This book aims to encourage prayer for the world. It provides a series of 60 daily readings, divided into three sections of varying length. Each section, allocated to one of the contributing authors, takes a different perspective on prayer. In addition, there is a brief daily reflection from the writings of J. Hudson Taylor (founder of the China Inland Mission, now known as OMF).
The first section, ‘Effective Prayer’, is by Oswald Saunders and summarises the nature and principles of prayer. Topics such as persevering in prayer, prayer as a spiritual battle and pleading God’s promises are included.
The second section, ‘The Prayer of Faith’, is by James O. Fraser. He spent many years during the early 20th century working among the Lisu people in southwest China. I appreciated the value that Fraser placed on the prayers of those people in the countries which send out missionaries: ‘Christians at home can do as much for foreign missions as those on the field’ (p.40).
The final section is entitled ‘Prayer Tools’. Here, Will Bruce gives guidelines on topics for prayer. Seven of the daily readings are usefully taken up in suggesting how to pray for missionary kids (MKs.) For those unfamiliar with MK issues, the book is worth buying for this section alone. Some of the issues mentioned include absence of long term friendships, moving between cultures and the question of how missionary children should be educated. There is also a useful section highlighting frustrations that missionaries face.
For people who like to use a book of daily devotional readings, this book could provide a wider dimension from the norm through its emphasis on cross-cultural mission. Others, however, should not be put off: it proffers a timely reminder to pray for folks who are serving the Lord in parts of the world which we may be unfamiliar with.
My one quibble would be over the claim that Hudson Taylor was the father of the entire faith mission movement — many would disagree with this. However, this should not be a barrier to making use of this excellent book.
Jon Le M. Trac