John G. Paton, missionary to the New Hebrides, related the story of a night when tribesmen surrounded his home. They wanted to burn it down and to kill John Paton and his wife. The Patons prayed all night, thinking their home would at any time burst into flames. After many hours no attack came. In the morning they looked out of the window and were amazed to see that the tribesmen had left. They fell to their knees again, thanking God for His deliverance.

The Patons’ work continued and many of the tribes-people came to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. After one year the Chief of the tribe became a believer. Remembering the dreadful night of terror, Paton asked the Chief what had prevented him and his men from burning down his house and killing them. The Chief replied, “We were afraid of the men that protected you.”

“What men?” asked Paton. “There were no men protecting us. My wife and I were in the house alone.”

“No,” insisted the Chief, “there were many men around the house – men with shining clothes and drawn swords in their hands. They stood around the building and would not let us harm you.”

At that moment John Paton realised why he and his wife had been spared. God had answered their prayers and sent His angels to protect them from attack. The battle that is raging can only be answered by prayer.