The story of Ta'if is something I learnt from a very young. My mum actually told me this story and then I remember watching what happened in the 'The Message' film about the life of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
The Prophet pbuh had left Makkah to invite the Chiefs of Ta'if to Islam - but they refused, and what was worse, they then sent the children after him to throw stones at him so much so that he was covered in blood. When the Prophet pbuh was away from the town, he prayed to Allah:
“O, my Allah! To Thee I complain of the feebleness of my strength, of my lack of resources and my being unimportant in the eyes of people, O, Most Merciful of all those capable of showing mercy! Thou art the Lord of the weak, and Thou art my own Lord. To whom art Thou to entrust me; to an unsympathetic foe who would sullenly frown at me, or to an alien to whom Thou hast given control over my affairs? Not in the least do I care for anything except that I may have Thy protection for myself. I seek shelter in Your Light-the light which illuminates the Heavens and dispels all sorts of darkness, and which controls all affairs in this world as well as in the Hereafter. May it never be that I should incur Thy wrath, or that Thou should be displeased with me. I must remove the cause of Thy displeasure till Thou art pleased. There is no strength nor power but through Thee.”
In this time of utter disappointment, humiliation and a sense of defeat in the journey to Ta'if - look at how our Prophet [pbuh] responds to his Lord. I read humbleness, sincerity and submission to Allah in the dua above. It was this prayer that led Angel Jibrail (upon him be peace) to appear before Muhammad [pbuh] and inform him of the accompanying angel who was in charge of the mountains near Taif to be at his command. In other words, the angel said: To which the Prophet pbuh replied,