Larry Grant 9a

THE SORCERER'S STONE!

CHAPTER THIRTY-NINE: MORE ON HOW TO PRAY

 

At the last meeting, a girl asked, “Can you give us additional helpful pointers on how to pray?”

“Prayer is so important!” said Larry. “Not only do we need to carefully study the Bible, but we also need to pour out our hearts to Him. In order to have close contact with God, we must have something to say to Him concerning our actual life.

“Prayer is the opening of the heart to God as to a friend.  Not that it is necessary in order to make known to God what we are, but in order to enable us to receive Him. Prayer does not bring God down to us, but brings us up to Him.

“Our heavenly Father waits to bestow upon us the fullness of His blessing. What a wonder it is that we pray so little! God is ready and willing to hear the sincere prayer of the humblest of His children.

“What can the angels of heaven think of poor helpless human beings, who are subject to temptation, when God’s heart of infinite love yearns toward them, ready to give them more than they can ask or think, and yet they pray so little and have so little faith?

“The darkness of the evil one encloses those who neglect to pray. The whispered temptations of the enemy leads them to sin; and it is all because they do not make use of prayer. Yet prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven’s storehouse, where are treasured the boundless resources of Omnipotence.”

“Oh, yes, I want to pray more!” said a girl. “How can I make sure my prayers are heard?”

“Another important question,” said Larry. “There are certain conditions upon which we may expect that God will hear and answer our prayers:

“One is that we feel our need of help from Him. If we regard iniquity in our hearts, if we cling to any known sin, the Lord will not hear us; but the prayer of the sincerely sorry, repentant soul is always accepted. When all known wrongs are righted, we may believe that God will answer our petitions.

“Another element of prevailing prayer is faith. When our prayers seem not to be answered, we must cling to the Bible promises; for the time of answering will surely come, and we shall receive the blessing we need most. But it is presumptuous to think that prayer will always be answered in the very way and for the particular thing that we desire.

“When we come to God in prayer, we should have a spirit of love and forgiveness in our own hearts.

“Perseverance in prayer has been made a condition of receiving. We must keep praying if we would grow in faith and experience.”

Another student asked, “Where should we pray?”

“Well, that’s a practical question,” said Larry. “We touched on it before, but here are some more ideas:

“We should pray in the family circle, with others, and in religious meetings. But above all we must not neglect secret prayer, for this is the life of the soul. Family or public prayer alone is not sufficient. Secret prayer is to be heard only by the prayer-hearing God.

“As we mentioned earlier, there is no time or place in which it is inappropriate to offer up a petition to God. In the crowds of the street, in the midst of a business appointment, while working in the kitchen, driving a truck, or building a house, we may send up a petition to God and plead for divine guidance.

“Let the soul be drawn out and upward to God in prayer. As we do this, the Lord gives us a breath of the heavenly atmosphere.

“We may keep so near to God that in every unexpected trial our thoughts will turn to Him as naturally as the flower turns to the sun. Keep your wants, your joys, your sorrows, your cares, and your fears before God. You cannot burden Him; you cannot weary Him. He is not indifferent to the wants of His children.

“There’s another point it would be good to mention before we conclude this meeting,” said Larry.

We all need time to pray and worship together. As you go through life, make sure you are meeting with others to study God’s Word together and worship Him. We need to take time to strengthen and encourage one another in the service of God. By speaking to one another of the love of God and the precious truths of redemption, we are all encouraged.

“We must gather about the cross. Christ and Him crucified should be the theme of contemplation, of conversation, and of our most joyful emotion. We should keep in our thoughts every blessing we receive from God; and, when we realize His great love, we should be willing to trust everything to the hand that was nailed to the cross for us.

“Oh, and something else which is very important,” said Larry.

“Last but not least, we must take time to praise God. As you go through the day, talk to Him; and thank Him for the birds and plants and trees, for your body which functions adequately. Thank Him for your beating heart, your hands, your feet and mind.

“It is a fact that the soul ascends nearer to heaven on the wings of praise. As we express our gratitude to God, we are doing what the angels which stand around His throne in heaven are doing.

