When John Knox prayed, God heard and answered. This led Mary Queen of Scots to say, “I fear John Knox’s prayers more than an army of ten thousand men.” She had been convinced of the power of prayer because of the testimony of this great prayer warrior.

Looking back over my life, I believe it was the prayers of an elderly Christian woman named Jo Norris which caused me to become a preacher instead of a politician. When my friends and I visited Jo’s house while we were in college, she would pray for us. Her prayers brought me such peace. On one occasion, they even brought tears to my friend’s eyes.

Jo had been praying for me to become a preacher. I’ll never forget the time she told me I was going to be a preacher. I don’t know how she knew this, but I denied it with everything in me. But Jo kept on praying. Just a few years later, I had gone into ministry. God had been listening to the prayers of this dear woman.

God hasn’t asked only a select few of His children to pray. He doesn’t take the John Knoxes and Jo Norrises of the world and designate them “prayer warriors,” while the rest of us are “prayer couch potatoes.” We can all be prayer warriors who enter into His presence and expect to have our needs met — so what’s keeping you?

The sooner you get in the presence of God, the sooner you can experience joy and peace. It’s the beginning of a new week, and you probably have ten thousand things to fill your time. Start each day with prayer. In the few minutes you spend in God’s presence, you will take a load off your shoulders and enjoy the best vacation spot in the world.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder