It might take a very long time

Good morning everyone,
 
Our theme for this month: “Mighty Prevailing Prayer”
 
Our Bible verse for today: “As for me, I vow that I will not sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you.” 1 Samuel 12:23 (CSB)
 
Our thought for today: “It might take a very long time”
 
Yesterday I wrote about how Saint Augustine’s mother Monica prayed for his salvation for a very long time, thirty-one years. Not only did she never stop praying for him, but she enlisted others to pray for him too. Her prayers for her son ultimately did prevail, but it took a very long time. Despite the prayers from his mother and from multiple other Christians, there were things that needed to occur in Augustine’s own life before he would be ready to come to Jesus. While that was happening, Monica never gave up on her son, she never stopped praying for him.
 
Monica’s tenacity in prayer, her diligence and her refusal to give-up, for thirty-one years, is impressive. But my own mother has her beat. My mother prayed for my father for more than forty-eight years. I love to tell the story of how my father ultimately came to faith in Christ. It’s one of the highlights of my ministry years.
 
My mother was a devout Catholic her entire life, but my father was anything but that. He had zero interest in matters of faith. Additionally, he was an angry and withdrawn man who had no close friends and who had little involvement in the lives of his children. He did mellow with age, and in his later years he was easier to get along with, but he was a pretty tough nut his entire life. However, my sweet mother hung in there with him and she never gave up on him.
 
My dad was already retired when I started my second career as a pastor (after retiring from the Navy) He was proud of the fact that I was a pastor and each Sunday morning, as he sat at his kitchen table in our family home in New Jersey, he would listen to a cassette recording of my sermon from the previous week. (Hallelujah, my dad was getting some religion!)
 
Towards the end of his life, he was terminally ill with colon cancer and emphysema and my mom was in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease. So, they moved to California to live with my family, and they began attending church with us so my dad could hear me preach in-person. Finally, one Sunday morning during the invitation, here comes my mother pushing my father in his wheelchair down the aisle as my dad publicly placed his faith in Christ. A couple of months later he died and went to heaven.
 
Please don’t miss the point that my mother spent their entire married life, more than forty-eight years, praying for my father. It wasn’t until the last couple of months of his life that those prayers finally produced fruit – proving once again that sometimes we need to pray for our loved ones for a very long time. So please, don’t stop. Prayer that persists until it prevails is a powerful thing. So, don’t give up on them and don’t stop praying for them.
 
God Bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2021 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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