Prayer

I’ve recently been reading about the life and ministry of Hudson Taylor, a remarkable evangelist who went to China with the simple Biblical message of the good news about Jesus. When Taylor made his first trip to China in 1855 the voyage nearly ended in disaster. The wind had died, and the current was carrying them toward sunken reefs which were close to islands inhabited by cannibals—so close they could see them building fires on the shore. Everything they tried was to no avail. In his journal Taylor recorded what happened next: The Captain said to me, “Well, we have done everything that can be done.” A thought occurred to me, and I replied, “No, there is one thing we have not done yet.” “What is that?” he queried. “Four of us on board are Christians. Let us each retire to his own cabin, and in agreed prayer ask the Lord to give us immediately a breeze.”

As the story is told Taylor prayed briefly and then, certain that the answer was coming, went up on the deck and asked the first officer to let down the sails. “What would be the good of that?” he answered roughly. I told him we had been asking a wind from God; that it was coming immediately. Within minutes the wind did began to blow, and it carried them safely past the reefs. Taylor wrote: Thus God encouraged me ere landing on China’s shores to bring every variety of need to Him in prayer, and to expect that He would honor the name of the Lord Jesus and give the help each emergency required.

Knowing that our prayers touch the heart of our loving Father in Heaven and that He can meet any need, we should be confident that He will hear and answer when we cry out to Him. This Sunday as we continue our walk toward Jerusalem we will see how Jesus prepares his followers with a discussion on prayer.

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