Each Baptist magazine edition, in this column, a member of Mission Council reflects on one of the themes surrounding Prayer and Self Denial 2019. This month, Lyn Davis reflects on “Expect great things, attempt great things.”
This quote from missionary Hudson Taylor conjures up all sorts of feelings. As a young person, and later as an overseas mission worker, expecting and attempting great things seemed a little bit easier, a bit more exciting and somehow more motivating than it does today! For example, we lived in East Asia during a season where God was moving in an amazing way—we saw many young factory workers turn to him during medical clinics we offered; we saw prayers answered as we sat at the door of a school praying for our camp to actually happen against all odds; we experienced many other opportunities where God gave us front row seats in what he was doing. Now, living in comfortable New Zealand and being a little older, the passionate side of life evoked by this saying somehow seems a little further away.
One of my favourite verses since returning to New Zealand has been from James 5:16 (NIV): “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” This reminds me that even though I may not be on the so-called coalface I have a huge part to play in God’s mission—that of prayer. I think sometimes we underestimate the power of prayer—I certainly do, even though, in my own mission journey, I have seen the results of the faithful pray-ers back home. So, this year I invite you to join me in praying bold and audacious prayers for our overseas workers, that we may celebrate God’s great and mighty power at work.
God—this year I’d like to engage with this idea of praying bold, audacious, expectant and effective prayers.
Forgive me for allowing my faith in your ability to do the powerful shrink to the size of a walnut! Give me fresh eyes to see you at work in turning the ordinary into the extraordinary. I’m so grateful for your invitation to join you in the daring adventure of prayer; please shape me into a powerful pray-er.
I may not be called by you to be at the coalface in this season of my life but if I truly believe the words of this verse, then I can still be a part of what you’re doing ‘over there’, as well as in my own neighbourhood, my community and this country I currently call home.
Help me—help us—to be powerful and effective pray-ers and to give you the glory when great and mighty things happen. Amen.
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