James O. Fraser, a talented musician and engineer, had to learn mission work at the China Inland Mission the hard way—by trial and error.
He came to the Yunnan Province of China in 1910 intending to reach the almost forgotten Lisu tribal people.
Fraser was an accomplished student of languages. Before long he had mastered the Lisu’s difficult dialect, and then proceeded to translate the Scriptures into their language. His work was later labeled the “Fraser Script”.
Yet despite having the Scriptures translated into their language, the Lisu didn’t come to Christ in large numbers.
But then Fraser discovered the power of prayer.
One biographer said, “To know the real Fraser one needed to hear him in prayer. Prayer was the very breath of life to him, and in prayer he seemed to slip from time into eternity.
“Frequently the mountainside would witness the piercing, importunate pleadings of this man who counted his prayer-time not by minutes but by hours.”
Fraser himself wrote: “How much of our prayer is of the quality we find in Hannah’s bitterness of soul, when she prayed unto the Lord? How many times have we ever ‘WEPT SORE’ before the Lord? We have prayed much perhaps, but our longings have not been deep compared with hers.”
Fraser’s Hannah-like prayers finally started to pay off.
By 1916 God’s Spirit began to work powerfully among the Lisu, which brought about sixty thousand baptisms within only two years!
David Smithers reports, “The Lisu church continued to grow and eventually became one of the largest tribal Christian bodies in the world.”
Did you notice that the written chronicles of revival and successful mission work always report that seasons of intense prayer had to come first?
Posted by Keith Roberts