Pray to Love


(The following is an excerpt from J. Preston Eby’s “God is Love” booklet that may be found on the Tentmaker Ministries site in text and audio form):
God Is Love

God Is Love Audio

 

The story has been told of when John B. Gough, the great temperance orator, was entertained by some friends in an eastern city, the mother of the household called him aside and asked him to go to her son Edward and have a talk with him. She said that Edward had been a wayward son; in fact, had gone so far in disgracing them that the father forbade him to enter the house. She said that she had pleaded with the father and had prevailed, and that the father had consented to permit Edward to have a room where he would never have to see him. She said, “Mr. Gough, Edward came home intoxicated a couple days ago and is still in his room. I have been caring for him. Will you not go and have a little talk with him?” Mr. Gough said, “My dear mother, if you with all your love and patience can not do anything with him, I scarcely think that I can.” With a mother’s persistency she finally persuaded Mr. Gough to talk with her son. He knocked at the door and entering found Edward. Mr. Gough said, “Edward, aren’t you tired of the kind of life that you are leading?” Edward said, “Yes, Mr. Gough, I am sick and tired of it.” “Then why do you not quit it?” “Quit it? I can’t, Mr. Gough; I am bound hand and foot with an evil habit.” “Then why do you not pray, Edward?” “Pray! I don’t believe in prayer; I don’t believe in God; I don’t believe in anything.” “Oh, yes, you do, Edward,” replied Mr. Gough. “You believe in something. You believe that your mother loves you.” Edward replied, “I do not believe anything about it, I know she loves me.” “Then, Edward,” continued Mr. Gough, “you believe that there is such a good thing in this world as love, and I am going to leave you here and I want you to promise me that after I go out, you will get down on your knees and pray to love.” “Pray to what?” said Edward. “Pray to love, for that is the only thing that you say you believe in.” After much persuasion Edward promised. He afterward said that he felt very foolish when he knelt down to pray to love, but he had promised, and he tried to fulfill his promise. He kneeled and cried, “Oh love, love help me”; and straightway, as if through the cleft heaven, this text sounded as a voice in his heart, “God is Love”; and, still looking up, he said, “Oh God!” and there came to him the verse that he had learned years before, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” And he cried, “Oh, Christ!” – and it was done. He rushed out of his room to find his mother, and, when he did, he threw his arms around her neck and said, “Mother, I have found the Christ!”

Our poor, lisping, faltering tongues cannot proclaim the Gospel as we would like; but we have God’s Word that is true for the present time, and for all the times of all the ages. God IS LOVE!

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