When Marion Price discovered that E. M. Bounds, the famous author of nine books on prayer, was buried less than three hours from where he lived, he determined to visit that cemetery. But when he visited the cemetery in Washington, Georgia, he could not find Bounds' resting place.
As a last resort he searched the telephone directory, and found an Osborne M. Bounds, Sr. listed. A young lady answered the phone, and he asked if Osborne Bounds might possibly be a distant relative of E. M. Bounds.
"Yes, Osborne is his son. He is 84 years old, and I am his granddaughter," she said. She invited him to visit her grandfather saying he would be delighted to see him.
Osborne was a thin, frail, white-haired gentleman. In a few minutes, Osborne's 81-year-old sister, Mary, joined them. Mary offered to take him to the cemetery, but before they left, Marion Price felt a strong impulse to ask Osborne Bounds about his spiritual condition.
"Mr. Bounds, are you a saved man?"
Osborne dropped his head, and in a few moments said meekly, "Oh, I don't know. I hope so, but I'm not sure."
Mary interrupted, "Why Oz is one of the best men in the county...You won't find a better man anywhere." Immediately she said, "Let me take you to the cemetery.
On the way she told him that her father would rise at four o'clock each morning and pray until breakfast at seven. In his later years, he would rise at three o'clock. He went to bed early before others, and if there were visitors in the house, he would excuse himself by saying something like, "I have an early appointment."
As Rev. Price drove home, the Spirit burdened his heart with the thought that neither of these children was saved. He wept for them and contacted 12 ministers asking them to help him pray for these two people.
He began occasionally visiting Osborne, but each time there were people around and he did not feel free to talk with him about the gospel. The last time he visited him, a nurse met him at the door and took him to Osborne's room who was in a hospital bed. This time the two of them were alone, and Rev. Price sensed the presence of the Living Lord. He asked Osborne if he could read the scriptures.
"Certainly. Please do," he replied. Then he shared with him the hopelessness of man without Jesus and that a man must come to God with a repentant heart, confessing his sin, and then by faith receive Him as Lord and Savior.
When he asked Osborne if he thought much about spiritual matters, he replied, "All the time."
"Are you ready to call on the Lord and ask Him to save you?"
Osborne said, "Yes," and began to pray without being coaxed. He confessed his sinful condition and his doubting heart, asking the Lord to forgive him.
"Mr. Bounds, did you mean what you just prayed?"
"Well, I guess I did!" he said with a peaceful smile.
After Osborne's death, his daughter told him, "From the time Daddy talked with you that last time, he had more peace than he had ever had before."
Rev. Price wrote, "God is not limited to my lifetime or yours. Sixty-three years after we die, He can send a simple gospel witness to speak to those for whom we have prayed."
"Whoever comes to me I will never drive away" (John 6:37).
Adapted from an article in Herald of His Coming. Originally found in the booklet Never Quit Praying for Your Loved Ones by Marion H. Price, Sr.
- by Aletha Hinthorn's Fireseeker devotional emails