One morning a wealthy farmer was kneeling down with his family at prayers. Among other things he seemed to pray with great earnestness that God would clothe the naked, feed the hungry, relieve the distressed, and comfort all who were in sorrow.
A poor neighbor of his sat on the doorstep listening to that prayer. He was in distress and sorrow, and had come to ask relief. He was an honest, industrious, hard-working man, who was trying to support his family by his own labor. But for some time past he had been in trouble. His wife was sick, and, not being able to hire a nurse, he was obliged to nurse her himself. This, of course, prevented him from working, and earning any money. His family was in want of bread, and he had come to his rich Christian neighbor, to ask him for two bushels of wheat, promising to pay him out of the first money that he earned.
As soon as the prayer was ended he went in and told what he wanted. But the wealthy farmer shook his head. He said he was sorry, but he had a large sum of money to raise, and he wanted all the wheat he had to get it with. The poor man left the house feeling very sad and sorrowful. The tears were trickling down his cheeks as he walked slowly away.
As soon as the door wa3 shut, the farmer’s little boy said to him, “Father, didn’t you just ask God to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, relieve the distressed, and comfort the sorrowful?”
“Yes, my son. But why do you ask that question?”
“Because, father, if I had all your wheat I’d help God to answer that prayer by giving some to our poor neighbor.”
In a moment the poor man was called back. The wheat was given to him, and he went home, feeling comforted.