I was glad to hear recently that a friend’s father had finally trusted Christ as Savior. He shared how he and his family had prayed for this person for 20 years. Recently the individual had become very ill. It was during this stage in his life that more people began praying for his health and salvation. My friend encouraged others to continue to pray for the lost because God is still working.
God is still working on the lost and he continually works on the hearts of those who have drifted away. Many get discouraged in prayer because their prayer does not get answered in a reasonable time. What they fail to see is that God does answer their prayer in a reasonable time. However, the reasonable time is not determined by God, but instead by the lost or backslidden.
What needs to occur before a person turns to God is that they must come to the end of themselves. In other words, they get to a point where they recognize that they cannot make it on their own or they cannot face the conditions in their lives. It was at this point that Jonah finally turned to God. When my soul fainted within me I remembered the Lord: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple. (Jonah 2:7). It will be at this same point when the lost will turn to God and the backslidden will do the same. Until that occurs, you and I may not see any change in the individual’s actions or attitude, but rest assured, God is working to bring them to the point that they will turn to him.
Be patient in your prayers and trust that God will work in your loved one’s heart. Yield to him so that he may use you in this work and keep you from trying to bring about the change that only he can bring.
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