News from the Tennessee Valley Religion

J. Archie Hampton

Boy's prayer answered years later

Let me introduce you to a 10-year-old boy named Jimmy. He lived with his parents in a two-story, four-bedroom house in Southeastern Kentucky. His father was a foreman in the L&N Railroad shops, but at the start of the Great Depression, he lost his job because the shops closed.

Times were hard, so Jimmy’s parents decided to open a tourist home in their house. That was a time before motels, so travelers had little choice in lodging.

When all four bedrooms were rented, Jimmy and his parents slept on cots in the dining room. Having strangers in the house every night was a hard way to live, but the $3 charge for each room helped a lot.

On a cold January evening, all of the rooms were occupied. Jimmy’s mother carried an armful of clean towels upstairs for the guests. Starting down the stairs, she tripped and fell 16 steps to the floor below. She lay unconscious.

Jimmy’s father and a guest hastened to pick her up and carried her to the living room couch. The family physician quickly came and, after examination, told the family that she had serious internal injuries. Her survival was uncertain.

Jimmy had made a profession of faith and joined a church just four months before the accident. Being a new Christian, Jimmy knew only prayers that his parents had taught him. He wanted to pray for his mother but did not know what to ask of God. Standing on the front porch of his home, he looked up and saw the sun sliding behind the mountains, giving a red glow in the western sky.

He bowed his head, and as tears flowed, he prayed, “Dear God, please let my mother live until I marry.” In a few weeks his mother recovered, and Jimmy soon forgot his prayer.

Fifteen years passed quickly. Jimmy was 25 years old and had served two years in the Army during World War II. He had earned his college degree and was in his second year of graduate school. News came that his mother had suffered a stroke and would not live through the night.

He rushed home to find his mother in a coma. She went to be with Jesus at sunset that afternoon. As she drew her last breath, Jimmy remembered his prayer 15 years before, a prayer that had been answered. Jimmy had married just four months earlier.

We live by faith, and that is anchored in God hearing and answering our prayers. God grants unto us not all we want but supplies all we need. Our faith must grow daily, for God will hear and answer the simplest of prayers, whether we are children or adults.

I know. I’m Jimmy.

J. Archie Hampton, formerly on staff at Central Baptist Church, is one of several local ministers writing religion columns for The Daily. For more information, call Melanie Smith at 340-2468.

J. Archie Hampton J. Archie Hampton

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