Prayer is vital. It is the breath of the soul, the secret of spiritual power, the life-giving communion between an almighty God and mortal man. But for what do we spend the bulk of our time praying?
Often I have found my prayers sound a bit more like a grocery list than a conversation between a loving Father and His daughter. I'm sad to say, but they have sounded something like the following...
Please grant me ...
1 ideal parking spot
6 good deals on plane tickets
2 hours of peace this afternoon
1 missing set of keys to be found
1 husband to pick me up on time
3 lone half-pairs of shoes to find their mates
enough money to complete our adoption
and so on...
And there's nothing wrong with praying for any of those things. But sometimes when we pray, we run through our list of wants/needs and stop there. We don't go deeper.
In the early part of the 1900s an American missionary named Gladys Aylward was scouting out new territory to evangelize in China. A Chinese doctor, a recent convert, accompanied her as her guide. As they traveled from village to village, Gladys taught the doctor more about Jesus. His devotion to Jesus grew. Together, Gladys and the doctor, shared the love of Jesus with those they met in the villages.
One day their travels took them into a wilderness area. Gladys and the doctor walked the whole
It wasn't long before a lone man was spotted on a nearby hillside. The doctor, sure that the answer to his prayer had just arrived, dashed off to share the good news of the gospel. That lone man turned out to be a Tibetan lama priest who invited the two of them to come to his lamasery and share the message of Jesus Christ with over 500 other lamas. Gladys and the doctor spent an entire week with them teaching them about God. Incidentally, their physical needs were provided for during that time as well.
Since reading this story, my prayer life has changed drastically. The bulk of my daily prayers are now, "Lord, give me someone to share Your love with." It's been amazing to see how God has answered.
Today, I challenge you to ask God to give you someone with whom to share the gospel. You won't ever be the same again.
By the way ...
If you're interested in learning more about the amazing life of Gladys Aylward, check out these resources. The middle one is a DVD for kids. My girls love it!