Greetings again, and this is the American League of Praying Mothers giving you our letter to the servicemen:
A happy New Year, and mother’s favorite greeting, a sincere “God bless you.”
Here at home we’ve been following with keen interest everything that concerns you and the other men, the numbers that are being sent abroad, the movement of all the troops, the keeping of the truce, and everything.
I’ve said it so many times it must get trite, but I always want you to know, you’re never out of our thoughts and always on our hearts. I hope it gives you some real comfort and hope to know there is much prayer going up for you every single day. The knowledge that we are praying won’t give you much assurance or hope if you believe what you told me about in your last letter.
You remember you said, if I recall it rightly, that your friend there says that prayer can’t change things at all. That it doesn’t change anything. And he said that when your time comes, you’ll just go, that’s all. If a bullet or shell is meant for you, you’ll get it, and nothing in the world can stop it, especially prayer. If that’s your time to die, you’ll just die. Well, son, that’s what we call fatalism!
But I know from definite experience that prayer does change things, and there are many times in the Bible that God’s Word tells of how prayer changed lives, and many lives were spared. Hezekiah prayed and God gave him 15 extra years of life. Moses prayed and God spared Israel, thus sparing many lives. God was going to wipe out the city of Nineveh completely, but when the city of Nineveh repented and prayed, God spared the entire city.
Oh, there are so many instances of this; that is, God sparing lives in answer to prayer in the Bible. Of course, I couldn’t possibly begin to mention them all! I believe God daily spares lives in answer to prayer and changes many vital situations in that way.
I know He spared my life that way. I was given up by a number of physicians as a hopeless case, and they stated frankly that they could do no more for me, but in answer to believing prayer, God worked a miracle! That was many years ago and God is still working miracles for those about me. Every minute He’s answering prayer, and I can tell you of so many instances.
Now let’s reason a little along this line. Why would all these wonderful promises be in the Bible if they didn’t accomplish anything? What are they in there for? If they don’t change the situation, why would God say He would do so and so if you’ll pray, and He’ll give you so and so if you’ll pray, and He’ll change such a situation if you’ll pray?
There are promises that the Lord will keep you, and will lead you, save you, heal you, guide you, deliver you in time of trouble, and supply all your needs according to His riches in glory. All this is at your disposal if you’ll use the means God has given you to obtain these things. That means to call on Him and just ask Him—and that’s prayer, because that’s just what prayer is: asking God for whatever your need is. It says He will supply your every need according to His riches in glory (Philippians 4:19).
You know, many modern scientifically-minded people think it’s utterly ridiculous to take the promises of God’s Word literally and seriously. Isn’t it strange that in an age of mysterious powerful invisible forces such as we have today—radar and television, atomic energy and jet propulsion—that we would doubt the power of a mighty God and His supernatural working in answer to prayer? It seems that if ever we should believe, it’s today!
So it is that in spite of all this philosophical reasoning, there are those of trusting and childlike faith who are daily doing things and getting things from God through His power, such as the doubting intellectual says can’t be done. These people are daring to appropriate these promises, taking them just as they are in the Word of God and acting upon them, and getting the most wonderful answers to prayer, problems solved, and their needs met.
I say, just let the philosophers tangle themselves up in the web of difficulty and doubts, trying to explain away our rights to accept these promises just as they are. But we’re going to walk right in and enjoy to the full all the riches God has promised us.
You don’t have to comprehend the greatness of the promises or understand how they work. All God asks is simple childlike faith, and to reach out and apply them. You can do that in the midst of the hottest battle, in the midst of trials in the barracks, any place, with someone that’s not pleasant to have to be with, and someone that makes it miserable for you there in the field.
Oh, what a marvelous privilege we have as Christians, because we’re linked up through the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, with everything that’s powerful and holy and true! And with such a tie as that, I wonder why we hesitate to trust God.
With so much talk of space today, let’s not forget that with all the myriads of celestial bodies held in place by His power, there’s never been a mishap in the skies, no accidents. They move with such terrific accuracy and such great speed.
Oh, why not just trust the promises here in 2 Peter? In the first chapter, there are these words: “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” And now here’s the verse I want you to get: “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:2–4). Isn’t that wonderful, “exceeding great and precious”?
I can never forget the day when it dawned upon me that the promises were real, a fact, and that the promises in the Bible were practical and could actually be applied to my everyday needs. That was quite a revelation, I can assure you. I had been taught the Bible since earliest childhood, but I’d never realized that God meant exactly what He said in His Word. He made it so plain that the promises are so very important, because this brings us into sweet contact, personal contact with the Lord.
Did you ever have a friend upon whom you could utterly depend, who was absolutely faithful to you when things were going wrong? Such friends are so few, but how we value them!
Someone has said that there is a strange bond that links a man to that which he has found to be dependable and true. There is a tie that really binds you to the one you can utterly trust to stand by you in stormy weather. Do you wonder then that anyone who has tried and proven the promises in God’s Word and found them unfailing and absolutely trustworthy, should feel that strong bond of confidence?
Many of our fighting men who have had no hope and nothing to lean on in the dark hours have found that this is true. That God has not failed in one of all His good promises. That’s a Bible quote. “He hath not failed in one of all his good promises” (1 Kings 8:56). No wonder we’ve come through the storms with such a great love for God’s Word!
You couldn’t tell that to some of these praying mothers who have been on the stormy path for so many years, with sickness of little ones, and sometimes tragedies in the family. They’ve had marvelous answers to prayer. These dear praying mothers, you couldn’t tell them that God doesn’t answer prayer!
Now if these promises are not worthy of unconditional, limitless trust, then the Gospel of love and grace of God told about in the Bible is a myth. This is either fact or reality; this is either true or false.
I know through long experience that I can trust God’s Word. God’s Word says, “We know in whom we have believed, and we are persuaded that he is able to keep that which we have committed unto him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:12).
When the battle gets hot and trials come, find a promise from God’s Word. Get down your Bible and claim the promise in Christ’s name. Instead of getting frightened or expecting the worst, step out upon the promise. God will meet you in simple childlike faith. Walk right up to the throne of God and with utter confidence in His Word, ask and receive. Then walk away with the desire of your heart.
Don’t let those fellows tell you that prayer doesn’t do anything, doesn’t do any good, that when it’s time to go, you go. God can change things. I no longer wonder at the miracles of God, I’ve come to know more and more that it’s so because God said so.
Why not right now get your Bible and get alone with God and do some seeking of God. There is a way out; God will show you that way. Have a good talk with the Lord alone, and pray for us here at home. We need prayer too. We have our trials and difficulties, but we know that prayer changes things.
Remember, son, from taps to reveille, and reveille to taps, we pray for you here on the home front.