A voyaging ship was wrecked during a storm at sea and only two of the men on it were able to swim to a small deserted island. Not knowing what else to do, the two survivors agreed they had no recourse but to pray to God. To find out whose prayer was more powerful, however, they agreed to divide the territory between them and stay on opposite sides of the island.
The first thing they would pray for was food.
The next morning, the first man saw a fruit-bearing tree on his side of the island, and he was able to eat its fruit. The other man's parcel of land remained barren.
After a week, the first man was lonely and he decided to pray for a wife.
The next day, another ship was wrecked and the only survivor was a woman, who swam to his side of the land. On the other side of the island, there was nothing.
The first man then prayed for a house, clothes and more food. The next day, like magic, all of these were given to him. The second man still had nothing.
Finally, the first man prayed for a ship so that he and his wife could leave the island. In the morning, he found a ship docked at his side of the island. The first man boarded the ship with his wife and decided to leave the second man on the island because he considered him unworthy to receive God's blessings since none of his prayers had been answered.
As the ship was about to leave, the first man heard a booming voice from Heaven: "Why are you leaving your companion on the island?"
"My blessings are mine alone, since I was the one
who prayed for them," the first man answered. "His prayers were all unanswered and so he does not deserve anything."
"You are mistaken!" the voice rebuked him. "He had only one prayer, which I answered. If not for that, you would not have received any of my blessings."
"Tell me," the first man asked the voice, "what did he pray for that I should owe him anything?"
"He prayed that all your prayers be answered."