Hey, for just a moment think with me. What would happen if Chistians began to be involved in effective praying? How could your life change if you began to practice powerful prayer? Would it mean that people that you’ve been praying for for years finally come to know Jesus? Could it mean that the wayward son or daughter you’ve prayed and prayed for turns around? Might it mean that the spouse that is so cold to you now begins to warm to you? Could it mean that you might find the strength to forgive that person whom you’ve been trying to forgive for years? Could it be that your cold, cold heart which, for so long, hasn’t felt close to God could have that fire it used to have? It all comes from effective prayer. From people who are desperate enough to pray, depend, and obey.
J. Hudson Taylor was the first missionary to inland China. From the time he received his calling as only a teenager, he made it his philosophy to move men through God by prayer. In order to prepare himself for his calling, he moved from the comforts of his home in Barnsley of Yorkshire to Drainside Hull, a depressed, poverty stricken area made notorious by the stinking, filthy ditch running through it. Taylor worked with a doctor to accumulate some medical knowledge and to prepare himself for the loneliness and dangers of living in a strange land with only God as his companion.
He soon learned he could trust God with his last penny. He’d been called out late one night to witness to and pray over a sick woman with starving children. As he tried to pray, his words choked in his mouth because he realized that in his pocket was a silver coin that would answer his prayer and temporarily relieve their suffering. "Hypocrite!" he heard his heart condemn him. "Telling people about a kind and loving Father in Heaven -- and not prepared to trust Him yourself, without your money!" So Taylor reached in his pocket and gave them his last coin. Now he had only one bowl of porridge between him and poverty! As he ate that last meal he remembered the Scripture, "He that gives to the poor lends to the Lord."
But the next day he received a package. In it was a gold coin -- worth ten times the silver coin. Taylor cried out triumphantly, "That's good interest! Ha! Ha! Invested in God's bank for twelve hours and it brings me this! That's the bank for me!
You see, he was desperate, for he gave away his last coin; he was dependent because he had no other means of income; and he obeyed because he gave it away. And because he was desperate and because he was dependent and because he obeyed, his prayer was effective. Are yours?