Prayer Is Real
The first story took place in the eighteenth-century Poland. The second one took place in modern-day Japan.
George Muller, the founder of the successful Bristol, England, Orphanages—monumental testimonies to God’s protection and providings for believing prayers—visited Japan. He was asked to sit for a special photograph that could be a memorial of his visit to Japan.
“No,” he said, “let one of your Japanese Christians found an orphanage. That will be my photograph.”
Mr. J. Ishii, a young Okayama medical school student, took up the challenge. He, like Muller before him, had no income. He. Like Muller, was determined to never let anyone outside the orphanage, know of any need. Like Muller, he was going to prove that God will provide without asking anyone for help.
Ishii met with immediate, though not gigantic, success. He and his beautiful orphans and staff lived day by day in full dependence on God. Then came a sever time of difficult post-war days in Japan. The drain on Christian benevolences was seen as something that would close most faith endeavors and stop the forward motion. The little orphanage enterprise of J. Ishii felt the terrible pinch more than others as it was not soliciting any outside help as did all the others. Practically all their monthly contributors simply forgot the orphanage.
The supply of food grew less and less until, on September the 24, only a little rice remained. At the five o’clock supper time Mr. Ishii made a speech to the children, telling them that the food was nearly all gone, and there was no money to buy any more.
“You will have to be content with a little rice gruel for this meal. And before you are served I want to tell you a true story that happened to a man and his family who faced this same problem.”
Then he related to them an amazing story that you have already discovered in this book.
“Now, children” he continued, “that happened many, many years ago, but the same kind heavenly Father still watches over His children, and I believe He will help us. All of you who believe this please meet with me when you have finished your meal, out to the little graveyard in back of the house. We’ll pray in faith for the Lord to do it again for us.”
About thirty of the children got up from the dining tables and went immediately out to the graveyard, without touching their meal. Mr. Ishii, still overwhelmed by the faith of the young orphans, opened the little prayer service for the kneeling youngsters. After offering a deep petition for God to provide once again, he left the children praying in the cemetery. He went inside, made his way to an upstairs room, and began another prayer service for adults living outside the orphanage who came there once a week.
None of the orphanage staff was in attendance. None of the regular outside attendants were aware of the circumstances concerning the lack of food. He had not been in the meeting but a few minutes when his wife was asked to come downstairs to the front door.
There, waiting just inside the door was a missionary lady who had just arrived in Okayama from another city. Just after greeting the neatly dressed lady, Mrs. Ishii was handed an envelope.
“This is from a mission group in New York City, in the United States,” the guest said.
When Mrs. Ishii opened it she was dazed. It was a large sum of American money, which was more valuable than Japanese currency. She immediately rushed to tell her husband the good news.
When Mr. Ishii assembled the children together from the cemetery along with the staff, it was a thrill to relate the exciting events that had all taken place within the matter of a few minutes. All of them rejoiced over the fact that God had once again proved that He does care for His own, who trust and ask Him.
“Children,” Mr. Ishii told the reassemble group, “the story I told you at the evening meal has almost been repeated exactly. God still sees to it that the people who believe in His ability to provide care are not disappointed.”
The children appreciated the story, but they were even more thankful to have been alive and part of the modern one.
By the way, Mr. Ishii told them the story of Dobry receiving the ring from the raven.