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A First Prayer

August 10, 2022

“That is the first time I have ever prayed. Why do you pray?”

Resonate Global Mission missionary Clark* looked up from his plate and gazed at the man seated across the table from him. Around them, diners quietly chatted and clanked their silverware, but the group was focused on the words Clark had just spoken—a prayer of thanksgiving and blessing for their meal.

Clark was leading his friends John* and Grace,* as well as a group of businessmen and their wives, on a tour of a Middle Eastern country where he serves. John had asked Clark to organize and lead the tour. It was an exploratory trip for possible future tours with his business connections in China.

John’s goal was to use this journey to introduce people to the Bible and the truth found within it in connection to other ancient local writings, Clark explained. The group consisted of John, Grace, and three other couples who were part of their Chinese community in Chicago. Together they traveled to the Middle East, and Clark led them through a tour of the history of the Bible—places where Abraham, Moses, and Jesus had walked and prayed.

Besides John and Grace, none of the couples knew much about Christianity. This tour was one of their first introductions to the gospel.

When they sat down to enjoy a meal together and Clark prayed, one man was curious. Clark was then able to share with him about how people are children of God, and that it’s important to praise the Lord and give thanks for how God has cared for and provided for us.

"Isn't it great and loving to have your son come up to you and thank you for all you have done for him? To thank you for the roof over your head, the food, the clothes, and everything you provide for him?" Clark said to the man.

"That is what we are doing when we pray before meals. We are saying thank-you for all that God has provided for us, including the people we can break bread with."

As the tour continued, everyone in the group asked questions about God and how the things they were learning related to Jesus.

“God works in amazing ways,” said Clark. “A Chinese group from Chicago, touring 3,500-year-old ruins . . . learned about prayer and biblical truth while breaking bread together.”

Though the tour lasted for only a week, the experience transformed this group of people, said Clark. They have since returned to Chicago, but John and Grace’s friends are still showing an interest in Jesus and Christianity. They have begun attending church.

They are curious and still searching,” said Clark, who asks for continued prayers for the people who were part of this tour.

*Names in this article have been changed for security reasons.