Chains of Gold
“More things are wrought by prayer, Than this world dreams of.”
The power of prayer can never be understood on earth. What wonders it has done cannot even be imagined. It is one of the forces of the world which is not analyzed in the scientist’s notes, and whose influence on the events and results of life is not the subject of mathematical calculation.
What souls prayer has saved, what wanderers it has reclaimed, what fainting ones it has cheered and upborne, and what tempted ones it has nerved for new struggles – only Heaven can reveal.
It is by prayer that…
“The whole round world is, in every way, Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.”
Surely, among all prayers that go up to God, none are dearer or more availing than the prayers of parents for their children. They are the holy breathings of the purest, tenderest love. Such prayers – if they are persistent and believing – God answers in the end. Monica prayed for her son Augustine. He went deeper and deeper into sin, but she would not give him up. For many years, while he wandered far from God, she continued to pray. But at last, all her intercessions were answered, when her son fell down at Jesus’ feet!
The mother of John Newton struggled mightily for her child. When he was eight years old, she died. For twenty years, her prayers remained unanswered, while he plunged into the vilest depths of sin. But the faithful God sent the answer at last! In the same way, there are thousands who have been saved by a mother’s prayers.
A child can never get away from a parent’s loving intercession. He may run away from home and roam on the streets and rush into dangers; but these prayers – faith-directed and love-winged – can find him anywhere and build a wall of fire about him, and draw down over him the sheltering wings of God. He may plunge into some den of iniquity, or some gateway of Hell, and start madly on a downward course. But if, in his home, loving parents are on their knees pouring out tears and prayers; the strong hand of God is on his shoulder, and he will be restrained and led back. He may try to keep out of his parents’ sight, and to break the restraints that bind him to his home; but he cannot get away from their prayers, nor break the chains of steel with which they have bound him to the throne of God. He may roam the world over to get away from God; but sometime and somewhere in the broad path which leads to destruction, the home-prayers will meet him face to face, with drawn sword – as the angel met Balaam in the way – and turn him back to seek the way of truth and life.
Often, a criminal hastens away from the commission of his dark deed, and takes passage in a ship that is about to sail; and before his crime is discovered, he is far out upon the sea. With bounding heart, he greets the first sight of the foreign shore. Stepping on that shore, he will be free forever! He will begin a new life. But when the vessel arrives in port, he is seized, bound in irons, and carried back to expiate his guilt. On the quick telegraphic wire, the news of his crime and the order for his arrest have out-sped his flight; and Justice stood waiting to lay her hand upon him and lead him back.
In the same way, a parent’s prayers often meet and arrest a wandering, sinning child. When he seems farthest away from God and from the home-influence, and when he least expects such a message – suddenly, he is halted! An invisible hand is laid upon his arm; he is bound with strong chains, and carried back resistlessly to the bosom of God. And it was the home-prayer that did it!
No loving parent should ever cease to pray for his or her child. And it is not enough to pray once, or only occasionally. We should be “instant in prayer.” To pray for a few months or even a few years is not enough. To cease to pray at all is to give up the cause and lose everything! It is the last stroke of the axe which cuts down the tree. It is the last hour of endurance which wins the battle. Do not lose years of intercession by fainting and giving up before the answer comes! Every hour of God’s delay is gathering a richer blessing; and every prayer that is sent up is a new pledge of the child’s salvation, laid up in Heaven.
Men make ropes out of many fine threads. One thread alone will not bear much stress, but a thousand threads woven and twisted together make a mighty cable which will hold a ship against a storm!
In the same way, home-prayers may seem like they are only weak threads as they are breathed out from quivering, trembling lips; but thousands of them make a mighty cable which binds the child to the throne of Christ so firmly that no blast of evil can sweep him away! And every prayer makes the cable stronger. The parent may pass into Heaven without seeing his supplications answered, or his child converted; but his prayers do not die with him. They remain where Faith has fastened them – one end around God’s throne; and the other around the heart of his child, anchoring it tightly to Heaven. And someday, perhaps years after the parent himself has gone to his heavenly home, God will haul in the great cable and give him back his child – his heart’s treasure, and the answer to all his prayers!
Let every one of us, whether we are parents or friends, follow the beautiful thought of the poet by seeking to bind our loved ones tightly, with these chains of gold, to the feet of the Lord.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and reflections on this article in the Comments below! I’d love to hear them.
God bless you and your family, this day and always.
All for our King’s glory,
photo by Corey David Robinson | Lightstock.com
This post is another installment of Miller’s Monday Musings, a weekly series that is published every Monday on my website. The series features selected writings that have been adapted from the works of James Russell Miller (1840-1912), a much-beloved Christian author and pastor who is well-remembered for his practical thoughts on Christian home and family life. Learn more about this weekly series by clicking here.