The Prayer Of Faith.
The family of Mr. James R. Jordan has resided in Lake View, Chicago,
since the spring of 1871. They are members of Lincoln Park
Congregational Church. The father, Mr. James R. Jordan, died in October,
1882, aged eighty-four years. Through a long series of financial trials,
sorrows, afflictions by death and pressing cares, this family learned to
depend on God for their daily prosperity; and the cures wrought in them,
ording to God's Word, are only a small portion of the remarkable
answers to prayer with which their history is filled.
It is an instructive fact for Christian meditation, that when the
exercise of intelligent faith was necessary to their cures, the faith
was there _ready for exercise._ They had not to begin, as, alas! so many
do, at the very foundation, and find out first, what faith is, and next,
how to exercise it. They had learned long before what faith is and what
faith is not; that _faith is trustful obedience to the Word of God;_
that it _is not_ a determination to have one's own way, nor to expect
the immediate gratification of a desire, simply because the desire has
been made known to God. They knew that faith obediently accepts God's
commands and promises, expects to comply with the conditions of those
commands and promises, and, so complying, expects to receive the results
of such obedience at such times and in such ways as God appoints; all of
which truths they found, and all of which may be found in the Holy
Thus living in the hopes of the Gospel, realizing as much that their
"home is in heaven" as that their "rest is not here," they have, through
the years, performed the daily duties of their pilgrimage.
The writer has known them for thirteen years, and gratefully testifies
that their faith has strengthened her's, and that their cheerful hope in
the Lord has been a strong consolation to many who were in trouble.
After the sudden death of the youngest son of the family, in 1880, the
care of the family devolved entirely upon the two daughters, Mrs. H.J.
Furlong and Miss Addie S. Jordan.
In April, 1876, Mrs. Jordan fell and badly fractured her hip. She was
then seventy-seven years old. On account of her age she could not well
be etherized, nor endure the repeated necessary resetting of the bones,
and consequently they grew together irregularly. Her hip-joint was
stiff, so that she was never able to walk without the support of a cane
or crutch. For eight years she could not leave her own little yard, nor
climb into a carriage, nor walk without support.
Through this misfortune her afflictions grew worse. In January, 1884,
she fell and broke one bone and dislocated another in the left wrist.
Notwithstanding all that medical help could do, the shock brought on a
severe sickness, and when, after eight weeks, she left her bed to move
around feebly, she had almost lost her sight and hearing, her hand was
useless, and her mind greatly impaired.
On her birthday, June 10, 1884, when she was eighty-five years old, she
greatly mourned that she had outlived her usefulness; that she could no
longer feed herself, nor read her Bible, nor remember the desirable
subjects for her prayers, and she hoped that she should not linger here
long in such a helpless and useless condition.
During the latter part of this time the two daughters were sick, Mrs.
Furlong with paralysis and Miss Jordan with consumption.
In the latter part of 1882 Miss Jordan, then in feeble health, was
needed at home to attend the father's last sickness, and Mrs. Furlong
was left to conduct their business alone. 'The extraordinary exertion
brought on paralysis. It began in her right arm, which became so
insensible that the strongest ammonia produced no sensation or apparent
effect. Gradually her whole right side lost power, her foot dragged, and
though she did manage to move about, she was comparatively helpless.
Physicians spoke not hopefully; and protracted rest was recommended as a
_possible_ relief. She planned to take electric treatment, though not
very hopeful about the result. She failed once to meet her physician,
and while planning the second time to take the treatment, and
considering Christ's miracles of healing, and the Bible's promises to
the sick, and having a feeling that possibly she might be doing wrong in
not relying entirely on the Lord, who had hitherto so much helped them,
she delayed a little, and failed again to meet the appointment. It was a
Saturday evening in January, 1883.
She went home and sat down that evening alone, in the dining-room,
depressed. The enfeebled family--the aged crippled mother, the sick
sister and her own young son--had retired. As she thought the subject
through, she became convinced that it was not good to spend time and
money in the way proposed. Instantly the words THE SAVIOUR filled her
soul with indescribable hope, and as she thought of His miracles, and
how _the same Jesus_, on earth, healed paralyzed ones, the hope grew
that He would heal her.
With the well hand she stretched out her paralyzed hand on the table and
said: "Dear Lord, will you heal me?" Like an electric shock the life
began to move in her arm, and the continued sensation was as though
something that, previously, had not moved was set in motion. The feeling
passed up to the head, and down the body to the foot. _She was healed!
and she was grateful!_ She did not speak of her experience to the
family, but retired. She rose early the next morning, and awoke her
son,--a prayerful, dutiful young man,--and said to him, "I'm going to
church, to-day." He replied, "Then I'll get up and go with you,"
expecting that she must ride.
Her soul was solemnly full that day of the felt presence of the Holy
Spirit, and she did not like to talk. Her son watched her movements,
She went to the church, took a class again in Sunday School, and; in
going back and forth to church that day and evening, walked about sixty
blocks without weariness.
We are not permitted, here, to draw aside the curtain, to dwell upon the
surprises and the grateful joy of that ever-to-be-remembered, sacred
A few days after this healing, she, with a consciousness that she was
running a risk, lifted a heavy weight, and a numbness returned. She
confessed the sin to the Lord, and asked Him that, when she had been
sufficiently chastened, He would take the trouble away. Gradually,
within two days, it disappeared, and has never returned.
At the time when Mrs. Furlong was healed, in answer to prayer, Miss.
Jordan's case was considered hopeless. Her lungs had been diseased since
1876. In November, 1879, her physician had decided that tubercles had
formed in the left lung, and that the right lung was much congested and
In 1882 she had many hemorrhages, and gradually grew worse, so that she
could not use her left arm or shoulder without producing hemorrhage.
