“The history of missions is the history of answered prayer.” — Samuel Zwemer
Missionary history is a fascinating story. There is passion, intrigue, bravery, death, success, love. In truth, anything you want in a good story can be found in the stories of God’s missionaries as they traveled the world and carried the gospel to those who needed to hear.
Scholars have shown that these men and women improved the lives of millions. Preachers have used their stories to awaken slumbering congregations. Professors have used them as test questions and even sources of entertainment and illustration.
One famous missionary in the Middle East, Samuel Zwemer, has observed that the true power of missionary history has been the prayer of God’s people. Is that any surprise? To assume otherwise would make us the heroes of Gods story – our bravery, creativity, generosity. But the truth is, God’s mission has always been about His glory, and He is the true hero. He answers our prayers because we are dependent on him for our success.
Lord, as the disciples said, ‘teach me to pray.’
Teach me to pray the type of prayers that you will hear and answer.
Teach me to pray for your kingdom to come, your will to be done and you mission to be accomplished….
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