Praying for My Brother’s Salvation – by Paul S. Ratsara

About 10 years ago, my heart was really breaking for my brother.

He had been in the church but drifted away. Here I was preaching the gospel to thousands of people and seeing many won to the Lord, and yet I realized that without a miracle my own brother would not spend eternity with me.

As a result, I began interceding on behalf of my brother.

“God, please bring my brother back to you. Please work a miracle,” I prayed.

From August to December I prayed passionately every day for my brother’s salvation.

In December, I had to visit one of the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s unions in the area where my brother lived, so I sent him a message.

“I’m coming to Madagascar during these dates for some meetings,” I wrote. “I want to see you. Can you meet me here?”

My brother didn’t respond, and I continued to pray.

At the designated time I traveled to the city in Madagascar where the meetings were to be held. To my great joy, I found my brother waiting to meet me. I had to rush to my meetings, but I told him that we would get together and talk in the evening.

I continued to pray and in my mind began preparing the heartfelt appeal that I planned to give him, calling him back to the Lord and to God’s church. Finally the meetings ended, and I rushed back to the motel to see my brother.

As we sat down to talk, I was just ready to launch into my appeal when my brother interrupted me.

“Paul, something amazing happened to me 15 days ago,” he told me excitedly. “I just felt this compelling urge to rededicate my life to God. It’s been a struggle the last few years, but now I am walking with Him again, and I am at peace. I am so happy!”

I sat speechless with amazement, praising God. I hadn’t even gotten to give the little speech I’d prepared. God had done the work in answer to prayer, and He’d even done it without my help. What a great God we serve!

Many of us have loved ones who are not walking with God, and this burden weighs heavily on our hearts. Some of us have been praying for years and have seen no visible answers. But we must not give up.

George Mueller, the 19th-century Christian evangelist and orphanage director in Britain, prayed for five specific people in his life who he wanted to see converted and brought into God’s Kingdom. One person was converted within a few months, and three took years to come to Christ. The fifth person didn’t give his heart to Christ until after Mueller had died. But all were won to Christ.

Let’s persevere in prayer for our loved ones.

Paul S. Ratsara is president of the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division of Seventh-day Adventists. Many of his testimonies and answers to prayer are found in the book Kidnapped by Greg Budd.

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Practical Application: 

When we long to see someone come to Jesus, it’s hard to contain ourselves. We just want to tell them the truth and pull them over the line. However, as Pastor Ratsara’s story illustrates, sometimes the very best thing we can do is to keep praying. After all, as Inspiration tells us, “God can do more in one moment to convict people than we can do in a lifetime” (Signs of the Times, Nov. 7, 1900, par. 11).

So let this be our first work, last work, and work everywhere between. Brothers and sisters! Even if you don’t see answers, keep praying! God is working in ways we cannot see. His Spirit is working on hearts.

When we pray, we are moving the arm that moves the world! So let’s keep claiming His promises, for His Word is faithful and true.

Dear Heavenly Father, we praise You that You are a God that hears and answers prayer. We praise You that You are faithful, and You are working even behind the scenes when we do not see. Help us to be faithful and to keep holding on to You until the victory is accomplished in the hearts of our loved ones. We are desperate to see You work! And You alone can do this work. So we cling to You. In Jesus Precious Name, Amen.

Promises to Claim: Gen. 32:26, Isa. 45:2

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  • Margaret Major

    Thank you for this testimony. It gives one courage and strength to keep on praying for family.

  • Orai Gairo

    I have a brother too. Thank you for your testimony. It means a lot to me and encourages me to keep praying for God’s power. “Not by might, nor by power but by my Spirit, says the Lord”.

    • Victoria

      Amen, we continue in prayer knowing our Heavenly Father Who is full of love and mercy is able.

  • Fainah

    Amen

  • Maziwa

    Glory to God. Amen

  • Sharon

    Amen praise God for the power of prayer. Thank you God for your faithfulness to hear and answer our prayers. I shall continue to pray without ceasing..

