I’m reading through Hudson Taylor’s biography, J. Hudson Taylor: a man in Christ (OMF Books Australia) by Rodger Steer. As I read through this, I’m reminded of the legacy of prayer by which we live as Christians. This truth is illustrated and challenged by the story of Hudson Taylor’s conversion and the repeated testimony of Christians throughout the ages; that is, the prayer of God’s people for the conversion of souls.
Hudson Taylor’s mother
Hudson Taylor turned his back on the faith of his parents to walk his own path. Yet, God and the prayers of his family were never far away. On a day like many others, Hudson Taylor found himself with time to spare and picked up a gospel tract (check out Two ways to live) to read. At that very moment, 50 miles away, his mother found herself with time to spare and she decided that she would come on her knees in prayer for the salvation of her son; and she would not rise from prayer until she was sure her prayer was answered.
Well, the rest of the story is history. Hudson Taylor, apathetic about the gospel tract he was reading, found himself convicted by the testimony contained within. As he put it:
A 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 Saviour and His salvation, to praise Him for evermore.
— J. Hudson Taylor at his conversion
Hudson Taylor’s sister
A little while later, he accidentally picked up his sister’s notebook, which he thought was his own, and discovered his sister had committed to praying for his salvation every day within a month prior of his conversion.
Prayer changes things. Prayer changes lives. So we pray:
Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
— Matthew 6:9-10 (NLT)
…that all might know the salvation of God and come into His Kingdom of grace.