Who Prays

A mother, sitting at her work in her parlor,

over-heard her child, whom an elder sister was

dressing in an adjoining bed room, say

 repeatedly, as if in answer to her sister, 

"No, I don't want to say my prayers."

"How many church members in good standing,"

thought the mother to herself, "often

say the same thing in heart, though they conceal

even from themselves the feeling."

"Mother," said the child, appearing in a minute

or two at the parlor door; the tone and look

implied that it was only the morning salutation.

"Good morning, my child."

"I am going out to get my breakfast."

"Stop a minute; I want you to come here and

see me first."

The mother laid down her work in the next

chair, as the boy ran towards her. She took him

up. He kneeled in her lap, and laid his face

down upon her shoulder, his cheek against her

ear. The mother rocked her chair backwards and


"Are you pretty well this morning? said she

in a kind and gentle tone.

"Yes, mother; I am very well."

"I am glad you are well. I am very well too;

and when I waked up this morning, and found

that I was well, I thanked God for taking care of


"Did you?" said the boy in a low tone half

a whisper. He paused after it conscience was

at work.

"Did you ever feel of my pulse?" asked his

mother, after a minute of silence, at the same

time taking the boy down, and setting him in her

lap, and placing his fingers on her wrist.

"No, but I have felt mine."

"Well, don't you feel mine now? How it goes,


“Y-e-s!" said the child.

"'If it should stop beating I should die."

"Should you?"

"Yes, and I can't keep it beating."

"Who can?"


A silent pause.

"You have a pulse, too, which beats in your

bosom here, and in your arms, and all over you,

and I cannot keep it beating, nor can you. 

Nobody can but God. If he should not take 

care of you, who could?

"I don't know," said the child, with a look of

anxiety; and another pause ensued.

"So when I waked up this morning, I thought

I would ask God to take care of me. I hope he

will take care of me, and all of us."

"Did you ask him to take care of me?"


"Why not?"

"Because I thought you would ask him yourself.

God likes to have us all ask for ourselves."

A long pause ensued. The deeply thoughtful

and almost anxious expression of countenance,

showed that the heart was reached.

"Don't you think you had better ask him for


"Yes," said the boy readily.

He kneeled again in his mother's lap, and uttered

in his own simple and broken language, a

prayer for the protection and blessing of Heaven.


 MY son, be this thy simple plan:

Fear God, and love thy fellow man;

Forget not, in temptation's hour,

That sin lends sorrow double power.

With hand and brow and bosom clear,

Fear God, and know no other fear."