  • Ros Farrell

    I appreciate the words of hope and encouragement that when we ask in faith, believing without doubting, God always remain faithful. I shall never stop praying for my loved ones

  • Derek Morris

    Thanks for the powerful testimony, Paul.
    Dear brothers and sisters, please join with me in prayer for my brother. He has not been walking with Jesus for more than 45 years, but nothing is impossible with God.
    And let’s continue to intercede for all of our children, claiming the promise of Isaiah 44:3.

    • Caroline Chola

      Amen! Praying for brother too

    • June

      Yes, I will remember your brother. Pray for my brother in-law, sister & nephew. I ask that we-plead with God to convict their hearts & to not leave them alone one moment! He can employ the Holy Spirit to stir their hearts 24/7. Thank you!

    • Victoria

      Yes, let’s continue to pray for our families and the world at large, standing on the promises of God our Father. Praising God Who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly beyond what we are able to ask or imagine.

    • Echo

      Pastor Derek, this is what I do NOT understand. We pray and pray for our family members and friends and nothing happens for decades, and if we die we never know. I know we are to rejoice if and when they do begin to walk with Jesus, but why are they allowed to waste so many years of their lives living in darkness when they could have had a heart full of Jesus and doing SO much in the world? I look at my own son, wasting so many years on drugs and I pray and I pray. I don’t want him to become a poster child for the campaign against drugs. He just seems to be wasting his life and money on useless things. How is living like that useful? Will he change?

      • Derek Morris

        We don’t know if they will change, but we follow the example of Jesus and continue to love them with His unconditional love.
        If this life is all they have, at least they have been loved. And if anything will change their hearts, it is the love of God.
        But all are free to choose, even eternal separation from their loving Creator.

        • Echo

          That’s the tough part — that they can choose eternal separation… Thank you for your response.

        • Echo

          Just wanted you to know that I thought your reply was very uplifting, so I made a bookmark out of it with an artwork design of the Serenity prayer. Thanks so much.

      • Priscilla K.M

        Not sure why repentance does not happen right away but we serve a patient GOD who is not willing that any should perish. The key lesson for us is to pray without ceasing- which is quite challenging, given our human, impatient nature.

        • Echo

          Sorry I haven’t replied but I didn’t see your comment until today. Thank you for your message. I guess I’m the impatient one. I just want things to be better for him. On Good Friday he almost died if it wasn’t for an alert lady in the parking lot. He and a friend were “shooting up” . . . . my son had a bad reaction, his friend ran. My son slumped over the steering wheel and she ran over while calling the police They arrived within two minutes and started reviving him and the Paramedics were fortunately across the street. They said he was blue and they gave him a nasal spray that cancels the reactions of overdose (if you’re lucky). They took him to the hospital and released him. He got a ride back to the car, came home and never said a word. We found out Easter morning when my daughter called because her friend works at the Sheriff’s office and she called to say “we’re praying for him and your family”. My daughter was speechless as we all were…his explanation was that he didn’t know HOW to tell us.
          Anyway, I’m still hoping and praying that it taught him something. I am impatient and above all I NEVER dreamed this would be in my life.
          Again, thank you for your words of encouragement. I just appreciate that you took the time — it gave me hope and courage.

      • Ken

        Imagine how many people his testimony might be able to reach when he finally gives his heart to God! We see wasted time, but God is able to use the worst circumstances to glorify His name – reaching people that nobody else would ever be able to reach. God loves them also, with an everlasting and steadfast love. Keep praying is our part – the results are God’s part. Have faith Echo – you are praying to the Creator of the universe.

        • Echo

          Thanks for your comments. I’m just copying the same message to you that I just sent to another comment. I just appreciate that you took the time — it gave me hope and courage.

