This week, we attended a special celebration for our new friends at One Hope, a missions organization based in south Florida (which never hurts my opinion of you, especially in February). One Hope’s founder, Bob Hoskins, was celebrating 70 years of active ministry, and we somehow made the invite list. In their attempts to be more like Jesus, they obviously invited the riffraff to the feast.
One Hope’s media department didn’t disappoint, with a fabulous, five-part short film of Bob’s life woven throughout our evening together.
His “boy wonder” preaching days starting at age 7.
His years living in grass huts in Africa or bombed out apartments in Lebanon (the country not the quaint Indianapolis suburb).
His unyielding passion for taking the Gospel into the Soviet Union, China, and other places it’s never been before.
His embrace of publishing and new media techniques.
His leadership that’s led to putting a copy of God’s Word into the hands of over a billion children worldwide.
Bob’s story reminded me that some people really do live up to the hype.
But it wasn’t just Bob’s story that left me in awe. It was conversations with his son (and successor) Rob, the underground church pastors who flew in from around the globe to share their jaw-dropping testimonies, the business leaders using their market skills to underwrite massive global missions initiatives, and every One Hope staffer from VP’s to the administrative assistants working the sign-in tables.
These people are world changers. Kingdom builders. They’re all writing stories with their lives that any of us would be proud to own. What makes people like that? Surely they’re smarter? More educated? Uniquely creative? Extremely gifted? Ridiculously lucky? More courageous than normal?
The only consistent theme, the only thread I saw woven through every single world-changing narrative? Prayer.
“I asked God and I clearly heard Him say…”
“We had just come out of a season of fasting and prayer, and God revealed…”
“Nothing was working, so we got on our knees and all of a sudden…”
“I’m not that smart, but I know how to ask the One who is….”
“I was praying one day and God showed me a vivid picture…”
Do world-changers read? Do they study? Do they look at best practices, talk to experts, brainstorm strategy, leverage their networks, dream up creative solutions, and take courageous risks? Of course they do.
But above all else, great men and women of God always know how to pray.
Ask. Listen. Respond.
Wanna change the world? We need to fall in love with prayer. Everything of real value begins on our knees. I’m more convinced than ever.
“Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.”