Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A just-in-time answer to prayer

Hudson Taylor, the well-known missionary to China, was on his way to China for the first time when his ship was becalmed for several weeks. The ship was slowly drifting towards the shore of New Guinea.

On the shore cannibals were lighting fires and rushing about in great glee  Taylor remembered how when he was a medical student, other students had jeered at him and spoken of "cold missionary." It looked like someone was expecting a piece of hot missionary that night.

The sailors had tried to turn the head of the vessel around from the shore, but in vain. "We've done everything that can be done," said the captain."It looks like our fate is sealed."

"No," said Taylor. There were four Christians on board - the captain, a steward, a black man and Taylor. "Let each of us retire to his cabin and in agreed prayer ask the Lord to give us a breeze immediately." The three others agreed.

Taylor told the Lord he was on his way to China, that He had sent him, and he couldn't get there if he was shipwrecked and killed. He went back on deck and suggested that the mate let down the mainsail. 

"What do you want me to let down the mainsail for?" said the mate. The missionary explained they had prayed for a breeze, it would be here soon, and they had better be ready for it. The mate said with an oath that he'd rather see a breeze than hear about it.

Then they noticed that one of the sails was quivering. Soon the wind was upon them.

Wrote Taylor: "Thus God encouraged me, ere landing on China's shores, to bring every variety of need to Him in prayer, and to expect that He would honour the name of the Lord Jesus and give the help which each emergency required."

CWR are arranging a national prayer weekend for this coming weekend. Why not join in?

You can see the details here.

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