I got this in an email and thought it was well worth sharing here. Feel free to do so, yourself, if so inclined.
THIS WILL TRULY LIFT YOU UP SPIRITUALLY. ENJOY & BELIEVE.
One night I had worked hard to help a mother in the labor ward; but
in spite of all we could do, she died, leaving us with a tiny,
premature baby and a crying two-year-old daughter. We would have
difficulty keeping the baby alive; as we had no incubator (we had no
electricity to run an incubator) nor any special feeding facilities.
Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with
treacherous drafts. One student midwife went for the box we had for
such babies and the cotton wool that the baby would be wrapped in.
Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a hot water bottle. She
came back shortly in distress to tell me that in filling the bottle,
it had burst (rubber perishes easily in tropical climates).
‘And it is our last hot water bottle!’ she exclaimed. As in the
West, it is no good crying over spilled milk, so in Central Africa
it might be considered no good crying over burst water bottles.
They do not grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest
‘All right,’ I said, ‘put the baby as near the fire as you safely
can, and sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from
drafts Your job is to keep the baby warm.
The following noon, as I did most days, I went to have prayers with
any of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave
the youngsters various suggestions of things to pray about and told
them about the tiny baby. I explained our problem about keeping the
baby warm enough, mentioning the hot water bottle, and that the baby
could so easily die if it got chills. I also told them of the
two-year-old sister, crying because her mother had died.
During prayer time, one ten -year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the
usual blunt conciseness of our African children. ‘Please, God’ she
prayed, ‘Send us a hot water bottle today It’ll be no good tomorrow,
God, as the baby will be dead, so please send it this afternoon.’
While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added,
‘And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the
little girl so she’ll know You really love her?’
As often with children’s prayers, I was put on the spot. Could I
honestly say ‘ Amen? I just did not believe that God could do this.
Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything; the Bible says so. But
there are limits, aren’t there? The only way God could answer this
particular prayer would be by sending me a parcel from the homeland.
I had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had
never, ever, received a parcel from home.
Anyway, if anyone did send me a parcel, who would put in a hot water
bottle? I lived on the equator!
Halfway through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses’
training school, a message was sent that there was a car at my front
door. By the time I reached home, the car had gone, but there on the
veranda was a large 22-pound parcel. I felt tears pricking my eyes.
I could not open the parcel alone, so I sent for the orphanage
children. Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each
knot. We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly.
Excitement was mounting. Some thirty or forty pairs of eyes were
focused on the large cardboard box. From the top, I lifted out
brightly-colored, knitted jerseys. Eyes sparkled as I gave them out.
Then there were the knitted bandages for the leprosy patients, and
the children looked a little bored. Then came a box of mixed raisins
and sultanas – that would make a batch of buns for the weekend.
Then, as I put my hand in again, I felt the…..could it really be?
I grasped it and pulled it out. Yes, a brand new, rubber hot water
bottle. I cried.
I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He
Ruth was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward,
crying out, ‘If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the
Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small,
beautifully-dressed dolly. Her eyes shone! She had never doubted!
Looking up at me, she asked, ‘Can I go over with you and give this
dolly to that little girl, so she’ll know that Jesus really loves
‘Of course,’ I replied!
That parcel had been on the way for five whole months, packed up by
my former Sunday school class, whose leader had heard and obeyed
God’s prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator.
And one of the girls had put in a dolly for an African child – five
months before, in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old
to bring it ‘that afternoon.’
‘Before they call, I will answer.’
When you receive this, say the prayer. That’s all I ask. No strings
attached. Just send it on to whomever you want – but_ do_ send it
Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive. There is no cost,
but a lot of rewards. Let’s continue praying for one another.
This awesome prayer takes less than a minute.
Heavenly Father, I ask you to bless my friends reading this. I ask
You to minister to their spirit. Where there is pain, give them Your
peace and mercy. Where there is self doubting, release a renewed
confidence to work through them. Where there is tiredness or
exhaustion, I ask You to give them understanding, guidance, and
strength. Where there is fear, reveal our love and release to them
Your courage. Bless their finances, give them greater vision, and
raise up leaders and friends to support and encourage them. I ask
You to do these things in Jesus ‘ name. Amen