In preparing for last week’s panel discussion of intercessory prayer, Tom Deutsch invited Sherl and I to listen to Amazing Facts Sabbath School with speaker Jean Ross. Among other interesting insights, Jean shared a story about attempting to make friends with a neighbor who was quite secular.
Jean had a friendly rapport established but the neighbor had not shown any interest in spiritual things. However, one day when Jean was visiting with him the neighbor was quite worried about his young daughter who decided to move to Las Vegas with friends. In spite of this man’s secular world-view he still believed Las Vegas was not a place for his daughter to move.
Jean’s reply contains a solution to a problem many of us have faced in seeking to share Christ with others. Here is what he said, “I can understand how you feel, If I had an 18-year-old daughter wanting to move to Las Vegas I’d probably feel the same way. But I have found that God answers prayer so I’m going to pray for her.”
The secular neighbor just kind of rolled his eyes, but Jean went home and prayed with his family regularly for this girl. A couple of weeks went by and he went to check in with his neighbor Mr. Nick and said, “Hey, I’ve been praying for your daughter, has God done anything yet?”
A smile came over Nick’s face and he said, “You’ve been praying about it huh?” “It’s funny you’d ask because she recently came home because things just didn’t work out in Las Vegas the way she’d planned.” “Do you think God answered your prayer?”
Jean said, “I know God answered my prayer.
“Does God always answer prayer?” said Nick.
Jean said, “One way or another God always answers.”
Nick replied, “Does God only answer your prayers or will he answer anyone’s prayer?”
Suddenly Nick began to have a spiritual interest. So, will many of our contacts when we invite them to experience God through prayer opportunities.
Maybe there is someone in your circle of influence that you long to reach with the gospel?
As you pray for them ask God to help surface things they might share with you that need prayer. Let them know you are praying about it and then follow up to show you care and look for answers. Perhaps both of you will be surprised at the answers.
This story led me to experience something similar this week but I will have to share that another time.