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Early Answers to Prayer

Rosalind Goforth

Prayer for a New Dress

“About a year after my confession of Christ, an incident occurred which greatly strengthened my faith, and led me to look to God as a Father in a new way. When Easter Sunday morning came it was so warm only spring clothes could be worn. My sister and I decided at breakfast that we could not go to church, as we had only our old winter dresses. Going to my room, I turned to my Bible to study it, when it opened at Matthew 6, and my eye rested on these words: “Why take ye thought for raiment? … Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added unto you.” It was as if God spoke the words directly to me. I determined to go to church, even if I had to humiliate myself by going in my old winter dress. The Lord was true to His promise; I can still feel the power the resurrection messages had upon my heart that day so long ago. And further, on the following day a box came from a distant aunt, containing not only new dresses but much else that might well be included in the “all these things.”

Income from England

“An unforgettable proof of God’s loving care came to us as a family about this time, when my parents were face to face with a serious financial crisis. Isaiah 65:24 was literally fulfilled: “Before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” At that time, it is necessary to state that we depended on a quarterly income, which came through my mother’s lawyer in England. Unusual circumstances had so drained our resources that we found ourselves in the middle of the quarter with barely sufficient to meet a week’s needs. My dear mother assured us that the Lord would provide; that He would not forsake those who put their trust in Him. That very day a letter came from the lawyer in England, enclosing a draft for a sum ample to meet our needs till the regular remittance should arrive. This unexpected and timely draft proved to be a bonus, which did not occur again.”

Raising Up a Class

“Some years later, having moved to a strange city, a great longing came to do some definite service for my Master. One day there came to the Bible class I attended a call for teachers to aid in a Sunday School nearby. When I presented myself before the superintendent and offered my services, it is not much wonder I received a rebuff, for I was young and quite unknown. I was told that if I wished a class, it would be well for me to find my own scholars. I can remember how a lump seemed choking me all the way home that day. At last, determining not to be baffled, I prayed the Lord to help me get some scholars, I went forth, praying every step of the way, the following Saturday afternoon; and canvassing just one short street near our home, I received the promise of nineteen children for Sunday school. The next day a rather victorious young woman walked up to the Sunday school superintendent with seventeen children following. Needless to say I was given a class.”

Provision for a Toronto Mission

“In the autumn of 1885 the Toronto Mission Union, a faith mission, decided to establish a branch mission in the East End slums of that city. Three others and I were deputed to open this work. Everything connected with it was entirely new to me; but I found it most helpful and inspiring. For in face of tremendous difficulties, that seemed to my inexperienced eyes insurmountable, I learned that prayer was the secret which overcame every obstacle, the key that unlocked every closed door. I felt like a child learning a new and wonderful lesson — as I saw benches, tables, chairs, stove, fuel, lamps, oil, even an organ coming in answer to definite prayer for these things. But best sight of all was when men and women, deep in sin, were converted and changed into workers for God, in answer to prayer. Praise God for the lessons then learned, which were invaluable later when facing the heathen.”

Trusting God for $50

“During the summer of 1887 a book written by Dr. Hudson Taylor came into my hands. In China’s Spiritual Needs and Claims the writer told many instances of God’s gracious provision in answer to prayer. The incidents related impressed me deeply. A little later, a few weeks before my marriage, when I found I was short fifty dollars of what I would need to be married free of debt, I resolved not to let others know of my need, but to just trust God to send it to me. The thought came — if you cannot trust God for this, when Hudson Taylor could trust for so much more, are you worthy of being a missionary? It was my first experience of trusting quite alone for money. I was sorely tempted to give others just a hint of my need. But I was kept from doing so; and though I had a week or more of severe testing, peace of mind and the assurance that God would supply my need came at length. The answer, however, did not come till the very last night before the wedding. That evening a number of my fellow workers from the East End Mission called and presented me with a beautifully illuminated gift, also a purse. After these friends had left I returned to my home circle, assembled in the back parlor, and showed them the gift and the purse unopened! Not for a moment did I think there was anything in the purse till my brother said: “You foolish girl, why don’t you open it?” I opened the purse, and found it contained a check for fifty dollars!”