I Prayed All Day For Help

by the American Sunday-School Union

It was a beautiful evening early in June. The air was cool and pleasant. The trees and shrubs were covered with luxuriant foliage, and the roses were in their opening beauty. The frogs were croaking in the pond, and the birds singing on the trees. The sun had just sunk beneath the horizon. The clouds which lingered around his pathway received his parting rays, and were most gorgeously decorated with the richest of his colouring.

Willie walked about the lawn, his face lighted up with a smile, and his dark gray eye bright with happiness. His heart was attuned to harmony with all nature around him, and he would frequently look up to his mother, who sat by the open window, enjoying the delightful evening. Presently Willie came, and stood by her side.

"How happy I am this evening!" he said to her. She put her arm around him, and drew him towards her.

"What makes you so happy?" she inquired.

"Because I have been trying to control my temper, I suppose"—was his answer.

"You have not been angry to-day, have you?"

"No, mother."

"Did you pray about it, Willie?"

"Yes, mother. I prayed all day for help."

"How did you pray?"

"I said, Forgive my sins, and give me a new heart."

"God heard your prayers, and he has helped you to control your temper. God always hears prayer, and helps those who ask his aid. I hope you will never forget to pray for what you need," said his mother. Willie smiled, and kissed her, and went out of doors again to enjoy the evening—

"So cool, so calm, so bright."

Willie is generally a good boy, but he has a quick temper. When three or four years old, he would sometimes get very angry. I have even known him to throw things at children with whom he was playing, if they did any thing to offend him. He did so one day when his mother was from home. She was much grieved when she heard it, and talked seriously with him. It made a deep impression on his mind. He speaks of it now with great solemnity, and asks his mother if she remembers it. He feels that he committed a great sin. He knows it is wrong to let his temper govern his reason, and he is struggling to control himself. I think he will succeed.

I knew his grandfather when I was a little girl, and I remember hearing him say that he was naturally quick-tempered; but, although I lived in the same house with him, and saw him under a great variety of circumstances, I never heard him speak a hasty word. I hope Willie will obtain as perfect control over himself, and, if he lives to manhood, that his friends will be able to say of him what I can say of his grandfather.

Willie was, at one time, playing with some children, and found he was growing angry. He immediately left them, and sat down on the stairs alone. Pretty soon they followed him. He did not feel entirely good-natured, so he again left them, and went into the library. He shut the door and prayed to his Father in heaven for strength to conquer himself. He remained there alone till he felt he had obtained the victory.

Willie is not the only little boy who has a quick temper, and I tell this story about him for the sake of the dear children who sometimes get angry. I hope, like Willie, they will learn to go to God for help, and then, like his, their countenances will be radiant with gladness; and they, too, can say, "How happy I am!"

"An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression."

"He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city."

"He that hath no rule over his own spirit, is like a city that is broken down, and without walls."