Written by Sally Frahm
Recently, our daughter had a quote on her blog from Pete Greig’s book God on Mute. In his book, Greig is struggling with the silence of God. The following quote seems a good quote for us, as we pray for those people in our lives that we want to know Jesus. Sometimes we invite them to Alpha, and the answer is negative and one of disinterest. We pray for them, and no change is imminent. We invite them again, and still no interest. May this section from Pete’s book encourage us to keep praying and asking as the Lord leads.
In the chapter on God's will and unanswered prayer, Greig talks about the gradual effects of our prayers in other's lives...how our prayers are never "an impersonal mechanism of forced control."
"We can't change people's minds in prayer as if they were remote-control cars or computers waiting to be hacked. But maybe we can influence their circumstances so as to soften their hearts. In prayer, we appeal to the gentleness of Christ's nature as well as His power and engage with the complex free will of people He loves. That's why prayers for people generally work slowly, like water seeping silently into the tiny cracks of a vast boulder. For a long time, nothing may appear to have changed. Our prayers, resembling mere dribbles of water, appear to be of an entirely different nature than the substance of the rock. But then there comes the first great freeze of winter - some circumstance beyond human control - and overnight, as if by magic, as if struck by lightning, that vast boulder splits open."
- From God on Mute by Pete Greig
I will give the example of my own mother. We had prayed for her for years. She was not hostile to the Gospel, but she just didn’t “get it.” She spent the final years of her life in a Christian retirement home where she heard daily devotions and received the love of the staff. We sang hymns, talked to her, but still it didn’t quite click! The Easter before she died, my nephew and his girl-friend shared their testimony with her, the story of how they came to faith, then asking her, “Grandma, have you ever given your life to Christ?” My 93 year old mother replied, “I don’t think I have.” The next question came, “Would you like to?” “Yes, I think I would,” she replied and they led her in a prayer of salvation. We now understand that all the years of prayer were not wasted and we will be with her in eternity!
Father, I ask for those who are discouraged, for those who have been praying years for a loved one, a friend, that You will send them encouragement, that they will have hope that You are at work, in an invisible way. There will come a time when the cup of prayer is filled to overflowing, and the incense of our love will wash over these people, working strongly to draw them to Jesus, giving them every opportunity to say yes. May we never, apart from a clear word from God, stop praying, until we see them firmly in the Kingdom
Sally and her husband John serve faithfully with Alpha on Campus.