Missionary James Fraser

In recent weeks, I’ve been reflecting on the words of turn-of-the-century missionary James Fraser, who left the United Kingdom to work among China’s Lisu people. During his time in China, Fraser saw that so much of his work in ministry was taking a second place to prayer. This left him dry and worn out when it came to time do ministry. At one point in his missionary service, he wrote in his journal: “I used to think that prayer should have the first place and teaching the second. I now feel it would be truer to give prayer the first, second and third places and teaching the fourth.”

I’ve given thought to this quote as I feel it summarizes my thoughts on prayer also. Each of us surely have the ability to pray more than we do right now. Yet, what is it that keeps us from prayer? What is it that keeps us from the One who knows and loves us so well?

I had the privilege of spending last Saturday on a retreat with fellow followers of Jesus here in southern California. The Lord did not waste my time with Him—I came away with a greater appreciation of Him, who I am in Him and that I worry for nothing (not a big surprise there, but a patient reminder!). I can relate to Fraser’s quote and pray that each of us can find time in our hectic days to give over to God, that we might be refreshed in Him, able then to do more because of our connection with Him.

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