Daniel Whittle shares the account of D.L. Moody, who on his return from England, while conducting a prayer-meeting in Northfield, Mass., gave this illustration of the power of prayer to subdue the most unlikely cases of sin and unbelief:
“There is not a heart so hard that God cannot touch it. While in Edinburgh, a man was pointed out to me by a friend who said, ‘Moody, that man is chairman of the Edinburgh infidel club.’ So I went and sat down beside him, and said, ‘Well, my friend, I am glad to see you at this meeting. Are you not concerned about your welfare?’ He said that he did not believe in a hereafter. I said, ‘Well, you just get down on your knees and let me pray for you.’
“‘I don’t believe in prayer.’
“I tried unsuccessfully to get the man down on his knees, and finally knelt down beside him and prayed for him. Well, he made a good deal of sport over it, and I met him again many times in Edinburgh after that. A year ago last month, while in the north of Scotland, I met the man again. Placing my hand on his shoulder, I asked, ‘Hasn’t God answered the prayer?’
“He replied, ‘There is no God. I am just the same as I always have been. If you believe in a God, and in answer to prayer, do as I told you. Try your hand on me.’
“‘Well,’ I said, ‘God’s time will come; there are a great many praying for you; and I have faith to believe you are going to be blessed.’
“Six months ago I was in Liverpool; and there I got a letter from the leading barrister of Edinburgh, telling me that my friend, the infidel, had come to Christ, and that of his club of thirty men seventeen had followed his example.
“How it happened he could not say, but whereas he was once blind, now he could see. God has answered the prayer. ‘I didn’t know how it was to be answered,’ said Mr. Moody, ‘but I believed it would be and it was done. What we want to do is to come boldly to God.’”