On our first visit to Ireland, in 1874, we came across these words in a printed leaflet. It was the second hymn to which I wrote music, and it was much used in our meetings in London. It has long been a favorite prayer-meeting hymn in many churches.
At the close of a gospel service in Evanston, Illinois, the minister was requested to visit a man who was not likely to live many days, and who was a spiritualist. Though pressed by other engagements, the minister said, ”I will take time.” He called, but thought it not best to introduce the subject of religion because of the patient's known hostility to evangelical views. Seeing a little organ in the room, the minister asked if he might sing a song. Consent being given, he sang ”I have a Saviour, He's pleading in glory."
The sick man seemed pleased, and asked the minister to sing it again. This he did, and then gave other songs. Thus he sang the truths which he. had not the courage to mention in conversation. The songs evidently accomplished their work; for when the minister called again the sick man's heart had been opened, and the truth had been savingly received through their instrumentality.
A gospel worker of Hunter, New York, tells of this experience in connection with the hymn: ”While I was holding revival meetings at Hensonville, New York, a man and his wife were converted through the hymn ' I Am Praying for You.' The song went directly to the heart of the wife. All the way to her home the first line of the hymn, ' I have a Saviour, He's pleading in glory,' kept ringing in her ears, and next morning as she awoke she heard my voice singing, ' I have a Saviour.' That night she came to Jesus. Her husband followed immediately after her. They had sent out invitations for a large dancing party at that time, which no doubt would have injured the meetings very much had it taken place; but the dance was turned into a prayer-meeting. I shall never forget the night she stood up in a crowded church, and said, ' Oh, Brother L , your singing” I have a Saviour ”brought us to Jesus.'"
A young man who came from Sweden writes:”' I Am Praying for You ' was the first Moody and Sankey hymn I ever heard. It was on a cold winter night up in the land of the midnight sun, more than a quarter of a century ago. Two evangelists had come to the neighborhood, but found it difficult to get a place in which to hold their meetings. At last a poor woman opened for them her log house, consisting of two rooms. From house to house the meetings were announced. I was a small boy, and out of curiosity I attended the first meeting. About twenty people were present, seated on chairs borrowed from the neighbors. At one end of the low, dark room the evangelists were seated, by a small table on which two home-made candles were burning. After one of the evangelists had led in prayer, he said to the other, ' Sing one of Sankey's hymns.' Upon which he sang this now well-known hymn, ' I Am Praying for You,' accompanying himself on a guitar. Since then I have heard these sweet hymns sung in many European countries, and in the small meeting-houses and primitive homes of the settlers on the Western plains, as well as by choirs of hundreds and congregations of thousands in the larger cities of this broad land."