In my last post I shared how my cousin Erica decided to give her life to Jesus after just four online Bible studies. But the Spirit of God was at work in Erica’s life for far longer than just that one summer. When we were kids, God put it on my mind to pray for Erica regularly to know Jesus. By the time we started online Bible studies, God had already given me twenty years of daily reminders that he wanted a relationship with Erica, leaving me little room to doubt that he would show up when she started searching.
Erica wasn’t the only person I prayed for as a kid. I have a diary entry from April, 1996, when I was ten years old, that reads, “I haven’t really liked Cassie. Maybe if she is a Christian I will like her better. I will be extra nice to her. I think it will work.” Who knows why my ten-year-old self didn’t like Cassie that day– she was actually one of my best friends. But ever since that moment, whenever I prayed for people by name, Cassie made top of the list. A few years ago we reconnected and turns out, she and her entire family are Christian! Another twenty years of prayer answered.
When I worked in a research lab I started leading lunch room Bible studies. People were curious and had great discussions but no one was really open to change. I prayed specifically that one person would become a Christian before I stopped working there. As I was on my way out the door on my last day of work, one of the postdocs, Kazu, ran to greet me saying, “Kelly, I am your brother now! I was just baptized!”
Prayer is more than a nice ritual. Our prayers, inspired by the Holy Spirit, actually change people’s lives. Do you believe that? Right now Jesus is yearning for relationship with people in your life. Will you join him in praying specifically right now for one of your friends?