Jan 20, 2012
Yesterday I wrote about how the Holy Spirit can give us certainty that God will give us exactly what we are asking.
This is not something we stir up; it’s a spiritual gift given by God.
And it’s not a requirement for prayer; it’s an encouragement God sometimes gives some people to help them pray.
Here is how Hudson Taylor’s mother experienced this gift.
A Mother’s Prayer
Hudson Taylor was one of the first missionaries to inland China. He grew up in a Christian home, but during his teenage years had turned from Christ.
His mother was spending a few days visiting a close friend who lived 70 miles away. One day, after having lunch with her friend, she felt an intense yearning for her son’s salvation.
So she went to her room, locked the door, and resolved not to leave the room until her prayers were answered.
Here’s Hudson Taylor’s description of what his mother experienced –
Hour after hour that dear mother pleaded, until at length she could pray no longer, but was constrained to praise God for that which His Spirit taught her had already been accomplished, the conversion of her only son.
That same afternoon while his mother was praying 70 miles away, Hudson Taylor was home alone. He was in his father’s study looking for something to read, and came across a Gospel pamphlet.
He opened it, thinking it might have some interesting stories, and read the phrase “the finished work of Christ.” That phrase struck him.
Here are his own words about what happened next –
Then came the further thought, ‘If the whole work was finished and the whole debt paid, what is there left for me to do?’
And with this dawned the joyful conviction, as light was flashed into my soul by the Holy Spirit, that there was nothing in the world to be done but to fall down on one’s knees and accepting this Savior and His salvation praise Him forever more …
When mother returned a fortnight later I was the first to meet her at the door and to tell her I had such glad news to give.
I can almost feel that dear mother’s arms round my neck as she pressed me to her heart and said: ‘I know, my boy, I have been rejoicing for a fortnight in the glad tidings you have to tell.’ (from “Hudson Taylor in Early Years: The Growth of a Soul,” pp.67-68)
- It’s not that Hudson Taylor’s mother tried really heard to believe that he was saved. This was a spiritual gift — a supernatural assurance which God gave her at this time.
- Why did she resolve to not stop praying until God answered her prayer? My guess is that this was part of the gift of faith which God had given her.
- We are always to pray with faith. But that does not mean we always must be certain that God will give us what we are asking. That kind of certainty is a spiritual gift which God gives to some believers sometimes.
- Never let lack of faith keep you from praying. Pray, and ask God to strengthen your faith. He will (Mark 9:24). And sometimes He might even give you a supernatural gift of faith, as He did with Hudson Taylor’s mother.
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(Picture is from stock xchng by geri-jean.)