The Measure of Success

The following story from an Alliance worker in Africa demonstrates the boundless power of prayer and God’s faithfulness to intervene in the lives of those who are committed to serving Him.

After returning from a particularly trying venture into some remote villages for an evangelistic campaign, I received this letter from a faithful prayer warrior.

I have one of your picture/prayer cards in front of me on my computer desk and, from time to time, have prayed for you and for the challenging objectives listed on the back of the card. However, today was different. This morning while I was preparing my breakfast at 7:40, Ohio time, God’s Spirit clearly witnessed to my spirit, “Pray for them now.” I sat down and prayed for every aspect and possibility regarding your personal needs that I could think of, as well as the people and the ministry to which you have been called, asking God to make Himself real in every circumstance that could possibly involve you. I know our Heavenly Father was listening.

May I quote from A. W.Tozer’s, The Pursuit of God? “Wherever we are, God is here. There is no place, there can be no place, where He is not. Ten million intelligences standing at as many points in space and separated by incomprehensible distances can each one say with equal truth, God is here. No point is nearer to God than any other point. It is exactly as near to God from any place as it is from any other place. No one is in mere distance any further from or any nearer to God than any other person.”

Tozer further encourages us to think on these truths and “pray over them until they begin to glow within us.”

In Jesus’ love and mine,
Mrs. Jane Smith*, Ohio

I responded to Mrs. Smith to thank her for praying and to affirm that God’s prompting was timely. At the exact moment of 7:40 a.m., Thursday, July 3, it was actually 11:40 a.m. where I was. Two young male interns from the States accompanied me and my colleague, all of us shouldering 25 pound packs and facing a three-mile climb up a mountain. We were just entering a canyon with a waterfall running down it. We weren’t sure if we could scale the rocky path or not. We climbed up a series of nine vine ladders and slippery rock cliff faces. At times, it was pretty scary. We hiked from the valley floor, 985 ft above sea level, to the summit, an elevation of 3,300 feet. The trip took nearly five hours.

We were returning from a trip to a valley that was formerly untouched by the gospel. The day before, we had hiked into the valley and distributed some Scriptures, both printed and on cassette. We did not receive a warm welcome and sold no Scriptures. We gifted the chiefs of both villages and our host for lunch with some Bibles, and we were able to explain the gospel to three men in one village and a group of women and children in another. We spent the night with the chief. We suspected that this valley included members of a strict sect of the predominate religion here. We surmised that perhaps word was out that we were to be avoided.

I have to admit that the trip was a bit discouraging. I even began to question God, asking, “Why did you grip my heart with this valley these last two years only to have such a cold welcome on our first visit?” We asked ourselves, “Was this trip a success?” The enemy was whispering to me, “See, you and your foolish thoughts. You only went down there because it seemed adventurous. God didn’t tell you to go down there. You didn’t find any people of peace. And you returned with four backpacks filled with Scriptures!”

We reminded ourselves, however, that success is not found in numbers or the quantity that we achieve for God. No. Success is found in being obedient to the will of your Father in heaven. And that is exactly what we did. We were a success! From the bottom of a remote valley with several hundred lost people to the fragrant kitchen of an elderly intercessor in Ohio, success found us.

There is no place where God is not, and on July 3, 2008, at 7:40 in the morning—God was there.

*Name changed

Donate now to support the work of Alliance churches and missionaries around the world.


Get Involved...


We cannot “Live the Call Together” unless prayer is central to all we do.
Pray with us »


Is God calling you to service? We’re here to help you connect your passion with God’s purpose.
Serve with The Alliance »


Help build Christ’s Church by supporting the ministry and workers of The Alliance.
Give today »