I recently got back from a quick visit with my father. My mom was gone at a long conference, and the children and I came to keep him diverted for a few days while she was gone. You may know that he has a lung disease that, short of a successful transplant is terminal. I was thankful for the time we spent together. One evening, after sisters-in-law and cousins had spent the day with us, I was relating a discussion we had about the salvation of my children.
I love to talk with my dad about prayer. We have some of the same unsettling questions, so I enjoy hearing my dad talk about his thoughts and what he’s learning and thinking about prayer. That night, we talked about prayer for the salvation of people. I asked him what he prayed for— pray for so-and-so to be saved? draw so-and-so to yourself for salvation? help him to see his need for salvation? convict him of his sin of rejecting you? and so on.
He commented that when we’re praying for others’ salvation, we should also pray for ourselves in relationship to that prayer: pray for opportunities to share the gospel, that our lives and words would not be a stumbling block, and so on. I like that.
We talked about the difficulty of importunity. (contrast importunate woman with Paul praying for his infirmity) I know for me, not seeing a quick and ready answer increases my awareness that I cannot be the Holy Spirit for my children (much as I try sometimes). I am increasingly aware of my need for God, and that salvation is not simply a logical argument agreed upon. I am reminded that the Word of God is quick and powerful, sharper than any two edged sword.
I am reminded that it is the Word of God that is able to bring our children to salvation, and I am again reminded to pray that God would help me use the Scriptures well, that I would be faithful in wielding the sword of the Spirit, that I would not be troubled by my own clumsiness (it’s not the sword of Michelle, after all).
It is good to pray.