My wife and I had just begun missionary training in January of 1979, and sat down in our first class on prayer. Our teacher walked to the blackboard and wrote, “Do you believe in prayer?” He looked at all of us and we nodded. Then he returned to the blackboard and wrote, “OR, do you believe in God?”
He turned around and said, “If you believe in prayer, your prayers will never get any higher than your boots; but if you believe in God, all things are possible.”
Focused on God Himself
His name was Clarence Preedy, and he knew what he was talking about. He was a missionary in China at the outbreak of World War 2. He lived under Japanese occupation, Communist control, and then, briefly, freedom – only to be taken prisoner by the Japanese again.
I remember seeing him pace back and forth in his apartment from 6 to 8 every morning, praying for all the students in New Tribes Bible Institute, as well as missionaries around the world.
He prayed for more labourers. He prayed that they would not get sidetracked. He prayed for their finances. Most of all, he prayed that those who have never heard would one day hear the gospel of the grace of God.
When Mr. Preedy shared those questions on the blackboard, he refocused our attention on what was really important: the Lord Himself.
Praying according to God's will
The world is too big, too diverse, too challenging and just too much for us to reach – but that is where the Lord comes in. He can take our humble requests and turn them into realities, because we ask according to His will.