If you attended Loudoun County, Va., public schools in the ’50s through the ’70s, chances are that you had the privilege of meeting teacher Anna Beavers.
If you didn’t, you may have “met’’ her anyway. Her contribution to education and child well-being earned her recognition in People Magazine as well as both Rosie O’Donnell’s and Oprah Winfrey’s television programs.
I knew her as the retired matriarch of the Beavers farm, staying on at the large old (1877) farmhouse long after her husband passed away and her children scattered across the commonwealth in pursuit of careers in education and finance. Still, she received the best of care and consideration from her children and grandchildren.
After completing farm tractor repair calls at this farm, I would often find Mrs. Beavers sitting on the big front porch enjoying the early evening breeze. As the reader may have guessed, she was ready to talk – and I was more than ready to listen to her tales of farming during the 1st half of the past century.
Through various family real estate transactions, the farm was whittled down to only a few hundred acres. Just after World War II, though, the farm boasted 1,000 acres of crops, hay and cattle.
Back then, hobos were attracted by all the activity. Remember hobos? Hobos (or drifters) were more of a Great Depression phenomenon – mostly out of pure necessity, but apparently some who preferred that life took advantage of post-war prosperity.
These fellows would appear at the back door of the farmhouse “looking for work.” Of course, with everybody home from Europe and the Pacific, the farm’s staffing was complete. Mechanization took up any remaining slack.
Nearly all of these hobos were either intoxicated or intent at becoming so as soon as the locally distilled means should become available. They were certainly not hirable and were thus relegated to what we would refer to today as the “will work for food” genre of hobo-ing.
As with today, after the food requirement was addressed, the other half of the bargain was universally waived.
Mrs. Beavers was well aware of this arrangement but, demonstrating Christian generosity, fed these gentlemen on the back porch under 1 condition; they were required to say grace. Mrs. Beavers went on to describe the intense emotion and flowing eloquence of these inebriates’ prayers.
But did God hear their prayers? The inclination is to say no, but I simply don’t know and it’s not for me to say, anyway.
We might consider the sons of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu in Leviticus 10:1-2. They apparently tried to perform priestly duties at the Tent of Meeting while 3 sheets to the wind (see verses 8 and 9). It didn’t go over very well and they lost their lives as a result.
Nadab and Abihu were priests and thus presumably held to a higher standard.
They also didn’t have the advantage of the ransom sacrifice. Moreover, while the Bible doesn’t condemn the moderate use of alcohol, Nadab and Abihu must have been really loaded in order to show such poor judgment. Though these sons of Aaron likely acted out of pride, the hobos were humbly giving thanks or at least performing for their host. Did God accept those hobos’ prayers? I simply don’t know.
Just prior to that time period, a priest in Germany was blessing a squadron of Junkers Ju 878-2 Sturzkamphfflugzeug (or Stuka for short) dive bombers. Across the English Channel, a British priest was blessing a bunch of Bristol Beaufighter planes, arranging a welcome for the Stukas.
The German bombers couldn’t outrun the RAF fighters, so took an awful whoopin’. Was it the priest’s blessing or the 3,000- horsepower engines that gave the RAF fighters “God speed”? I’m not touching that one, either.
So, is it fitting to pray for success or wealth? Perhaps to win the lottery? Does God answer prayers for wealth?
Again, it is doubtful in my opinion but it’s not up to me. Of course, if we’re in accordance with His will, our possibilities may be enhanced. Check out King Solomon.
God offered Solomon anything he wanted in a material way. Solomon showed good intentions by instead asking for Godly wisdom in order to lead the nation.
God granted this prayer and kicked in a bunch of perks far in excess of any Powerball or scratch-off. Prayers in accordance with God’s will do get heard (I John 5:14). We may not all be in line for a deal like King Solomon’s, but we can pray I for our basic needs. King David illustrates this at Psalms 37:25. At Jeremiah 45:5, Baruch sought “great things” for himself, but God granted him only survival of a coming calamity with no perks,
We may be starting to see a pattern. My personal experience with prayer has borne this out.
If we, like King Solomon, ask for wisdom to discern the theme that runs through the Bible and to superimpose it over human history, we are sure to be rewarded.
This process takes time and considerable effort on our part, but God is willing to meet us halfway; it’s well worth the effort,
How so? We can then be able to understand why all of this insanity exists in the world and where it’s all headed. There can only be one eventual outcome for this world and the prospect is bright.
It can only benefit us to study the Bible intelligently and objectively in order to determine what the will of God actually is. It may come as a pleasant surprise to see how closely it aligns with our own needs and desires (see Matthew 6:6-13). We may as well pray for God’s will to be done on earth.
There’s nothing anyone can do to stop it – not even with 3,000 horsepower.