Asking for the Impossible

Dear Friends,

What are you praying for in 2016? Is there anything on your list that is impossible?

My parents got me hooked on missionary biographies sometime in junior high when I was sick with a nasty fever and needed something to do while I lay in bed for hours on end. I loved the stories of adventure and faith I found on those pages, and began to dream about serving God in some far away place. One of my favorites was the classic story of Hudson Taylor, the trailblazing missionary to China. Since then I’ve reread “Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret” a number of times. As this new year begins I’m reflecting on several of his profound insights:

I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.

Many Christians estimate difficulties in the light of their own resources, and thus attempt little and often fail in the little they attempt. All God’s giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on His power and presence with them.

Frank Drown, missionary to Ecuador with Jim Elliot and Nate Saint, would certainly agree with Taylor. Although he is now in his 90s, Frank is still believing God for the impossible. Here is his advice:

Pray for problems you cannot solve. Most people do not walk by faith because they can solve their own problems. When God solves a problem only he can solve, you learn to walk by faith.

Are you praying for problems you can’t solve in 2016? Are you believing God for the impossible, and persevering through the difficult, knowing that only he can make it “done”?

I’m asking God for increased evangelistic fruit through the JV team this year. I’m praying for his financial provision for a meeting room that will hold 600 at our main conference center. I’m believing him for the ability to expand the work into additional countries – another 11 are on our list. Looking at the resources we have, each of these feels impossible.

Along with you, I want to “reckon on His power and presence” in 2016.

Dave Patty President, Josiah Venture