One of the biographies that most impacted my life is the life story of Dawson Trotman (1906–1956), founder of the Navigators. He was a very ordinary man with an extraordinary passion for God and prayer who launched a worldwide organization that especially left a deep spiritual impact on the U.S. Navy in World War II. As a young man he often met God early in the morning in the hills of Southern California to pray. Once he covenanted to pray two hours early every morning before work for forty straight days. Near the end of the forty days, he and a prayer partner prayed over a map of the world.
Amazingly, before he died at the young age of fifty (while saving someone from drowning), Trotman saw the fruit of his labor spanning the globe in answer to those early prayers. His biographer writes, “Dawson held on to his consuming purpose to become a man of God, a man of prayer … in looking back later, he had little doubt that his disciplined practice of prayer during the first five years of his Christian life laid a foundation for all of his subsequent ministry.”