April 23: Praying with James Garfield

In 1858 James Garfield debated the liberal John Denton, an Englishman who denied the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, the inspiration of the Bible, and the Genesis account of Creation. One thousand people gathered for the five day long debate! What was the driving force behind this future President?

“I have not read enough today. I hope not to let another Lord’s Day pass without doing more and learning more of the Holy Word.”

James A Garfield

Garfield was not always close to the Lord. But a dramatic conversion changed his destiny.

“Two years ago today I was taken with the ague in Cleveland. When I consider the sequel of my history thus far, I can see the providence of God in a striking manner. Two years ago I…. [was] ripe for ruin. On the canal…. ready to drink in every species of vice-and with the ultimate design of going on to the ocean. See the facts. I was taken sick, unable to labor, went to school two terms, thus cultivating my moral and intellectual faculties, took a school in the winter, and greatest of all, obeyed the gospel…. Thus by the providence of God I am what I am, and not a sailor. I thank Him.”

James A Garfield

Garfield was reputed by many as brilliant, and did well in college. However, he was not best known for his scholarly readings in college:

He read Xenophon, Cæsar, and Virgil with appreciation; but his superiority was more easily recognized in the prayer-meetings and debating societies of the college, where he was assiduous and conspicuous

-William Walter Phelps

God’s Word and Prayer are two essentials for every Christian. Let’s seek to make that a hallmark of our lives.

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