“We are, as it were, God’s agents—used by Him to do His work, not ours. We do our part, and then can only look to Him, with others, for His blessing. If this is so, then Christians at home can do as much for foreign missions as those actually on the field. I believe it will only be known on the Last Day how much has been accomplished in missionary work by the prayers of earnest believers at home.”
One of my favorite biographies is that of J.O. Fraser. As a single missionary serving in very hard places, he pioneered Gospel efforts among the animistic Lisu tribal people of Southwestern China. His life is an inspiring tribute to God’s grace in both his life and in those who came to Jesus through his ministry.
The book that I refer to here is Geraldine Taylor’s biography him, Behind the Ranges: the Life-Changing Story of J. O. Fraser. There is another biography of him that is also well-read, Mountain Rain.
Fraser is best known for his strong emphasis on intercessory prayer. Intercessory prayer is pleading with Christ on behalf of another. Fraser was very serious about people back home praying for his missionary ministry. I would like to share several of these quotes on prayer to encourage you in the ministry of intercessory prayer.
The vital union must be maintained.
“Now the first thing was to strengthen the spiritual base of the work. Called to a forward movement, Fraser realized not only his dependence upon the Divine Leader but also upon the support of fellow believers, one with him in Christ. He might be the hand reaching out into the darkness, but not a hand cut off and thrown ahead of the body. The vital union must be maintained. He was about to start on an exploratory journey to the Lisu of the Upper Salween, a district then wholly untouched by missionary effort, but before doing so he felt he must give expression to a desire which had long been growing.
I know you will never fail me in the matter of intercession [he wrote to his mother in January] but will you think and pray about getting a group of like-minded friends, whether few or many, whether in one place or scattered, to join in the same petitions? If you could form a small prayer circle, I would write regularly to the members.”
Lasting missionary work is done on our knees.
“I am feeling more and more that it is, after all, just the prayers of God’s people that call down blessing upon the work, whether they are directly engaged in it or not. Paul may plant and Apollos water, but it is God who gives the increase; and this increase can be brought down from heaven by believing prayer, whether offered in China or in England.”