Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pray On by Carolyn

On my way home from church on Sunday I began thinking about my husband, two sons and their wives who are not yet believers in Jesus. I wondered how long it would take. I wondered if it would be soon, or even if I would live to see any of them bow the knee in recognition of their sin, and their Savior and Lord.

How long have I prayed for their salvation? I have prayed for them since my own conversion thirteen years ago. And yet, nothing changes. Nothing happens. It can be very discouraging. I thought of a story I heard about a missionary whose ministry, years ago, had taken him to an island in the Pacific. For twenty-five years he preached and after all that time he had not one convert. I don't know the details, but I do know God didn't ask him to convert anyone. He just asked him to preach.

Jesus says in Mark 16:15-16, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whover believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned...then the disciples went out and preached everywhere." Again in Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus says, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

From these verses of Scripture I see two things: Christians are to preach the gospel and we are to baptize those who are made disciples in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But we cannot convert them. This inward experience is the work of the Holy Spirit. We can publicly baptize which is an OUTWARD experience of the INWARD work of God.

1Corinthians 12:13 and Acts 2:38 describe the inward experience of baptism by the Holy Spirit. This is often referred to as being "born again" by the entrance of the Holy Spirit into the heart of a new believer. This is how the believer is "sealed" forever with God's own name as Paul explains in Ephesians 1:13.

What am I to do? "Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husband so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives....Do what is right and do not give way to fear." 1 Peter 3-1, 6b. Live the gospel. Be obedient to it. Teach it and preach it when I can. Trust that He will strengthen me to do the work He has given me to do. And pray.

Just before I reached home a song by Babby Mason came on the radio. It was such an encouragment; divine encouragement! Here is part of it.

"When your questions go unanswered and your prayers may seem in vain,
They don't seem to make a difference, they don't seem to make a change,
Just rest assured God knows your needs, And He hears each time you pray
Your prayers are reaching Heaven and the answer's on its way.
Pray on, for you are who the Lord is looking for;

Pray on, tear the mighty strongholds down,
Stay on your knees for this is where the battle is won,
There's no better place for you to be,
Than seeking the Father prayerfully,
Very soon you'll win the victory, pray on."

1 comment:

  1. If we are salt and light, we are following our Lord's command. Here is a verse to encourage us in our calling - "Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." -Colossians 3:12-14 Forgiveness, humility, and above all love. The rest is up to God's perfect timing!