“Stan,” I said one morning, “have you ever given up on someone you tried to reach for Christ?”
“I have not,” Stan replied rather emphatically. “There have been people I have stopped talking to about Christ, Christianity, faith, and the like, but that’s different from giving up on them.”
In what way?” I asked.
“Well,” he responded, “I like what Winston Churchill is reported to have said about not giving up, and I kind of use that as a model.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“He is reported to have said, ‘Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about’.”
Continuing, he added, “And there’s a whole bunch of people I think about every day. I think about their salvation, their walk with God, and all sorts of things like that. I do not let a day go by without thinking about them. And I follow up my thinking with praying for them.”
“So,” I replied, “you don’t give up on them, but you lift them to the throne of God. Is that what you’re saying?”
“Exactly,” Stan said. “And part of my prayer for each one of those people is that God would open them to want to know Him. I pray for additional opportunities to speak to each one of them about the free and gracious gift of salvation that is available to them.”
Continuing, he added, “And there’s another reason I don’t give up on these people.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“I firmly believe,” Stan replied, “that I was prayed into God’s kingdom by people who didn’t give up on me. They lifted me in prayer every day.”
Concluding, he added, “I’m eternally grateful for those people who prayed for me and my salvation. As I think about the people I pray for each day, I also think about the questions of where would I be and where would I be going if people had given up on me. I don’t want that for anyone.”
Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
Be . . . devoted to prayer. Romans 12:12.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for the people you brought into my life who did not give up on me, but continued to share the truth and to pray for my salvation. Thank you, too, for the people you bring into my life, the people with whom you want me to share the truth and to pray for their acceptance of your gracious and free gift of salvation. I confess there have been times when I have given up on people because they rejected what I had to say about you. Please forgive me for that. And please help me to follow every step of your lead in not giving up, but to continue to present the truth and to pray you will open them to want to know you, just as you did with me. And please bring to my mind those for whom you want me to pray. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you ever given up on another person? If so, did it concern something as important as their eternal salvation? Has anyone ever given up on you? If so, what did that feel like? Did you like how it felt? Do you believe that God does not give up on us? Why or why not? Do you sense you have ever “prayed someone into God’s Kingdom”? Do you pray for the salvation of anyone? Why or why not?