Prayer for Defense
The King of Dahomey, in Africa, is one of the cruelest monsters alive. A few years ago he sent a large army to destroy the city of Abbeokuta, where the English missionaries were laboring. He was making a great deal of money by selling slaves. The missionaries were trying to break up the slave-trade. This made him very angry. He swore at them dreadfully, and said he would burn down the city and kill everybody in it. His army was encamped under the walls of the city. The people in Abbeokuta had very few soldiers, but they resolved to defend themselves in the best way they could. Their chief dependence, however, was on prayer. The missionaries and native Christians met together for prayer. For eight days that great army lay encamped around the city.
All that time the people in the city were expecting to be attacked. All that time the meetings for prayer were continued. Day after day passed by, and yet no attack was made. It was a time of great trouble and distress in that city. Each hour they were expecting the threatening storm of war to burst upon them, though praying against it all the while. On the morning of the ninth day they rose and looked out towards their enemies, and not one of them was to be seen. During the night the King of Dahomey had ordered his army to withdraw, and it was marching back again to his own country. It was very strange, that after all his threatenings, he should let his army lie before that city for eight days, and then march away without making any attack upon it. The people in Abbeokuta never found out the reason for it, but they felt sure that God had heard their prayers, and had protected them from their fierce enemy.