“Can a Christian Pray for a Horse?”

Dan Patch days are nearly here in Savage.  You probably know well the story of the great harness racer.  Our city was named after the horse’s third and last owner, Will Savage.  In mid-September 1904 a brief news item appeared in the papers that Dan Patch had taken ill and would probably die.  That word sent tremors of anticipatory grief not only through the racing world, but through millions of people with no interest in horse racing but knew the exploits and achievements of Dan Patch.

Dan’s driver spoke to a Minneapolis Journalreporter and said, “Dan has no chance on earth.”  His vets agreed.  Will Savage wouldn’t believe it.  He went into Dan’s stall, sat on the floor and took from his pocket a vial of colic cure, got help getting Dan to take it, and then asked to be left alone with the horse.  He sat on the floor, took Dan’s head in his lap, petted him, talked to him, and being the devout Methodist that he was, he prayed.  Savage stayed with Dan all through the night.  At dawn one of the handlers crept into the stall, and in a few seconds ran outside smiling.  “Anyone know where we can get some apples?”  The paper’s headline, “Dan Patch Doomed to an Early Death” had to be changed.  Dan recovered so quickly that in only a few days he was back on the practice track, and by October was on the circuit.  He went on to race and was never beaten!

Is it right to pray for a horse?  Can we pray, and expect God to answer?  Yes, we can.  Whatever is of concern to us is of concern to God.  So we ought always to pray and not lose heart.  The fellowship with God alone makes prayer always worthwhile.

Jim Ross
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