R.A. Torrey Saved

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
In the salvation of the bitterest enemies of Christ, and their transformation into His most devoted servants, the grace of God displays its most glorious victories. The conversion of R. A. Torrey, the evangelist so greatly used and honored of God, is typical.
Of Torrey it is written that as a young man "he was an awful unbeliever." Steeped in sin, rebellion and infidelity he scouted everything Christian— the Bible, Christ, God, heaven, hell, immortality.
His dear, God-fearing mother yearned after him, pleaded with him, prayed for him, until at last young Torrey told her!
"Mother, I'm tired of it all. I am going to leave you, and I will not bother you anymore. I'm tired of all this." And in his revolt and unbelief he left home.
His mother followed him through the door, down the path to the gate, pleading, praying, weeping.
"Son," she said as they parted, "when you come to the darkest hour of all, and everything seems lost and gone, if you will honestly call on your mother's God, you will get help."
But with hardened heart, Torrey pursued his dark, downward way. Deeper and deeper, month in, month out, he sank into "the horrible pit" of infidelity and sin. But only to prove that a godly mother's prayers are not easily shaken off, and that God hears and answers speedily in His own time and way.
One dark night, in a dingy hotel bedroom, 420 miles from his mother's home, R. A. Torrey lay, the victim of overwhelming remorse and despair. In the providence of God sleep utterly forsook him. Burdened with his sins and weary with life itself, the devil prodded him on to the very brink of self-destruction. Just before daybreak he sat up, saying, "I will get out of this bed, and I will take the gun from my suitcase, I will put it to my temple, and I will end this farce called human life."
But even as he stood up to do that dreadful thing, and paused and looked through the window into the black, dark night, the last words his mother had spoken to him echoed loud and clear in his mind: "Son, when your darkest hour of all comes, and everything seems lost and gone, if you will honestly call on your mother's God, you will get help."
In spite of himself he fell on his knees beside his bed and called: "Oh, God of my mother, if there is such a Being, I want light! If Thou wilt give it, no matter how, I will follow it."
Immediately, light from heaven came. It was the Light that made everything light, but it did not destroy, for it was love itself. With it came faith, the gift of God— and with faith in Christ came salvation. Torrey left the hotel a converted man, "a brand plucked from the burning."
In his newfound peace he hastened back home. But instead of surprising his mother as he intended, she came to meet him up the path to the gate; laughing and crying with uncontrollable joy.
"Oh, my boy," she cried, "I know why you are coming back, and I know what you have to tell. You have found the Lord. God has told me so!"
Oh, the power of a mother's prayer!