A Long Apprenticeship
A soldier was brought before his commanding officer and accused of communicating with the enemy. He had been seen emerging from an area where their troops were known to patrol. The poor man summed up his defense in a few words, stating that he had slipped away to spend an hour alone in prayer. “Have you been in the habit of spending an hour in private prayer?” demanded the officer. “Yes, Sir,” he replied. “Then” said his commander, “never in your life have you been in more need of prayer than now. Kneel down and pray aloud so we all may hear you.”
Expecting instant death, the soldier dropped to his knees and poured out his heart to God. His prayer immediately revealed an intimacy with the Heavenly Father. His earnest fluency, his humble appeal for divine intervention, and his obvious trust in one who was strong to deliver told unmistakably that he came regularly to the throne of grace.
“You may go,” said the officer. “No one could have prayed that way without a long apprenticeship; the fellows who have never attended drill are always ill at ease for the review.