By Aaron Scott
As a child, my father led us in what we called “family altar” each night before we went to bed. We would spend time in our family room reading a Bible story, a character story, or some exciting adventure story with a biblical principle.
Afer we finished our storytime, we would drop to our knees as a family and pray together there by the sofas.
As a 5-year-old kid, our family prayer time seemed like it took ages each night before we went to bed, especially when my favorite Colorado Rockies games were on the radio. We had a system of prayer as a family—my dad would lead us in prayer, then the four of us children would pray from the oldest to the youngest (I am the youngest), and my mom would close out our prayer time. For whatever reason, my mom seemed to pray for three hours! Now, she probably only prayed for two minutes or so, but as a child, I remember thinking, “Wow, mom! Why do you always have to take so long to pray?” My mom would always seem to take longer because she would pray for special things. She would pray for special people in our church and their special needs; she would pray for special neighbors and friends’ salvation. She would also pray for the special needs of us children. She would pray for my dad. She prayed special prayers to God about special needs, and she prayed with all her heart. As a ve-year-old child, I was bored out of my mind, but I was learning from the life example of my mom and dad. Prayer was a vital component of our family DNA and, as I look back at that time, God used that family prayer time to teach me the importance of prayer.
So, as a 32-year-old youth pastor, husband, soon to be father of two, and Development Director of Baptist Haiti Mission, what role does prayer play in my life now? Prayer is everything to me! As I work through how to grow Baptist Haiti Mission and its impact on this world for Christ, I and myself constantly falling to my knees. One verse that keeps coming to mind is Psalm 127:1—“Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” There is nothing of eternal value in this life that I can accomplish apart from God’s grace. God must do the work in His way and in His timing if Baptist Haiti Mission is to continue to make an eternal impact in Haiti. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones once stated, “Prayer is beyond any question the highest activity of the human soul. Man is at his greatest and highest when upon his knees he comes face to face with God.” Mary Slessor, missionary to Nigeria, once said, “Prayer is the greatest power God has put into our hands for service.” God has commanded us to seek Him in prayer and to ask Him for help. What an awesome privilege to come before the throne of the Almighty God and ask Him for help!
As I sit and work in my American office, what can I do for Haiti and Baptist Haiti Mission? I have not been called to go to Haiti, but I am eager to see Haiti reached with the Gospel. What can I do? I cannot even breathe without God’s consent, nor my heartbeat without God’s command. My eyes cannot see, my ears cannot hear, my feet cannot walk without God’s intervention. Who am I to think that I can move the heart of an unregenerate man to hear the sweet words of the Savior and be saved? Who am I to think that I can adequately reach the children of Haiti with education and the gospel message unless God equips me? Who am I to think that I can raise funds needed for a hospital or a translation project? I am sitting in Louisville, Kentucky, and the needs are due south in Haiti! But God has given me such a great tool that overcomes the problem of distance from Haiti—prayer. As a child of the King of kings, I can ask Him who is omnipresent and omnipotent to do the work.
The greatest work that I can do for Haiti is to go before the throne of God on my knees and plead for Him to do a mighty work in Haiti. God must do the work in Haiti, and I must seek His face and obey His leading if anything is to be accomplished in Haiti for the glory of God.