“We mentioned earlier that there’s a Bible passage about praying without ceasing [1 Thessalonians 5:17]. There’s also one about thanking God without ceasing [1 Thessalonians 2:13]. Thankfulness to God is extremely important in the Christian life! It powerfully strengthens you, even in the midst of problems.”

“What should I do when I am tempted to question God or doubt His Word?” asked a girl near the front.

“Well, that’s important also,” said Larry. “Many are at times troubled with the suggestions of skepticism. God never asks us to believe without giving sufficient evidence upon which to base our faith. Disguise it as they may, the real cause of doubt and skepticism, in most cases, is the love of sin. We must have a sincere desire to know the truth and a willingness of heart to obey it.

“Every one of us in this room has encountered the devastating blast of evolutionary atheism. It is in books and magazines everywhere.

“Within the next few years, all of us will be adults and many will get married. All through our adult years, we will encounter repeated temptations to question the Word of God or doubt God’s goodness.

“But we must resolutely reject every doubt. Make it a rule of your life to never question God’s Word,—and never doubt God’s goodness! The Bible is always safe.

“Settle it in your mind that God always does good. He never does anything wrong or bad. All the problems come from the devil or from our or others’ mistakes or sins.

“Never, never doubt God! Never blame Him for anything that happens! Never stop being appreciative for all He’s done for you and all He is going to do for you now and through all eternity to come. If you will stick by this rule, your future will be bright.”

And with that, the last meeting of the school term drew to an end. 

 

CHAPTER FORTY: COMING TO AN END

 

There were a lot of sad hearts in May. School was ending for the year; and everyone was about to depart, most of them to faraway places. Some would not be returning the next year.

And everyone was sorry to learn that they might not see Larry Grant again. His humble, unselfish efforts to help them were deeply appreciated.

As they walked along the campus, Peter said, “What are we going to do next year without you?”

“I agree,” chimed in Skip. “It won’t be the same place without Larry.”

“Honestly, friends, I’ll miss you too,” agreed Larry. “But I can tell you what you’ll be doing.”

“What’s that?” asked Skip.

“You’ll be helping others, just as we did while we were here together.”

“Actually, you’re right,” said Peter thoughtfully. “And in helping others, we won’t miss one another as much.”

“It works that way,” said Larry. “Wherever we find ourselves, if we’re trying to help someone else, our own hearts are made happier in the Lord. We also make new friends in the process.

“This world is the training ground for heaven. From day to day, God gives us assignments down here. As we faithfully fulfill them, we are drawn closer to the atmosphere of heaven.

“Then, someday, Christ will return the second time and take us all to heaven; and we will be able to carry out more assignments for Him up there.

“Following the Lamb down here is the preparation for following the Lamb up in heaven [Revelation 14:4].

  “Hey, look whose there!” Turning, they saw Barbara and Jenny coming toward them.

“Now, you know, you’re not really supposed to leave!” said Barbara. “I’ve said it, and that’s the way it is.”

Everyone laughed at this.

“I wish it could be so,” responded Larry, “but my folks will arrive here tomorrow. We’ll pack my belongings and be heading out.

“Where will you be going?” asked Jenny.

“I’m not really sure yet,” replied Larry. “I won’t know till they get here. It will be wherever my Dad’s next government grant takes him to.”

“Well, we’ll all miss you,” said Barbara, with a little different tone in her voice than Larry had ever noticed before.

“I know you will.” I’ll miss you all too.

CHAPTER FORTY-ONE: ARRIVAL FROM INDIA

  “Oh, how good to have you back!” cried Larry, as he ran out of the lobby of the dorm, down the stairs into the arms of his parents, Len and Ruby Grant.

“How good to see you, Son,” said his folks.

“You sure have grown!” said Mrs. Grant. During that year Larry had entered his growth spurt. In the preceding year, he had grown from 5 foot, 6 inches to 6 foot, 1 inch.

“You’re almost as tall as I am now!” said Larry’s father.

“All our belongings are being shipped from India and from storage in the states directly to my next assignment. We have till tomorrow afternoon before we will leave,” explained Mr. Grant.

“Yes,” added Mrs. Grant, “we’re staying in one of the guest rooms; and everyone here acts like we’re their long-lost friends!”

