Praying with Practice

Richard Dehaan tells of a soldier who was doing sentry duty on the front line in WWI. After being relieved of duty, as a Christian, he wanted to pray, to thank God for protecting him and to ask specifically for his continued protection. But the enemy lines were very close and he couldn’t go far, so he just walked a little ways from where he had been standing guard and began to pray aloud.

The sentry who replaced him heard his voice and thought he was speaking to someone in the enemy lines. So he reported him. The officer in charge said, “You’ve been accused of revealing secrets to the enemy. How do you respond?” The soldier said, “It’s not true.”

The officer replied, “Then what were you doing when you were standing out there facing the enemy and talking?” He said, “I was praying.”

“You were praying out loud?” “Yes, I was.” The officer said, “Show me. Pray right now.”

So the young man got down on his knees and prayed. When he finished the officer dismissed the charges. “Because,” he said, “nobody can pray like that unless they have been practicing.”

Contributed by Kenneth Squires, from a sermon by Melvin Newland, Pray With Thanksgiving, 12/20/2000

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