          Thank you for your message. I guess I’m the impatient one. I just want things to be better for him. On Good Friday he almost died if it wasn’t for an alert lady in the parking lot. He and a friend were “shooting up” . . . . my son had a bad reaction, his friend ran. My son slumped over the steering wheel and she ran over while calling the police They arrived within two minutes and started reviving him and the Paramedics were fortunately across the street. They said he was blue and they gave him a nasal spray that cancels the reactions of overdose (if you’re lucky). They took him to the hospital and released him. He got a ride back to the car, came home and never said a word. We found out Easter morning when my daughter called because her friend works at the Sheriff’s office and she called to say “we’re praying for him and your family”. My daughter was speechless as we all were…his explanation was that he didn’t know HOW to tell us.

          Anyway, I’m still hoping and praying that it taught him something. I am impatient and above all I NEVER dreamed this would be in my life.

          Again, thank you for your words of encouragement.

    • Gloria Mosha-Onchiri

      Amen. Praise God for the testimony.Pastor Morris I am praying for your brother.Pray for my brother too I long to see him giving his life to Jesus one day.Thank you.

    • Emma

      But Ps Derek sometimes it is hard to love them unconditionally; what do we do then?

      • Derek Morris

        We follow the counsel of Colossians 4:2. Continue earnestly in prayer, being watchful, with thanksgiving.
        God is at work in ways we might not even see at the present time.
        That’s why the apostle Paul could say, “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy!” Philippians 1:3.

      • Ken

        See them as God sees them – the object of his great love. We need Christ deep within our heart in order to love as he does. Praying for you all.

        • Emma

          Amen! Thank you

        • Echo

          IMHO, I hate to say this, but in that regard we have a harder job than God, because we are NOT God . . . He made them/us all — we all are His children so He loves us; He can see the end from the beginning . . . we can’t; He has patience and He can forgive . . . we are imperfect and don’t have all that patience (at least I don’t) and we are sinners with cold hearts and cannot always see to forgive.

          • Ken

            Echo – couldn’t agree more. It is hard to forgive, especially family because it is so often taken as a personal betrayal or rejection from those who should be closest to us. We can look upon our own inabilities and shortcomings as a call from Christ to seek him with all our heart – everything is hard without Him. But look how necessary it is – we are judged as we judge and forgiven as we forgive.

            I have a feeling that when your son finally gives up fighting against God he will be one of those who forgives much, because he has been forgiven much.

            Will pray for you both. God bless.

          • Echo

            Thank you for your positivity. I love your comments: “… we are judged as we judge and forgiven as we forgive.”

            “. . . when your son finally gives up fighting against God he will be one of those who forgives much, because he has been forgiven much.”

            Awesome way to think about it. THANK YOU SO MUCH ! ! !

  • Maurice Mwansa

    This is the powerful testimony ,it has come at the right time when I needed to hear that , may praise and honor be unto our God almighty .Brothers and sisters may we continue to pray for one another ,many families are distorted we need the presence of our lord Jesus Christ to restore our first love in our families.

  • disqus_wPBVeAlfII

    Beautiful.

  • Caroline Chola

    Powerful testimony.

  • D.V.B.

    Praise God for answered prayers. I continue to earnestly seek God for my loved ones especially my father. Dear God, please meet Desmond at his point of need and draw him closer to Your precious bleeding side.

    • Victoria

      Amen

  • jamie

    A few weeks ago I became impressed to pray for each child, by name, in Kids Church. The teens who had once attended were being drawn away by sports or other activities. Most of them had run ins with the law, and it seemed like we were losing them. So I made a list of names, and kept it with me—praying for each child by name, three times a day. Immediately I began to see results. Teens who hadn’t attended for months came back to Kids church. Yesterday, six of them arrived an HOUR early, to see if they could help set up. We ended up with about twenty kids in attendance.
    There IS power in prayer.

