The Father's Prayer

James Smith

"Lord, have mercy on my son!" Matthew 17:15

Here is a father in trouble in trouble about his son. The son was a sinner, a sufferer, and in great danger. The father knew the danger of his son, deeply felt for his condition, was daily grieved on his account, and desired his deliverance at any expense.

This is very much the case with us, in reference to our children, when suffering from bodily distempers; but is it so in reference to their souls? Our children are all sick of a mortal disease; it is rooted in their very nature; they suffer from it now, for every pain and disease is the effect of sin. They are in imminent danger of perishing forever; they hang over Hell by a mere thread the thread of time. We are not sure that they will not be in Hell in five minutes; death may seize them in a moment, and they cannot be in Heaven, unless they are born from above, and are sanctified by the Holy Spirit; for, "without holiness, no one can see the Lord."

But do we realize this? Do we feel for their eternal welfare, as we do for their temporal welfare? Or as this man did for his afflicted son? Are we daily grieved to see our children . . .
the enemies of God,
the friends of Satan,
the slaves of sin?

Such they must be, if not truly converted by grace.

Are we desiring their deliverance from sin, Satan, the world, and the wrath of God, above everything beside? Do we say so by our conduct? Do our prayers say so? Does our conversation with our children say so? Alas! alas! how few parents feel or act consistently on this subject!

Here is a father with Jesus. He had heard of the Savior, of His works of mercy, of the power He displayed, and the kindness He showed to all. His trouble, connected with this information, brought him to Jesus. He came for his son; he came without an invitation; he came at a perhaps; a fathers heart impelled him; he fell at the Redeemer's feet, and out of a full heart, with a loud voice, he cried, "Lord, have mercy on my son!"

Just so, we have heard of Jesus, we know Him, we are invited by Him. But do we come to Him as this man for our children? My brother, have you a son that is unruly, perverse, and wicked? Go to Jesus for him, as this poor man did; go on purpose; go and appeal to His tender heart; go frequently; go in faith, and you shall not go in vain.

Here is a father at prayer for his son. He kneeled before Jesus; he lifted up a father's eye, and looked into his heart; he lifted up a father's voice, and awakened his tenderest sympathies; he poured forth a father's prayer, and obtained relief.

See how simple his words: "Lord, have mercy on my son." How earnest his manner; how humble his spirit; how importunate his application he had applied to others, and even to the disciples in vain; but he would not, he could not rest until he had tried the Lord, and he was successful. He tried His mercy and the Lord listened to Him; he tried His power and the Lord healed his son.

Parents, do not despond; never give over a child as lost; Jesus can heal the most desperate case; He can restore the greatest wanderer, He can melt the most obdurate heart, He can reclaim the foulest transgressor. Only realize the danger of your children, believe the promises made to you in God's blessed book; feel that none but Jesus can effect the change you desire; and apply to Him in faith, detennined to take no denial; wrestle, plead, wait, watch, expect, and walk according to your prayers and you must succeed.

"The Lord is full of pity and of great mercy." Bring your children with you to Jesus; if you can, get them to kneel by your side and hear you pray for them; but if they will not, go for them; and remember that, "the fervent effectual prayer of a righteous man avails much." Prayer cannot be lost. God stands engaged to hear and answer the prayer of faith; and Jesus, at the right-hand of the Father, is your Advocate and Intercessor, and will sprinkle your prayers with His blood.