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A Missionary's Prayer Experiment Brings Lasting Transformation

In 1908 James Fraser gave up a promising career in order to be a missionary to China. He worked hard to learn the language and culture in order to share Jesus.

James was working in Lisuland, in the foothills of the Himalayas. He would regularly travel village to village evangelizing and leading services with converts in each village. During the winter months, the snow made travel to the villages in the highlands impossible. James was often frustrated, even blaming God for hindering his work. Then he sensed a challenge from God. He knew that it would take him three to five days to travel to the highlander villages, lead services, and travel home. Unable to travel, he took those days to pray for these new Christians who were alone in their faith.

When spring arrived and the snow melted, Fraser was eager to visit the highlander villages and check on his disciples. What he found amazed him. Through the winter they had been reading their Bibles and praying. He discovered that they had grown far more in their faith than did his disciples in the lowlands. He later wrote,

If I were to think after the manner of men, I would be anxious about my Lisu converts - afraid for their falling back into demon worship. But God is enabling me to cast all my care upon Him. I am not anxious, not nervous. If I hugged my care to myself instead of casting it upon Him, I should never have persevered in the work so long - perhaps never even have started it. But if it has been begun in Him, it must be continued in Him.

Possible Preaching Angle:

We often wonder about the power of prayer. And while prayer is not to be used an excuse for inaction, the simple prayer experiment of James Fraser reminds us that God is powerfully at work and for some reason responds powerfully when we pray.

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