From Our President
DON’T GIVE UP!
If you’re like most Christians, there is someone in your life whom you love and care about who’s rejected the gospel.
Maybe you’ve prayed so many prayers for their salvation that you’re starting to lose hope that things will ever be different.
In his book, “A Praying Life,” Paul E. Miller describes two extremes that we tend toward when experiencing deferred hope: denial and despair.
Either we pretend like everything is okay when it’s really not, or we fall into fatalistic despondency—jumping to the conclusion that nothing will ever change, so why keep trying? Why keep praying?
Neither of those extremes is God-glorifying.
Our Lord calls us to a higher place, one that Miller calls the “desert.” The desert is an exercise in perseverance and patience. We don’t bury our heads in the sand, nor do we give up. We continue bringing a bleak reality before the God of all possibilities, knowing that what’s impossible by human standards is possible with Him (Matthew 19:26). We trust in His power...and we trust in His timing.
PERSISTENT PRAYER PAYS OFF
“God continues doing wonderful things by your prayers,” wrote Matta, the leader of an indigenous ministry in the difficult mission field of Turkey. Then he explained how he and his coworkers had been faithfully preparing weekly gospel messages, which they posted online, but were getting discouraged by the lack of responses.
“In reality, God was telling us that there is a time for all things,” Matta wrote.
And then, a young woman from a strict Muslim background came to his church. In tears, she said, “I hated Christians. For this reason, I intended to make fun of you when I started watching your videos...but the things I was hearing spoke to me of the love I was always looking for.”
Then she explained how she was hesitant to go into the church, until she had a dream.
She said: “In my dream, Jesus led me to the church, telling me, ‘What are you still waiting for? Follow my way.’ And I saw all of you in there waiting for me, smiling at me. Before I met you, I saw you in my dream."
Isn’t it humbling to realize that even our best, most concerted efforts cannot accomplish what only God can do: draw people to Himself?
In John 6:44 (NKJV), we read Jesus’ words: “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him.”
I have no doubt that God is drawing people to Himself in response to Prayerline subscribers like you, who pray for ministries like Matta’s.
Please know that we pray for you, too. Select members of our staff diligently pray for the needs you’ve shared with us, and we often join in corporate prayer during our weekly chapel meetings to ask the Lord for His blessings upon our supporters.
You and I cannot see what God is doing behind the scenes, in response to our prayers, but we know: “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16 NKJV).
Don’t give up. Keep persevering in prayer. You’re making a difference.
Until there is a witness for Christ in every nation,
PS: This month, I’ve added a place on the reply card to support the worldwide ministries of Christian Aid Mission, which include producing Prayerline each month. Your gifts make it possible for us to continue this important work of making prayer needs known.
Click here to see past letters from the President