“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6, NIV).
I’ve prayed for my friend for over ten years. Although we’ve had many interesting discussions about God, she seems to be no closer to accepting Jesus personally. Sometimes it seems like praying does no good.
Do you ever feel like that?
Prayer may seem so futile, but we must remember to Whom we are praying. We are praying to a God who understands the depth of personality. His Holy Spirit is working in the unconscious domain of the person’s being which, of course, we know nothing about. There is a gestation period, if you like, before there can be a new birth.
Sometimes, when I’m tempted to despair over a person, I remember my Uncle Henry. At one time, he was totally against anything Christian. He did everything in his power to discourage us from going to church. He mocked us for reading the Bible. He tried to trip us up by putting temptation in our way.
We prayed for him, off and on, for over thirty years.
In time I noticed a softening in Uncle Henry’s attitude: he began to listen to gospel programs on the radio. Then one day he told me the following story: “At night, I was coughing up blood and I was sure the end had come. And I was scared. ‘God, save me, I cried.’ I can’t tell you exactly what happened, but He came to me. I’m no longer afraid.”
From then on, Uncle Henry was like a man who couldn’t get enough of Bible reading and prayer. He was a man reborn by the Spirit of God.
Are you on the verge of giving up praying for a friend or loved one? Don’t give up. You may be closer to the answer than you realize.
Father, you are still seeking and saving the lost. Help me to be faithful in praying for my family and friends. Amen.
Questions: Are you discouraged and ready to give up praying for someone? How do we know that God hears our prayers when we pray for someone’s salvation?
About the Author Helen Lescheid