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.
Note: To view some exciting praise reports as well as this week’s prayer requests, click here!