I guess for most of us there are people we know and love whom we have prayed for over many years, to come to know the love of God for themselves. At times it’s tempting to give up…please don’t.
I have prayed for my friend Julie for over 20 years. Julie and I would often have really deep conversations about the world, spirituality and life in general. I love sharing with her – she’s a really interesting, perceptive friend. Julie would never describe herself as a Christian, didn’t want to go to church, but was always interested to hear about my faith. At times she would challenge me – particularly if I said something she disagreed with!
Last year, Julie encountered God.
Did this happen in a church service? No. Did this happen as she read one of the books about spirituality that I suggested? No. Did it happen in one of our many conversations? No. God simply, yet oh so profoundly, showed His love to her whilst she was on her own, contemplating life. She might not have the ‘churchy’ religious language to explain what is happening in her life, but I am without doubt that it is God. And I am so very excited and happy for her.
I’m not saying church and evangelism aren’t important…what I am saying is that at the end of the day we need to remember that new birth is God’s work. Our job is to faithfully pray and look out for what God is doing and join in. Our job is to take every opportunity to share faith and pray for spiritual enlightenment. If our friends and family members respond to that then praise God! If they don’t, then we keep on sharing, we keep on praying, we keep on hoping.
Dear Lord, I pray for my friend (add name), that he/she might come to know that you love them and sent Your Son for them. Amen.
by Elaine Lindridge