The missionaries for whom we pray are men who are weak and feeble. They cannot be wise enough, strong enough, determined enough, clever enough, or patient enough to bring the results God sees as ‘spiritual increase.’ (1 Cor. 3:7) They are men, and, as men they work in the harvest field of men.
With that being said, it can be easily understood, then, that their greatest hindrance is the key to their greatest success. Looking back over 51 years of missionary labor in China, Hudson Taylor had this to say about his own inabilities: “God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on Him.” Usefulness, Taylor contends, is discovered through feebleness.
Among the many direct applications this truth can have to the missionaries for whom we pray, let me make this one on behalf of us who pray for them. Never let our efforts to engage, enable, or encourage our missionaries overshadow the spiritual work of interceding for them in prayer, for it’s when we pray, God works!
The society which Hudson Taylor began was responsible for bringing over 800 missionaries to the country who began 125 schools and directly resulted in 18,000 Christian conversions, as well as the establishment of more than 300 stations of work with more than 500 local helpers in all eighteen provinces. It would seem that when he was most feeble, he was most useful! Imagine the degree which you and I could be used in prayer!
May we strive to accomplish much by leaning on God in prayer—it works best that way!
Weeping & Rejoicing!
GFF General Director