“Brother, if you would enter that Province, you must go forward on your knees.”
– J. Hudson Taylor, founder of the China Inland Mission –
Are you facing a trial that seems impossible?
Has God placed a calling or dream in your heart that is beyond your abilities?
It is easy to let these challenges lead to frustration or stress. But this is not the way of the Christian. God’s call is his promise. These challenges should cause us to pray. Prayer is a great unknown for many Christians, too many view it is a form of self-help or positive self-talk. However, this is far from true. The Bible teaches us that prayer is our pathway to God’s activity. James 4:2 says, “you do not have because you do not ask.” To be sure, there is much about prayer that we do not fully understand. But, we dare not let these questions keep us from praying.
Hudson Taylor was a missionary who faced great obstacles. He faced financial trials, personal attacks, persecution, and also the general difficulties of being a missionary. These pressures almost led him to quit. However, he learned the secret of prayer. He knew that his success as a missionary was not improved by his stress and fear. Rather, he learned to lift his concerns to Jesus. He knew that any advance in his life depended on the work of God.
Father, teach me the life of faith and prayer. I believe that you keep your promises. I believe that you answer prayer. Forgive my fear and help me trust you in my circumstances today.
Scott Hildreth is the director of the Lewis A. Drummond Center for Great Commission Studies. He frequently speaks on issues of missions, spiritual formation, missiology, and theology. Scott also contributes to SEBTS faculty blog www.betweenthetimes.com