Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It all begins with prayer

"Do not have your concert first, and then tune your instruments afterwards. Begin the day with the Word of God and prayer, and get first of all into harmony with Him." Missionary Hudson Taylor

Mary Slessor wrote to a friend who had long prayed for her: "I have always said that I have no idea how or why God has carried me over so many funny and hard places, and made these hordes of people submit to me, or why the Government should have given me the privilege of a Magistrate among them, except in answer to prayer made at home for me. It is all beyond my comprehension. The only way I can explain it is on the ground that I have been prayed for more than most. Pray on, dear one — the power lies that way."

On another occasion she wrote: "Prayer is the greatest power God has put into our hands for service — praying is harder than doing, at least I find it so, but the dynamic lies that way to advance the Kingdom."

As I scrolled through this website of quotes from different missionaries, these heroes of our faith, once again I was in awe. I to get that mindset, how to get there? To be able to say to God, "I will go wherever you send me." It is the "wherever" that scares me. Oftentimes my mind is so made up that I have left no wiggle room for the Holy Spirit to work.

The "wherever" is the unknown......and the unknown can be very intimidating if you don't know where it is. Yet when God is the sender, I can be assured that the "wherever" is always a perfect fit for me and also for the person I am being sent to.

I have so far to go, and yet I am assured, along with both of these courageous ones and so many others who have gone before.....It all begins with a prayer. In that regard we are perfectly in step.

And sometimes, the wherever turns out not to be that scary.......Not when God is walking with you.

Often, I tend to think that being sent means going somewhere really big....another city, another country, another culture. When all God wants me to do is move off the front step....

go across the street....

call someone, or lay a hand on a shoulder.

It is the attitude of my heart that He sees......the willingness to answer that small whisper of the Holy Spirit when He tells me to give the person sitting right next to me some encouragement instead of turning away.

And always, it is a going forward, of pressing on, of striving in the Spirit. Of walking toward Him. Though I falter far too often, still He holds His hands out.

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14 NAS

Photos by me

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