    I include these quotes on my prayer sheet:

    Sabbath School teachers pray for your class members. (Counsels on SS work, 125)

    By prayer you may gain an experience that will make your
    ministry for your children a perfect success. (Child Guidance, 69)

    After you have done your duty faithfully to your children,
    then carry them to God and ask Him to help you.
    Tell Him that you have done your part, and then in faith ask God to do
    His part, that which you cannot do. (Child Guidance 256)

    In your work for your children take hold of the mighty power of God.
    Commit your children to the Lord in prayer. Work earnestly and untiringly for them.
    God will hear your prayers and will draw them to Himself.
    Then, at the last great day, you can bring them to God, saying, “Here am I, and the children who
    Thou hast given me.” (Adventist Home, pg. 536)

    • June

      I agree with this as a Junior division leader. I hold all the pre-teens and youth up by name as it is concerning the amount of kids that fall away from regular attendance after primary classes. Thank you for mentioning the need for this in prayer. Amen!

    • Pauline NS

      Sis Jamie I have missed your inspiring and uplifting contributions..are you OK? I pray all is well with you and the family..blessings sis…..if you can email me at shqmq@yahoo.com. Much love..

  • cheries

    “God can do more in one moment to convict people than we can do in a lifetime.” I need to keep that promise in my heart as I continue to pray for so many family members that do not walk with God.

  • Prayer truly unlocks the storehouse of heaven. God is still in the miracle working business. Hallelujah.

    • Sylvia

      Yes, indeed!!! What an awesome God we have.

  • Beverley Joseph

    It is so encouraging to read the account of Pastor praying for his brother. Please remember my husband in your prayers that he will rededicate his life to Jesus.

  • Gabriel C.

    We are retired and desire to downsize and get out of debt. Our property is in the market again this year at a lower price. Would you please remember us in your prayers for the Lord to 1) Provide us with a customer to purchase our place and 2) Help us find another place where we can be a blessing by serving the Lord. Thank you!

  • Annette Alleyne

    Thanks for sharing that miraculous answer to prayer. Please help me pray for my siblings, nieces and nephews who once walk with God. Please pray that the Holy Spirit will lead them back home. Also pray especially for Alexei who has Crohn’s. Additionally, please ask God to do a special work in my life and to help me overcome the various challenges confronting me at this time. Thanks.

  • PNB

    It is a privilege bestowed by God to pray for one another. I have prayed for your brother. May God finish the work he has undoubtedly begun in his life. – Peter Nigel

  • Letty Kaltonga

    Amen, amazing and powerful testimony, President. Very true in deed our great God performs miracle in His own timing, beyond human comprehension and imagination. We are praying for our loved ones as well only God knows and saves. Please LORD save our beloved family members who have drifted away from You. We’ll work and walk till Jesus comes.

  • ejoy

    Pastor Paul, I had the exact same thing happen to me in praying for my sister. She was in the hospital and Every weekend when I visited her I was prepared to share the gospel with her, It never seemed right. One Sabbath when I visited her, she said, “I almost died on the dialysis table.” I said to her,, “Honey I wish you would give your heart to the Lord.” She said, “I did.” What a joyous moment. We sang together “In the Garden” and prayed together. She hadn’t been to church in 20 years and she knew all the words to the song. Never give up praying for our loved ones. God hears and answers those prayers. We might never see it in our life time, but pray until you have no breath. Thank you Lord. You are faithful.

  • Echo

    So, are you saying that every person who is prayed for will be saved whether we see it or die before it happens?

    • Melodious Echo

      No. I don’t think he is saying that everyone we pray for will be saved. He’s just saying that we need to persevere in prayer, because sometimes people we pray for may not be saved for many years, maybe not even until after we die. But as long as there is breath, there’s hope! So don’t give up praying just because you don’t see answers yet. Of course, God doesn’t force anyone to follow Him. We all have free choice. But when we pray, God is able to work in ways that He would not otherwise work, to make it as easy as possible for that person to be saved. Ultimately though, that person still decides. If they are lost, it will be because they chose to be lost, for it is God’s will that they be saved. 2 Peter 3:9.