“Well, good, let me show you around the campus!” said Larry. “You can meet some of my many friends.”

Together, they strolled around the campus that morning, and again throughout the afternoon. There was opportunity to meet with many students and faculty members. Indeed, everyone seemed very interested in meeting Larry’s parents and telling them about the events of the school year which had just ended. In the library, Larry introduced his folks to Miss Stevenson. She was very glad to see them, and they talked for a time.

That evening, Larry took his parents over to see the Oliver’s.

“I am so very glad to meet you!” said Mr. Oliver as they entered. “This is my wife, Karen. Just call me Ned.”

The four of them sat and talked for quite some time. Larry was happy to have his folks meet the Olivers, but he did not say a lot. He would rather that they visit and enjoy one another. Larry knew he would be with his folks in the forthcoming weeks and months. Besides, Larry was not the type to talk much about his own achievements, and they had been many that school year.

When they got back to the boys’ dorm that evening, Larry’s father decided to go for a walk before bedtime. It was not until over an hour later that he arrived back in the guest room where they were staying. Mrs. Grant was already asleep.

The next morning, Len Grant, Larry’s father, said, “Son, why don’t we go for a walk together, just the two of us.”

“That’s fine with me,” said Mrs. Grant. “I’ve been helping Peter and Skip with their packing. I’ll see you when you get back.”

As the two walked along, from time to time someone would stop them, in order to say good-bye to Larry.

Eventually, they found themselves walking down the path to the overlook. “Here’s a good place to sit down, Larry,” said Mr. Grant.

Larry could not help recalling to himself the last time he was here, when the witch tried to quietly creep up on him. But, fortunately, those days were past. There was not a spiritualist on the campus now.

For some time, the two of them sat there watching the ocean waves below. Larry was so happy to be with his folks again.

Eventually, Len Grant spoke. “Larry, I would like to talk with you for a few minutes.”

“Sure, Dad,” replied Larry.

“I’ve done a lot of thinking in the last year in India. I’ve had opportunity to see other religions in action, and I’ve compared it with what I know of Christianity.

“But, Son, I’ve been especially impacted in the last twenty-four hours. Your many friends have told me a lot about what went on this year and—.” Mr. Grant’s voice trailed off.

“And, Son, I—, I went for a walk last night . . And I gave my life to Christ.”

At this, Mr. Grant began weeping. And Larry wept too.

“Larry,” Mr. Grant said, “I really admire your Christian experience and what you did this past year. I want this kind of life myself. It’s true that I’m a highly educated, trained scientist.

“But now I want to become educated in the things of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour. I want that with all my heart!” Another pause, as Larry sat there silently.

“And I know that this coming year, working together, we’re going to do it together.”

“I love you, Dad,” said Larry softly. “And I am so happy, so happy.”

Back in the guest room, Len Grant broke the news to his wife,

“Oh, Len, I’m so glad!” cried Larry’s mother. “You know I’ve been praying for this moment for years!”

Later that afternoon, as the packing was almost done, Peter and Skip gave each other a knowing look; and, turning to Larry, they said, “Uh, Larry, we’ve got something to tell you.”

“What’s that, friends?” responded Larry. Something was up.

“Skip and I are going to room together next year, and we’ll be in this same corner room,” said Peter. “And guess what?”

“What are you two up to?” asked Larry smiling.

“Since you can’t take them with you, we’re going to keep that feeding station and continue feeding your pets!”

“You really are buddies!” said Larry, overjoyed.

“We’re really going to miss you,” said Skip.

“Yes, both of us,” added Peter.

“You never know,” said Larry. “We may get together and work on a project someday, some place else.”

“Yes,” they agreed, “You never know.”

“Well, it’s time to head out,” said Mr. Grant.

“Where are we headed to this time?”

“I just received word from Washington,” replied his father. “We’re headed West. The contract involves a secret government project.”

“Great!” responded Larry.

“I wonder what kind of excitement we’ll get into there?”

Mr. Grant thought about that a minute. “Well, Larry, with you with us, it ought to be quite a bit.”

GO TO APPENDICES   

Story TOC

HOME SITE MAP