March 21

Then touched he their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it unto you.”

Matthew 9:29 | KJV

“Praying through” might be defined as praying one’s way into full faith, emerging while yet praying into the assurance that one has been accepted and heard, so that one becomes actually aware of receiving, by firmest anticipation and in advance of the event, the thing for which he asks.

Let us remember that no earthly circumstances can hinder the fulfillment of His Word if we look steadfastly at the immutability of that Word and not at the uncertainty of this ever-changing world. God would have us believe His Word without other confirmation, and then He is ready to give us “according to our faith.” (Streams in the Desert)

My journey in missions began forty years ago. In 1979 I made my second journey to South Korea to preach for the Jeil Baptist Church in Kwang Ju. I was nineteen years old and had sensed divine direction to preach from the time I was sixteen. I had gone to Korea two years earlier with a group from my church, but this time I was on my own, save for an aged chaperon affectionately known as Momma Tipps. She was a legendary missionary figure in our circles, having traveled innumerable times to San Andres Island in the Caribbean to share the gospel, almost singlehandedly reorienting Trinity Baptist Church towards the world.

Momma Tipps and I traveled through Los Angeles, toured Hollywood, made the walk of stars in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, and then landed in Kwang Ju, South Korea. We spent nearly two weeks together. I’m not sure what she thought about me, but my awe of her grew exponentially. What struck and stayed with me most was how she prayed. I learned from her what it means to “pray it through.” Faith was not abstract theory for Momma Tipps, it was her lifestyle. Each challenge that we encountered saw us on our knees, and she addressed the Father like He was kneeling next to her. This was no mambsy-pambsy perfunctory exercise for Momma Tipps; she wrestled with angels like Jacob and refused to release her grip until the answer came. She joined Korean believers for prayer at 4:30 am each morning while I did my best to stay awake. We saw people come to faith in Christ as answer to prayer. Needs were met, ours and those around us, as she prayed. Faith was not complicated or contrived; Momma Tipps simply believed what she read in the Bible and took God at His Word. And she did not hesitate to remind Him from time-to-time.

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Romans 10:17 | KJV

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