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The (Almost) Plague of 1877 - Homeword - January 7

The (Almost) Plague of 1877

This devotional was written by Leslie Snyder

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. —Matthew 7:7

In the summer of 1876, grasshoppers nearly destroyed the crops in Minnesota. In the spring of 1877, farmers feared the dreadful plague would strike again resulting in the destruction of their wheat crop for the second year in a row and bringing ruin on thousands of farmers throughout the state. The situation was so serious that Governor John S. Pillsbury proclaimed April 26 as a day of prayer and fasting.

He urged every man, woman and child to ask God to prevent this terrible tragedy. Schools, shops, stores and offices were closed in observance of this day of prayer.

The following day dawned bright and clear. Temperatures soared above midsummer norms. The unusual heat persisted for three days and the people were devastated to discover billions of grasshopper larvae wiggling to life. It appeared that the grasshopper plague would return and once again bring ruin to the wheat crops.

Surprisingly, the fourth day brought with it a sudden drop in temperature and the farmers woke the next morning to find that frost covered the ground. The result? Every single grasshopper larva died as surely as if they had been poisoned.

There is no doubt that God answers prayer. James 5:16b reads, “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” Matthew 18:19–20 states, “Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” 

Prayer is powerful, but for some reason many Christians don’t invest in seeking God’s help through prayer. James explains in his letter, “You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (James 4:3)

God loves us and is waiting patiently to hear from us. He wants to hear about our struggles, our joys and even about the things in life we may consider mundane. Simply, prayer is communication with God and is as easy as talking with a friend. Today, God is inviting you to talk with him. It doesn’t have to be formal, flowery, or perfect. It just has to be real.


Prayer is a gift from God to you. It is a way to connect daily with the God who created you. Make the time today to connect with him.


Matthew 6:9–13; John 17

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