Mrs. Furlong, soon after her own healing, received a comforting
assurance from the Lord that her sister would be healed; but Miss
Jordan, herself, had not that assurance. At this time she took little or
no medicines, the physicians and the family having no confidence in
their curative effect; but, on the 1st of January, 1884, she had so many
chills and hemorrhages, that they sent for the family physician to aid
in checking, if possible, the severe attack.
During this apparently rapid descent deathward, Mrs. Furlong continued
to repeat to the family and to the physicians that the Lord would heal
Miss Jordan was one day so low that she could just be aroused to take
her medicine. As Mrs. Furlong went to give it, Miss Jordan said to her,
"Do you want to throw that medicine away?" Mrs. Furlong said "Yes," and
threw it away. Six hours of united waiting upon the Lord followed. They
were hours of pain. From nine in the morning till three in the afternoon
she suffered indescribable pain. A few minutes after three, the pain
left her, and with a bright look she said, "I believe I'm better." She
wanted to rise and dress, but Mrs. Furlong advised her to rest through
the night. She said she had not, in five years, been so free from
weariness and pain.
The aged mother was sick in bed with that broken wrist, and Mrs. Furlong
feared that her sister's improved condition would shock and perplex her.
Miss Jordan lay on the lounge the most of the time for two days. One of
her expressions was, "It's perfect bliss to lie here free from pain."
Her breathing became perfectly natural, and very soon the great hollow
place in the upper part of the chest, over the left lung, filled out.
Shortly before her healing she only weighed eighty pounds; but a few
months after her weight had increased to one hundred and twenty pounds.
She progressed in health rapidly, and on the second Sunday after the
healing came she attended church. The feeble mother was most sensitively
anxious lest her daughter should pursue some unwarrantable course which
should lead to relapse.
Miss Jordan's health steadily improved, but it was several months before
a cough entirely left her. You may be sure that doubters made the most
of that cough! _But it left her!_ At one time she brought on a slight
relapse by giving lessons in crayon drawing. She came to the conclusion
that the Lord had other work for her to do: and at this writing,
September, 1885, having prayerfully and watchfully followed the leadings
of the Lord, is a missionary among the freedmen of the South, and is
strong in health and in faith, "giving glory to God."
One of the aged mother's perplexities was that the Lord should want her
to live on in such a helpless and useless condition, while her
daughters, who might be so useful, must die; but oh, how successful she
had by precept and example taught those daughters that "He hath done all
things well!" How patiently she suffered whatever she thought was the
Lord's will! How sweet was her constant thanksgiving! Said a pious
Christian neighbor, whose poor health restricted her attendance at
church, "When I'm hungry for a blessing I go down to see old lady
After eight painful weeks, she so far recovered from the sickness
consequent on the broken and dislocated wrist as to move around feebly,
but sight and hearing were almost gone. Her leg was stiff, her hand
stiff, her wrist deformed, and her mind greatly impaired.
Miss Jordan became very hopeful, and received strong assurance, in
answer to prayer, that her mother might be healed. Mrs. Furlong received
no assurance whatever in her mother's case. There was a great deal of
talking and praying about it, in the family, and finally Mrs. Jordan
humbly claimed the Lord's help, beseeching Him that since He had
recorded that He would make the blind to see, the lame to walk, and the
deaf to hear, if it was His will He would heal her. This was the night
of June 16th, 1884.
In the morning Miss Jordan was so hopeful that she rose early, and
attentively listened to the movements in her mother's room. She called
the little family's attention to them, saying, "Just listen to her;" and
as, holding on by the banister, the aged mother came with her accustomed
slow movements down to the dining room, Miss Jordan said, to them, "Now,
According to the long habit of eight years, she began to reach out for
her cane, unconscious that she had been walking around her room with new
freedom. Miss Jordan went toward her and said, "Mother, do you want your
cane?" and, wondering, the old lady walked freely into the dining room.
They gathered around her, and said, "Are you not healed, mother?" and
she began to think _she was_, and sat down in her chair by the table.
Could she move her hand? The doubled-up thumb, and straight, stiff
finger, were _perfectly free_ and as _limber as ever_, and the stiff
wrist joint _moved with perfect freedom!_ She _heard as well as
anybody!_ Could she see? She went up-stairs to her Bible, whose blurred,
dim pages she had thought closed to her forever, and _she could read as
well as ever_, and without glasses! She could thread the finest needle.
Could she kneel and thank the Lord? She had not knelt for eight years.
Yes, she could kneel as well as when she served the Lord in her youth!
Christian reader, stop here and think what a joyful family that was that
June morning. That aged saint, of a little more than 85 years, was in
good health again! And her two daughters had been snatched from the jaws
of death! What a triumph of blessed memories to leave in legacy to that
young, hopeful, Christian son, who, in childhood, had himself repeatedly
proved that the Lord hears and answers prayer!
Mrs. Jordan has never used cane or crutch since that morning. She has
frequently walked five blocks, to go to her church; and, a few weeks
after her healing, she one day walked the distance of about fifteen
blocks. She has walked for hours in Lincoln Park, among the plants and
flowers, and she goes up and down stairs, and wherever she likes, as
well as anyone.
She has the use of her faculties, and an altogether comfortable use of
her sight, though that is not so acute as at first. Her earliest joy was
that she was permitted to see that the Lord had some purpose in sparing
her so long.
Dear Christian reader, shall the wonderful manifestation of that
"purpose" strengthen your faith? It helps me.
"Is anything too hard for the Lord?" "No good thing will He withhold
from them that walk uprightly." "If ye then, being evil, know how to
give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father
which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him." "If we live
by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit."
In the hopes of the Gospel,
Miss E. Dryer.
150 Madison St., Chicago.