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Laymen and Their Work
ANSWERS BY PROMINENT OFFI CIAL IiAYMEN OF THK rHl RCH TO A QFESTIONNAIRE AS TO THE VALVE OF PRAYER FAM ILY WORSHIP AM) THE PRAYER MEETING. This most valuable symposium by laymen is the result of the following questionnaire: 1. What is the value of prayer 2. Give examples of answered prayer that have come under your observation. S. Why do you pray? 4. Why have a family altar? 5. Why do you go to prayer meet ing? The intelligence, experience and deep spirituality so patent in the an swers give us a revelation of the ef fectives of the gospel among the lay men A much larger number of an swers than could be printed, all worthy of publication, were received. It would be worth while for any pastor or layman desiring to preach or talk on any one of these subjects to jot down the various phases men tioned and arrange them in a logical sequence as the outline for the de sired discourse. I desire to acknowledge the valua ble help rendered in securing the data to Mr. A. C. Marts, advisory director of the Christian Education Movement, and Mr. J. M. Way, secretary of the Minute Men Department. P. L. Cobb. Question 3. W7hy do you pray? "Because I believe in prayer." (H. P. Thornburg. Huntington. W. Va.) "To keep in touch with God." (K. T. Moore, Hattiesburg, Miss.) "Because it is a pleasure, duty and necessity." (W. L. Brannan, Freder icksburg, Va.) "I always thank friends for what they do for me; why not my heavenly Father for help?" (N. H. Melbert, Brenliam, Tex. ) "Because of my great need of prayer. Its power in my life and for the blessedness of communion with God " (J. G. Jackson. Macon. Ga.) "I cannot have a Christian life without it. God does not speak to those who do not open their ears and hearts to hear." "I pray because I believe in its value. I was taught early in life to pray and might have continued any way as a habit." "Why does God love? Just can't help it. Friends commune and have blessed fellowship. If they don't, they are not friends." (Ben J. M ire land, Cumberland, Md.) "In most part ] pray tc give thanks to God for what He has done for rne and for faith to trust Him more and more that I may render service." (A. M. Booth, Huntsville, Ala.) "I pray that I may have a better understanding of the need of our peo ple. I pray for knowledge that I may be of some help to my neighbors. I pray to understand better what God would have me do." (J. S Ewalt, Springdale, Ark.) "Feel helped and benefitted each time I pray. Receive a new inspira tion to go higher and to do great/"* tasks. A comfort to talk to God, some one who sympathetically listens to a plea. Feel a sacred nearness to Christ and God." (Robert D. Lee. Little Hock, Ark.) "Because I cannot get on without it. I would not trust myself a sin gle day without God's guiding hand. I need God in my life, and He needs me to help carry out His plans for my life. I want to know what they are and be prepared to enter into them. God only ean teach me end lend me. So I must constantly com mune ?with Him." "I pray because T cannot have peace with God without it. Life would be too empty and void without daily communion with Jesus Christ. It is only by this means that I can enjoy the 'peace that passeth all understand ing.* But it is not for any selfish reason alone that 1 pray. I pray in order that 1 may be of wider service to my Lord as the days pass and that my prayers may be of some help in bringing the kingdom of God to this world. I believe that prayer of the right kind is within itself a power that we who have prayed a long time know but little about. But we are learning more and more as we grow older." (S. M. Collins, Monroe. La.) ' I would not be willing to receive God's blessings without giving expres sion to my gratitude for them If I did not feel the need of God's help sufficiently to ask for it daily, and often many times a day, I would soon be depending upon my own strfmgth. and fail. IT I neglected the vital breath of prayer in my Christian life, I would soon likely neglect other things vital to that life, and religious experience would sufTer. If I did not seek forgiveness for mistakes and misdoings, I would likely be doing more things for which forgiveness would be needed. I pray because my heart goes out with desire for my loved ones. I pray because I see sin at work in the world, and the harvest is white, and the laborers are few, and the means of carrying on the work of the kingdom are limited. I pray because aching hearts and needy souls are asking for prayer." (J. M. Sullivan. Jackson, Miss.). ? Christian Advocate. OUR CHUKCH HOSPITALS. Dr. F. C. English, Executive Secretary Protestant Hospital Association. Our Church hospitals should be given the right of way in our most intelligent and sympathetic consider ation. Their ministry is as deep as human needs, and wide as suffering humanity. Most people know some thing about hospitals, but tow real ize just what they are doing even in their own community. Even the per son who endows a bed hardly con siders that between thirty and forty persons will be benefitted annually by hospital care while occupying that bed. What a blessing to humanity sucu a gift becomes. Their opportunity for service amply justifies the words of Jesus, "He that believetli on me, the works that I do shall he do also." Again He said, "Go tell John the things ye see and hear, the blind see, the lam j walk, the <reaf hear, the lepers are cleansed, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached unto them." The \vriter of this article has witnessed again and again the realization of all these assertions Of the 7,000 hospitals in the United States, only 400 having 35,000 bed capacity are under the management of the J-rote.stant churches. Yet our Church hospitals care for 1,600,000 patients annually, and there Is de mand that they should treat at least 1,000,000 others. That the hospital field is not thoroughly occupied will be seen when we glance at a single statement. The American Public Health Association states that there are in the United States 3,000,000 people sick in bed daily. Our research workers find that at least 2S per cent, of these should have hospital rare. This would require 840,000 hospital beds, whereas we only have 4 55,000 beds for general hospital use. These, figures make it clear that many si k and crippled are necessarily neglect ed. But what can the Church do to measure up to her responsibility? The Roman Catholics have 5S2 hos pitals. with over 65,000 bed capacity. Their Church stands firmly behind their hospitals in giving efficient ser vice to all their people. Can the Pro testants afford to do less? The re cent organization of the Protestant Hospital Associaticn is the first at tempt to unite Protestants in the min istry of healing. Probably this is the only place we can unite, but it is worthy. This P. H. A. has called a meeting of representatives of all our Church hospitals at West Baden. Ind.. for Peptember 12th, to seriously con sider their problems. One principle of the Association is to provide medi cal care for all our sick, and all .