One morning after prayer I was talking to a senior leader in our work on the mission field. . . . In our conversation we were discussing who might be able to take a certain new position.
I asked him, “What do you think about this particular brother? He seems to be a really godly man. Why don’t we think about putting him in that position?” We talked back and forth about this brother’s abilities, his lack of experience and the seriousness of the challenge in this new area of work. But finally we both agreed to trust him with the particular job. There was something about him that caused us to make that decision: He spends nearly four hours in prayer each day.
Our decision was not based on the fact that . . . he was able to oversee a large region . . . quite well. Our decision was based on the fact that God was with him and that he knew how to pray.
You see, prayer is God’s method of carrying out His purposes upon this earth. There is a mystery to the truth that God waits to hear and answer the prayers of His people. . . .
We could read every book ever written on prayer, but that won’t make us people of prayer. We learn to pray by doing it.
In The Last Days Newsletter, Leonard Ravenhill tells about a group of tourists who were visiting a picturesque village. As they walked by an old man sitting beside a fence, one tourist, in a rather patronizing way, turned to the old man and asked, “Were any great men born in this village?” The old man simply turned and replied, “Nope, only babies.”
My brothers and sisters, we must grow into the life of prayer.
Let us begin today, taking the first steps toward becoming people great in prayer. As we do, we will see incredible things happen in our lifetime. “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results” (James 5:16, nlt).
I know firsthand just how effective the prayers of those who trust the Lord and continue in prayer are. For three and one-half years my mother fasted and prayed for the Lord to call one of her six sons into full-time ministry. One after the other, each of my brothers started their careers, with only me, the youngest and shyest, left as my mother’s last hope. But when I was 16, the Lord answered my mother’s prayers and called me to the ministry. The call on my life is a direct result of her prayers.
As John Wesley once said, “God will do nothing but in answer to prayer.” 
I believe John Wesley first learned the importance of prayer and how to pray through the example he saw in his mother, Susanna Wesley. This woman of God and mother of 19 children was known for her devoted prayer life. In the midst of her busy household and numerous duties, she consistently made time to pray by pulling her apron over her head to find solitude with God. It was out of her prayers that two of her sons—John and Charles Wesley—became key leaders in the Church in the 1700s.
“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3).
Let us receive His invitation and begin to walk this road of learning to pray.
 Paul E. Billheimer, Destined for the Throne (Fort Washington, PA: CLC Publishers, 1975), p. 51
Excerpted from Learning to Pray by KP Yohannan. Copyright © 2004 by KP Yohannan. (Wills Point, TX: GFA Books).
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