To the People in the Pews

As a follow up to yesterday’s messages from 1 John 4:7-10, I will ask some questions and then share an encouragement.

Questions          

  • How have you seen God at work through prayer since yesterday? Was the work in your heart?  Was His work seen in someone else?
  • What attribute of God was seen through His working in prayer?
  • What was your attitude about God when you left the quiet place this morning? Anything you want to share?

Encouragement

A month ago, my wife gave the abridged version of Missionary Rosalind Goforth’s autobiography at the Missionary Teen Retreat 11 in northern Spain.  On the flight over, I read a good portion of another writing by this dear saint of God entitled, How I Know God Answers Prayer, The Personal Testimony of One Life-Time.  This book gives you great insight into the impact of prayer upon Rosalind’s childhood and adult life.  Here’s a portion of Chapter Three from “Go Forward on Your Knees” (1887-1894).

“I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron” (Isa. 45:2).

IN ATTEMPTING to record what prayer meant in our early pioneer days, other than purely personal testimonies must be given; for we were, as a little band of missionaries, bound together in our common needs and dangers by a very close bond.

In October, 1887, my husband was appointed by the Canadian Presbyterian Church to open a new field, in the northern section of the Province of Honan, China. We left Canada the following January, reaching China in March, 1888. Not till then did we realize the tremendous difficulties of the task before us.

Dr. Hudson Taylor, of the China Inland Mission, writing to us at this time, said: “We understand North Honan is to be your field; we, as a mission, have tried for ten years to enter that province from the south, and have only just succeeded. It is one of the most anti-foreign provinces in China. . . . Brother, if you would enter that province, you must go forward on your knees.”

These words gave the key-note to our early pioneer years. Would that a faithful record had been kept of God’s faithfulness in answering prayer! Our strength as a mission and as individuals, during those years so fraught with dangers and difficulties, lay in the fact that we did realize the hopelessness of our task apart from divine aid.

What a “key note” statement from the godly missionary Hudson Taylor to Jonathan & Rosalind, “Brother, if you would enter that province, you must go forward on your knees.”  I say to you, the congregation of BCBC, if you are to enter into “your province” (replace the word with what fits for you), you must “go forward on your knees.”  No retreat; go forward in prayer. And I must add, our strength as a church and to you as an individual, “during these years fraught with dangers and difficulties, lay in the fact that we must realize the hopelessness of our task apart from Divine Aid.”

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  (Hebrews 4:14-16)

Go forward on your knees!!

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