Peace to you, dear servants of Christ! With another month past we are getting closer and closer to the wonderful conclusion of our pilgrimage and labor in this life on earth. In the evenings, my wife and I enjoy reading Heaven by Randy Alkron. Some of the truths make us tremble in anticipation. It makes us want to know the Lord better, be closer, and trust Him more. There is still pride and self-reliance to fight against, but His amazing grace gives peace, joy and strength.
Now we have a few different groups of people in the church that are meeting together throughout the week to pray. My wife, Liana, meets with some of the woman; and meet with some of the men. I want us to get to know each other in Christ and learn how to better pray together. This emphasis of ours started with Brother Paul Washer’s sermons, and the letters to missionaries written by Jack Miller called The Heart of a Servant, and John Owen’s Communion with God.
Previously, I was always aware of my lack of prayer and felt ashamed, yet I genuinely wanted to grow in prayer. I couldn’t enjoy God in prayer as I had hoped to, and my prayers were more like a chore – it was despicable. However, when the Lord started working through the labors of the brothers I mentioned above, I felt a calling to pray. I began seeking God afresh and didn’t feel obligated anymore. It was as if my faith started breathing with prayer!
Recently I heard some news that I believe is directly related to the power of prayer. About a year ago, one sister in our church, invited us to her house. Her name is Veronika. Her husband, Nikolai, was not a believer and was a very confident, hard-working, and self-reliant man. Together they have two sons, but Nikolai only saw them a few hours each month! So that day I decided to talk to him about fatherhood and used that topic in explaining the Gospel. Maybe I made a mistake that day because our conversation went nowhere. As a result, the night was ruined even though on the surface it seemed like we left on good terms. This really affected me, and I started consistently praying for the salvation of his soul. Sometime later Veronika and my wife also started praying specifically for Nikolai together.
Not long ago, Veronika and Nikolai had some other Christian guests over who also shared the Gospel and Jesus Christ with them. After the guests left, Nikolai asked his wife to pray for his salvation, and now it seems he has been converted! When I found out about that, I thought: “Why didn’t he respond like that when I shared the Gospel with him?” But the very next second my heart was filled with gratitude for God’s wisdom and goodness to all who are made a part of this astonishing process – the salvation of a sinner. Praise God for how He uses His children AND how He answers prayer!