I recently came across an entry on someone's blog --this person remarked that she has been praying for over 25 years for her husband's salvation. That's a long time. I was able to share some thoughts and words of encouragement with her.
There were (and still are) times in my life when I didn't quite understand why the Lord would answer my prayer for something seemingly trivial --yet years and years went by --as I prayed for my father's salvation and received no answer.
I love how God is in the details. He does care about every little thing which pertains to His children. It's awesome that He he always provides a good parking spot at WalMart as I whisper a prayer on the way into the lot, "Lord, please let there be a space near the door." Yet, I persistently prayed for my Dad for over 20 years... Let me just say this --never stop praying.
My father never minded that the rest of our family attended church. He was a good man - would give anyone the shirt off of his back --but didn't have room for the Lord in His life. His opinion was the the church was full of hypocrits. He couldn't recognize that we're all forgiven sinners --not perfect people.
I can remember, as a child and a young person, going into my bedroom, closing the door, getting down on my knees and weeping before the Lord - pleading for my Dad. There was no request more urgent on my heart. My mother prayed too. And we waited. And waited. And waited.
Over twenty years later --after Dad endured some very serious heart surgeries and a heart attack which eventually led to him being placed on the heart transplant list---the day came --when he literally had been given just a few days to live --that he got the call --they found a donor.
Dad went into that surgery --and came out - not only with a new physical heart - but with a new spiritual heart. Later, he would tell us that since God had given him another chance - He thought that it was about time that he start being grateful and he surrendered his life completely.
We saw him transform from a "good man" to a man after God's own heart. To see him standing in church - singing and worshipping the Lord - leading a Bible study - being an officer in the Men's Ministry - going on missions trips. --and always -wherever he was - whenever he had the opportunity - sharing the love of the Lord with anyone who would listen ---it was an amazing thing to witness. And the long-awaited answer to countless prayers for his salvation.
Dad is at Home with the Lord now. He lived six years post transplant before he died in the O.R. when they were removing the lower right lobe of his lung because he had been recently diagnosed with lung cancer.
The Lord knew that Dad had endured enough - and took him Home to be with Him - where he is now completely healed.
He is the person that I miss the most - every day - and it's been ten years since his Homecoming. I am sad that he never met my husband or our daughter. I am sad that I was never able to share with him the deepest secret of my life --and that I finally allowed the Lord to break through my stubborn, sinful heart and call me to a COMPLETE surrender to Him.
But --I'd like to think that Dad's a part of that great cloud of witnesses of whom the Bible speaks. He knows. He sees. He smiles at us from heaven --just as our Heavenly Father does.
I say all of this to say this --don't ever stop praying for your unsaved loved ones. Don't be discouraged. God works in so many ways in the human heart - ways we cannot see. ...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved - and thy house. God is faithful - he will give you the desires of your heart as you continue to serve Him.
My prayer is that the day of your loved one's salvation will come soon --so that they may reap the benefits of the many blessings that the Lord bestows upon us.
I will continue to pray...
God bless you dear reader!