      • Echo

        Melodious Echo, I get what you are saying, but I just can’t get past the thought that IF we pray for something GOOD, why wouldn’t God make it so? I know we have choice, but it just seems that He is able to change circumstances a person’s life to where there could be no misunderstanding as to what He wants that person to do. I believe my son WILL change and make the choice, but even at 27, I don’t think he understands HOW to do it. Thank you for your words of encouragement.
        Echo

        • Melodious Echo

          Well Prov. 21:1 does offer us real hope!! 🙂 If He can change a king’s heart, He can change the hearts of our children!

          PS: By the way, is your name really Echo, or that just a pen name? My middle name is Echo! But I don’t think I’ve ever met someone else with the name.

          • Echo

            THANK YOU SO MUCH for that one! I never heard that verse!!! I’m going to make a book mark of it and leave your name on it as well. It’s totally beautiful.

            No, my name is not really Echo. It was “given” to me by a friend from a long time ago when we were able to contact each other thru the “miracle of technology”! It was like how an echo returns . . . so yes, I guess I do use it as a “pen name”. Sometimes it’s safer, too. I’m envious that it IS your name.

            Have a really blessed week . . . here we goooooo !!!

  • Jeanette

    This testimony gives me a LOT of hope!

  • Wojtek Janiuk

    Amen

  • KEM liz

    Thanks for very powerful testimony please pray for Diani sabbathschool to be organised into a church as the devil is working very hard to see it is no more even as sabbath school.Also pray for the school in that sabbath school to be amission ground .also pray for my Mother and brothers to accept christ

  • emeka abaribe

    The harvest is really ripe, but the laborers are few, ‘I sought for a man to stand in the gap….’ an intercessor(Eze. 22:30, Is. 59:16, 63:5), one like Abraham and Moses. (Gen. 18:22-32; Ex. 32:11,32)

  • Angelina Polihronova

    Praise God for your brother! I had a brother and prayed for years for him to go back. Things were happenning in his life to make his heart soften, but a month ago he massed away without the Lord. It breaks my heart.

    • Nyaradzo

      Like the thief on the cross, your brother may have given his life to God on his death bed. Heaven will be full of surprises!

  • Natasha

    What great words of encouragement for such a time as this, that we live in. This testimony speaks volumes. Thank you for sharing Pastor Paul, my spirit is buoyed up to press on, since my prayer list is so long. May God help me to be faithful and obedient to be an effective witness, as I continue in prayer, in Jesus name, amen.

  • Rachel Neegba Thomas

    This story brought tears to my eyes and encourages me to pray more and more for loved ones that seem hard to be won over. Prayer does work and travel where we can’t go. Thanks for this touching testimony.

  • Diana Riesenberger

    Amen! “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15)

  • Shola Olayinka

    Powerful Testimony,this is encouraging and the method is here is the best,Seek the help of GOD through prayers.I want to be saved through his grace as well as my other siblings so that we shall remain true to the Faith of our fathers no matter how defective or enfeebled our churches are and be swayed by the teachings of the independent Ministries that sometimes beclouds our thought on Thou said the Lord.May GOD help all of us to grow by HIS grace

  • Telisha

    Amen. There is much power in prayer! Our GOD works in ways we will never comprehend. Let’s endeavour to get on our knees more often- for ourselves, for our loved ones and for those whom we would like to see won to Christ. Thanks for sharing.

  • Gloria Armstrong

    I love this kinds of stories because it made think in own. I’m asking everyone who can read this to pray for me and my boys. My Lord knows me more than anybody else and he knows that is nothing I want more than get closer to Him, however it seams like I’m leaving in a desert, not water to nurshure my spiritual life. I’m getting upset with myself because I can’t get back in prayers even though I wanted. I have been stress out about my financial, the health of my kids whose have been jumping from one virus to another in the last two months, and my own Healh. I am a believer, I understand the sacrify of Jesus for me, then I don’t get it. Why I can go back with the only one who can give peace. I do need my brothers and sister to support my weaknesses with prayes. Thank you and God bless you.

    • Ken

      Gloria – God knows the longing of your heart, for it is He who put it there. Yes, will pray for you.

  • Emma

    May the Lord hear us. Brethren please join me as we pray for my brother’s conversion and for him to quit smoking!