"First We Pray"

Dr. David R. Mains, longtime friend of the ministry, shares about visiting the field and learning the importance of prayer.

David Mains

I know a lot about Gospel for Asia. That’s because I have watched it from its beginning days. That’s a little more than 40 years of close observation from stateside and by means of seven or eight extended trips to the field. So let me give testimony to the attribute I believe most uniquely marks this unusual ministry: prayer.

On one of my early trips to Asia, I was with one of our sons and a son-in-law. I had wanted them as young adults to see firsthand what God was doing.

At the time, I was director of Chapel of the Air, a radio broadcast heard daily on more than 500 stations across America. On this two-week trip, I was taping programs with the family members to be edited and aired after returning home. My desire was to capture their impressions while in the country, rather than losing that “edge” by waiting until we got home to record in our normal studio setting.

We had been on the road for several days before we got to a place where there was a GFA-supported studio that had an open time slot early in the morning. Before hitting the sack, the three of us planned what we would say and did a couple of practice runs before getting some shut-eye.

On the way to the studio the next morning, we went over our material. Then we were welcomed by a lone Asian gentleman who spoke good English. He directed us to sit down around a small table while he set up three mics. Upon completing that task, he went back to his glassed-in control room, and I signaled that we were ready to go. He nodded back.

Would you believe the three of us nailed that program on the very first try? I mean, my son Joel and son-in-law Doug were great! They were articulate, engaging, alive, funny at times but also serious and spiritually strong.

David Mains and KP Yohannan

Dr. David Mains and Dr. K.P. Yohannan

With a sense of relief, I got up from my chair and exclaimed, “Hey, you guys, we did it! Thank you, Jesus!”

Then I saw the gentleman stand, walk out from his glass room and ask, “Are you ready to start?” The three of us looked at each other with this quizzical expression of, “Did he just ask if we were ready to start?” But we didn’t say anything.

“First we pray,” said the GFA-supported worker, “then we record.”

And he flashed this big smile that said to us, “We have been taught to always pray before we go about the task at hand.” And three “hyper” visitors from the United States were not going to change that rule.

“First we pray, and then we record!” is now a line my family has said so often, I’m sure it will be with us for the rest of our lives. Yes, sometimes we say it in jest, but more often it is said as a serious reminder.

It is also a truth that to me expresses what is at the heart of this ministry. These people pray about everything. Visit their U.S. headquarters in Texas or their main offices in Asia, or travel to one of their remote fellowships, and the prayer life of the people will quickly be apparent. Prayer gatherings are at the heart of GFA’s DNA!

Because of this powerful prayer base, those involved with GFA expect God to work miracles—and He has and He does!

Read more stories about GFA World and the people they serve »

*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are GFA stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.

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