In my single years, I found a little book filled with short stories of true testimonies of how different people came to know God. I was amazed at the time. But now I have just been reading through it again, and this time, since I am a mother now, I have noticed how often the mother played a part in the person's salvation. It was a big encouragement to me and has reminded me of the power of a mother's prayer and example. This story is the best, but I might share a few others later.
When Hugh Allardyce left his Devonshire home for a situation in a New York bank, his mother gave him her own loved and well-used Bible, and, with a parting kiss, said: "Serve God, my son, and He will keep and bless you all the days." Hugh choked down a rising sob and said: "It is easy to promise, mother; I will say nothing, but I will try to act and do my best."
When the 'Umbrai" moved out of dock, the last sight seen on land by Hugh was the frail figure of a woman, whose sad face, with unshed tears in her eyes, made the young man long to be on shore again, that he might comfort his mother by saying, "Mother, dear, smile again, and I will promise you anything."
Time passed on, and for seven years Hugh had not seen his mother; promotion had come to him, and his mother rejoiced in his prosperity. No word in his letters ever referred to the parting advice of his mother. Hugh had long since forgotten it, but his mother never doubted the answer to her constant prayer that her beloved son would some day honour God in his whole-hearted devotion to Him.
As Hugh sat in his office one hot noon, a friend came in and proposed to carry him off in the lunch hour. "Where?" was Hugh's question. "Oh, to Fulton Street," replied his friend. "Queer place to go this time of day," said Hugh "But perhaps you are bound for the fruit market?" "Yes, that's about it," said his friend. "Anyway, you will come?"
Hugh consented, and they took a car, and before long Hugh found himself entering with dozens of city men known to him, the Fulton Street noon prayer meeting. He was annoyed, and resolved to leave as soon as possible. Presently his ears caught the words, "A mother desires prayer for her son, who, after seven years, is farther from God, and gives no sign of early Christian training.: This was surely himself. His mother must have sent this appeal from Devonshire. Blair, his friend, knew it, and had brought him there to hear it. He was furious, and wondered if every finger in the hall was pointing at him. But when the gentleman who read the request added, "The anxious mother is present with us in prayer," Hugh looked round, expecting to see his own mother; he was disappointed to notice only city men. He listened to the short, fervent, pleading prayers of several, and felt sure they were on his behalf.
He left the meeting quietly, and for the rest of the day was silent, thoughtful and unhappy. That evening, on entering his rooms, he saw the contents of a box of books he never used lying upon a table, and on top of all his mother's parting gift--her much-loved Bible.
"What influence is this?" he said to himself. He felt powerless in the face of such a combination of circumstances. Undoing the clasp of the Bible, a letter fluttered from between the pages--a letter in the handwriting of his mother. He flushed with shame. For seven years this letter had lain between the pages of the Bible, perhaps needing an answer. How should he answer it? The letter commenced, "My son, remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth. Remember the tender hours of childhood which you gave to God at my knee. Remember, He loves you, seeks you, saves you. Remember, I shall live only to pray for you. God bless you! Christ guide you! The Holy spirit teach you! prays your mother."
That was all; but it came just at the right moment to the heart of Hugh Allardyce, and he said: "Here and now, O God, I give myself to Thee, to do with as Thou wilt, and to keep for evermore. That is the answer to my mother's letter. Amen."
A gush of gladness filled his own soul, such as he had ever known in all his successful business career, and he sat down at once to rejoice the heart of his darling mother whose picture he fondly kissed, and then wrote a letter to her, telling her the joyful news of his conversion. He wrote," Mother you have prevailed--you have won your son for God!"
Next day he was at the noon prayer-meeting, and giving no name or cicumstances, he passed up a slip of paper, stating: "A son desires to praise God for a mother's prayers."
He learned how the books came to be on his table. "The box was moved by the workmen who were repairing the radiator," said the landlady; "the bottom fell out through dry rot, and so I put the books on your table."
That was all. Very simple are the divine methods. What a great and wonder-working God we have, who makes no mistakes! What seeming trifles He can use to bring about wise results!
"What do you mean to do?" asked his friend, Blair, on hearing the blessed news. "Nothing," was the reply. "it is done. I am a new man in Christ. He has turned me right round."
And so it proved. Hugh (I have not given his true name) is now one of our merchant princes. Though years have passed, he is still true as steel to his Savior, a shining light in the dark places of the mercantile world; a testimony to the efficacy of true prayer; and encouragement to every anxious mother, and a power for God, especially amongst young men.
--from This is Victory