and our harvest will come to naught. O Lord, send us rain, and send it now! This is an easy thing for Thee to do. Send it now, Lord, for Christ’s sake.”
In a few minutes he had to cease preaching; his voice could not be heard because of the roar and rattle of the rain!
Yet another reminder that the direct approach is always best.
This guy has the right idea.
And, of course, Frederick Buechner always has something good to say.
The painting is by Eric Sloane.