Are there people who hold a special place in your heart, but who don’t know the Lord? You are burdened for them, and pray for them constantly. Maybe you’ve shared your love of Jesus with them, only to have them shut you down. Maybe this has gone on for years, and you just don ‘t see any sign that they will ever accept the grace of God through His Son Jesus.
There is something here in Acts I want you to notice. The Gospels tell us that Jesus’ siblings didn’t accept him as anything other than their crazy big brother. (Matthew 13, Mark 6) Even from the cross, Jesus asked his friend to care for His mother. Where were his brothers?
But something must have happened between the cross and Acts 1:14. Jesus had spent about 40 days teaching and performing miracles after He rose from the dead. Many people watched as He went home, ascending into heaven as they were looking intently up into the sky.
Now they waited. Jesus had said He was going to send the Holy Spirit to them. So they returned to Jerusalem like the Savior had instructed them. Scripture tells us who were present in that upper room as they waited:
Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James Alphaeus, Simon, and the other Judas. These were Jesus’ closest disciples while He was on earth. But that’s not all who were there. Verse 14 tells us:
They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
Did you catch that? Read it again. Who joined those in the upper room? Who were constantly in prayer? The disciples, some women, Jesus’ mother, AND HIS BROTHERS!
We don’t know the details of their conversions. But we can rejoice in the fact that at some point they believed. It doesn’t appear they believed before Jesus died on the cross. But here they are, with the disciples, obeying what Jesus had told them to do, praying, and waiting.
Don’t give up on that loved one who seems to think you are crazy because you are a follower of Jesus. Don’t stop praying. Don’t stop living outloud. Don’t stop finding opportunities to talk about your Savior. Don’t stop loving them.
Many of us can share testimonies of people we prayed for for years, maybe with a bit of doubt they’d ever really humble themselves and accept the Savior. But they did. God loves answering that prayer. And as long as they have breath, Jesus is willing to save.
Don’t give up.
When I prayed with a Campus crusade volunteer to receive Christ I went home and told my husband and told him about receiving Christ. He said that he didn’t think he would ever need to do that. Whenever I brought up the subject again it would end up in an argument. I read a book called “Beloved Unbeliever” which said, “Don’t go to your husband about Christ but go to Christ about your husband…” I prayed for God to “draw Art unto Himself”. For 25 + years I prayed for my husband’s salvation and one day he came to me and said, “JoAnn, I have prayed to receive Christ. Will you go with me and help me to buy a bible?” Don’t ever, ever give up…
Oh JoAnn, thank you so much for sharing your testimony. What a precious example of God’s grace. It brings tears to my eyes as I think about my own loved ones who I’ve been praying for for so long. Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief. I won’t give up.