^th'Ts who are sadly neglected, regardless of creed, color or race, and strictly to avoid all semblance of proselyting. St. Luke's Hospital, Cleveland, O. PKAYING FOR RULKRS FIRST. There seems to be a "kicking ma chine" in every business office, at every banquet, in every labor union meeting, In every lodge session; in fact, at the d*?sk. the bench, the coun ter and even in the pulpit some one kicks against the government. Ami where the kick is the strongest and the loudest is among that class who stand around the street corners whit tling a match or toothpick while they cuss the government. These "kickers'* have never read 1 Tim* 2:1-3, or if they have, they have not put the exhortation into prac tice. The Apostle Paul leaves no doubt in our minds as to God's will for every Christian in praying for our governmental leaders. "I exhort, therefore, that, first of all. supplica tions, prayers, intercessions and giv ing of thanks be made for all men, for kings, and for all that are in au thority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and ac ceptable in the sight of God our Sa viour." Christian, how much praying have you done for your Mayor, your Governor, your President? From these words of Holy Scrip ture, we have the importance of prayer. First of all, prav for men in authority. We have four ingre dients of prayer ? supplications, prayers, intercessions, thanksgiving. Agonize for rulers, ask for ruler3, intercede for rulers, and thank God for your rulers. How much less kick in g against authority and how much more efficient leadership the State would have if we Christians prayed more for our officials. How little do we realize the power of prayer, in driving back the lying, deceiving spirits, from the hearts and minds of these officials of our land. They may or may not be Christian but prayer will hinder much decep tion of the evil one: A missionary requested in a letter a few days past that we remember them especially in prayer, as the whole section was un der the control of a wicked bandit leader. Another missionary wrote baying, "Use the triangle of prayer."' It is recorded that Kapaio. the New Hebrides manslayer, who wanted to bring bis club upon the head of Dr. Geddie, said. "When I got near him I felt a power which withhold me from slaying that man < ? God." Why? Some one was on his knees for him. If this was trne in praying for a missionary, what deliverances might we expect in praying for our rulers? And what progress might the gospel have by praying for mayors, police, and men of authority in coun tries where the spreading of the gos pel is hindered by misrule. ? The King's Business. FATHER AN1> SOX. We will hazard the assertion that by far the greater number of men whose lives are useful, fruitful ami reasonably happy had fathers who made friends of their boys, and that the greater number of men whose lives are wasted or evil had fathers who never made friends of their boys. It is from the father that the boy should get his first lessons in good humor, sportsmanship, generosity good fellowship, perseverance, indus try ? indeed, in all the qualities that should eventually enable him to bear himself as he should in the rough and-tumble of life. From the mother comes usually the fostering of the eentler and more spiritual side of his nature; but that outgrowth is likely to be arrested and may even die un less it is accompanied by growth of the manlier virtues. Those may ba fostered in school, by teachers and by association with other boys; hut tTleru is no influence so potent in nourish ing thom and ir. shaping the boy's character as that of the father who makes a friend of his son. Faternity implies nearly always some measure of affection, but it does not always imply some measure of friendship. There are many fathom in the world who have a kinder and more tender feeling for their boys when they are away from them than when they see them. The nervous, irritable father whose highV-spirited son is a source of annoyance rather than of pleasure, the overworked father who comes home too tired to have any zest for play, the preoccu pied father who cannot shake off his problems and troubles, the self-indul gent father who regards his home as a sanctuary for himself and want* only to be left alone with his news paper, his magazine and his pipe ? none of them is by way of cultivating his boy's friendship. None of them is meeting in the proper spirit tha responsibilities of parenthood ? even though they may all be taking proper measures for the health and school ing of their children. Friendship requires a certain amount of effort, a certain amount of self-sacrifice, yielding frequently your own desires to those of the per son that you befriend. The father v/ho reads aloud to his boys and dis cusses with them the books that they read, v.-ho helps them with their les sons, who teaches them the use of tools, the names of trees and flowers and birds, who makes holidays and Sundays an occasion for giving pleas ure to them rather than for seeking It for himself, serves not only his sons, but his country. ? Youth's Com panion. Some have much and some have more; some are rich and some are poor; some have little, some have less; some have not a cent to bless their empty pockets, yet possess true riches in true happiness. ? John Oxen* ham.