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Power Within

by Arthur T. Pierson

Thousands live above 12,000 feet in the Andes of South America, and mountain peaks soar as high as 22,000 feet. In such a place, it took quite an effort to lay train tracks. But at last the day came when an engineer drove the first locomotive up through the mountains of Bolivia.* Native Bolivians from all across the mountainsides heard of the great engine and traveled many miles to see it.

One group of Indians came all the way from the Amazon basin to see the strange sight. Finding the engine stationary on the tracks, they sat back on their haunches and discussed what this monster could be. “It is made to go,” one observed. Another said, “Let us make it go.” They got out their ropes and hooked them onto various parts of the engine, and then about 30 men began to pull. With several great heaves, they managed to move the locomotive six yards. Standing back to see what they had done, they exclaimed, “Ay-ay-ay-ay Tatai Tatito! The great and little father has given us power to do a wonderful thing!”

The next day, the engineer shoveled coal into the firebox. Hitching two cattle cars onto the engine, he invited the Amazon Indians to step inside. Then, opening the regulator, the engineer let steam into the cylinder, which began to move the piston and the wheels of the locomotive. The Indians shouted with surprise to be carried along at ten miles an hour, instead of slowly dragging the engine themselves!

Steam engines, of course, were not made to be pulled by human power. Instead, the power to propel them comes from a fire within. The same can be said of effectual, fervent prayer. We don’t move Heaven by working up human zeal; instead, God moves us by placing the Holy Spirit within. Then, as we pray, the Spirit helps our human frailty, giving us divine earnestness to pray for things that match God’s will. With the power of the Spirit within, we can know that the Father hears us and will grant our petitions!

*About a century ago.

From The Missionary Review, Volume 30, 1907.

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