Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 19, 1964
NUMBER 33, PAGE 4,11b

No Paper Next Week


The Gospel Guardian is published fifty times each year. The first week in July and the last week in December are our open dates. Your next issue of the Guardian will be dated January 2, 1964. We have a wide variety of useful and instructive articles in view for the new year. Encourage your friends to start the year right by subscribing for a good gospel journal — this one, for example.

Progress In Decatur, Georgia

After three or four years of strained relations the two faithful churches in Decatur, Georgia, (Glenwood Hills and Snapfinger Road) have now resolved their problem, and we are happy to report that harmony and amity have been restored. Both churches are growing; Glenwood Hills congregation recently furnished the nucleus for the establishment of a third church in the Atlanta area standing firm for the truth. J. Edward Nowlin has preached for the Glenwood Hills congregation for some five or six years; and Jefferson David Tant began work with the Snapfinger Road church about eighteen months ago. With a strong desire on the part of both preachers and both congregations to remove every hindrance of any kind that prevented the full and cordial atmosphere of friendly cooperation that ought to exist between churches loyal to Christ, the reconciliation was effected. This writer has meetings scheduled for the future with both congregations — Snapfinger Road in 1964 and Glenwood Hills in 1965. We have worked with both churches (and both preachers) in gospel meeting in past years. And while we have high respect for Ed Nowlin (and always have had) as a faithful servant of Christ, we take a deep and personal satisfaction in the untiring efforts of the other preacher involved in working out this happy settlement between the two churches. It was he, perhaps more than any other, whose persistent efforts finally brought harmony. (And if anybody wants to take an exception to the statement, just attribute our judgment in the matter to the paternal pride of an aging father in an only son!) F.Y.T.

The Answer To Prayer

It is a truism of the Christian's faith that every prayer, offered to God according to his will, is answered. Worshippers sometimes lose sight of the fact that "No" can be as certain and positive an answer to prayer as "Yes." If some particular request is not granted, there is a temptation to think that the prayer has not been heard. But it is profoundly true that we all ought to echo the disciples' request of the Master, "Lord, teach us to pray."

A four-year-old boy might entreat his father, even with tears in his eyes, "Please, Daddy, let me play with your gun. And put real bullets in it so I can play 'Cops and Robbers'!" But where is the father who would say "Yes" to such an entreaty? He would answer his son, to be sure; but his answer would be a positive and unequivocal "NO." And it would not be due to any lack of love that he gave this answer, but quite the contrary.

George Washington Carver, the great Negro scientist, whose research with the peanut was one of the most marvelous scientific achievements of his generation used to describe his experience with prayer in this fashion:

"I went into my laboratory and said, 'Dear Creator, tell me what the universe was made for.' The Creator answered, 'You want to know too much. Ask for something more your size.'

"Then I asked, 'Dear Creator, tell me what man was made for.' The Creator replied, 'You are still asking too much. If in your asking you will cut down on the extent, you will improve the content.'

"So I asked, 'Dear Creator, will you tell me what the peanut was made for?' Said the Creator, 'That's better! What do you want to know about it?'

"'Well, Dear Creator, can I make milk out of the peanut?'

"'What kind of milk do you want, good Jersey milk or just boarding house milk?' I answered, 'Good Jersey milk.' And then the Creator taught me how to take the peanut apart and put it together again. And out of the process I have made the peanut yield printer's ink, soaps, butter, shampoo, creosote, vinegar, dandruff cure, salads and wood stains."

What this humble ex-slave put in homely fashion is something that ought to be in the heart of every Christian as he prays. Prayer may be answered with a "Yes," a "No," or "Not now, but later." All three are answers — God's answers — to the prayer of the Christian. Then it is often true that the substance of a prayer may be answered while the specific request may be denied. The answer may take a different form from what we expected or requested. The Syrian army captain, Naaman, is a classic example of this. He requested an audience with Elisha, hoping that the prophet of God would "come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper." (2 Kings 5:11) Far from granting the interview, Elisha did not even permit Naaman to have so much as a glimpse of his face. Instead, he sent a servant out with what must have seemed an impertinent and ridiculous message.

But Naaman's prayer was answered. Not, certainly, in the way he had thought or expected, but nevertheless to his full and complete satisfaction.

As the New Year comes upon us, bringing its full complement of opportunities, responsibilities, accomplishments and failures, let us all remember that "the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." And that every prayer going up to God from the heart of a faithful Christian receives an answer. There are no "unanswered prayers"!