Hudson Taylor’s life was characterized by prayer in large part because of the way he came to know Jesus.
When Hudson was seventeen years old, he was spending time in his father’s library and wondering what to read. His mother was away on a journey and he was feeling lonely, so he decided to pass the time reading a particular volume “as long as it did not get dull” (Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret, Littleton, CO: OMF International, 2010, page 9).
What he didn’t know was that at that very hour his mother felt burdened to pray for her only son, so she left the company of friends and found a quiet place to pray. There she interceded for her son, on her knees, hour after hour. Finally, at a time of the Lord’s choosing, her heart was filled with the assurance that her prayers had been heard and that her son would be converted to Christ.
As Hudson read the volume he chose, he came across a phrase that for some strange reason arrested his attention, namely, “the finished work of Christ.” He wondered why the author didn’t state this in a different way but as he pondered he realized that this phrase had to be written just in this way because it referred to a “full and perfect atonement for sin…The debt was paid by the great substitute. ‘Christ died for our sins’ and ‘not only for ours, but also for the sins of the whole world’” (10).
Hudson wondered, then, “If the whole work is finished and the whole debt is paid, what is there left for me to do?” The answer was simply to fall upon his knees, accept this great Savior, and praise him forever. By the grace of God in Christ, that’s precisely what he did.
When his mother returned in two weeks he was the first to greet her and gladly reported the news of his conversion to which she responded, “I know, my boy, I know. I have been rejoicing for two weeks in the glad news you have to tell” (10).
To add to his amazement, he soon picked up a notebook he thought was his own but turned out to belong to his sister. By the grace of God, he turned to a page whereupon his sister had vowed to the Lord, only a month before, to pray for her brother daily until he was converted.
Hudson Taylor was born again by the power of the Holy Spirit but the Spirit’s chosen midwife was the prayer of other precious saints. Let us learn from this, Beloved, and let us pray for the lost with faith. Let us lift them up before the glorious and gracious throne of Jesus Christ, hour upon hour, until we too have assurance that our prayers have been heard.
Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God Alone),Pastor Charlie