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handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man-child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life.' She was very earnest, in this prayer. Her whole heart was in it. And God heard her prayer, and gave her a son; and she gave him to the Lord, as she had promised, and he was a pious boy, and became a great man, a judge, and a prophet. And this shows the truth of the promise made to Jeremiah : And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with ALL YOUR HEART.' But there is another case, very much like this. Hezekiah, the good, pious king of Judah, was sick. And the prophet Isaiah came to him, and told him to set his house in order, for the time had come that he must die."
"O mother, did he not feel very unhappy when he heard that?"
"Yes, my dear; and he turned his face to the wall, and prayed to the
Lord, and said, 'I beseech thee, O Lord, remember now how I have walked before thee, in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight.' And he wept very hard."
"And did God hear his prayer, mother?"
'Yes; and before the prophet had gone from the porch of the house, the Lord sent him back to tell Hezekiah, 'Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold I will heal thee; on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord. And I will add unto thy days fifteen years. So the king got well; and his life was lengthened fifteen years."
Yes, mother, I see what kind of prayer the Lord will answer. member reading about little Phebe Bartlett, when the Lord gave her a new heart. She prayed with great
earnestness, and cried very hard, and said, 'I pray, beg, O Lord, give me salvation.'
Yes; and this was the way that Jesus prayed. When he was in the garden of Gethsemane, he was in an agony, and prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground."
"What does agony mean, mother?" "It is a word generally used when we are describing the severest pain. When a person is dying, he is said to be in the agonies of death. But here it is applied to the sufferings of the soul. I suppose no language could express deeper feeling, or more painful exercises of the mind. The apostle Paul describes this feeling, in the eighth chapter of Romans. 'Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh interces
sion for us, with GROANINGS WHICH
CANNOT BE UTTERED.
"Well, mother, now tell me about praying with importunity.”
"There is a very interesting story about Jacob's wrestling with the angel. I do not know that we can with strict propriety apply it to what we are talking about; but it is an excellent illustration of importunate prayer. Esau, Jacob's brother, was angry with him, and threatened to kill him. So Jacob went away to his uncle Laban's, and stayed a great while, till he had a family of children grown up. Then he came back to the place where his father Isaac and his brother Esau lived. But, before he arrived, he heard that his brother was coming to meet him, with four hundred men. And he was afraid, and much distressed; for he thought his brother was coming to kill him. And he prayed to God, and said, 'O God of my father Abraham, and God
of my father Isaac, the Lord who saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee: I am not worthy of the least of all thy mercies, and of all the truth which thou hast showed unto thy servant: for with my staff I passed over this Jordan; and now I am become two bands. Deliver me, I pray thee, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he will come and smite me, and the mother with the children. And thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.' And, in the night, Jacob was alone; and an angel came and wrestled with him all night; and when he saw that he prevailed not against Jacob, he touched his thigh, and put it out of joint. And, at break of day, the angel said, 'Let me go, for the day breaketh.' But Jacob said, 'I will