How often do we give up on people? We write them off too easily, because of people’s looks or behaviour. But that is not God’s call for us.
Interceding on behalf of a Cleaner
We had a cleaner in our hostel who had a similar appearance and was at first very closed, very quiet, and had nothing to do with other people. The other cleaners were very open, so some may wonder why we put so much time into him? But there was a staff member, Katelyn, that was interceding for him. She really felt like God laid him on her heart to know Jesus. She didn’t write him off.
We saw God really answer prayers in this situation. He started to open up in conversations on personal matters, he attended many of the bible discussions, visited church one Sunday, and even prayed with some staff members before leaving. Although we did not see him fully come to Christ, there was a process that began in him, which had come through persistence and prayer. Many people that seem like they will never open up to the message of Christ just need to be shown the genuine care and love of Jesus. Thus allowing Jesus to work through us in order that they can see the power of the gospel in action.
Transformations in a guest
I can give you many stories. I am reminded of a long term guest, who was always hanging out in the café. Sometimes, she was so intimate with other male guests that we even had a talk about her in our manager’s meeting, in regards to handling the situation. She was a type of person you could easily talk with about anything but God. She avoided conversations about faith and was disinterested in our activities. Marieke Rietveld, a staff member got this girl on her heart. She started to pray for her.
The girl became so interested and hungry for the Gospel. She visited our Bible Discussions daily, never missing one. Not only that, she also drew other guests to the Bible Discussions. So many guests came because of her. And when you saw her in the café, she was often reading the Bible. After a few weeks she gave her life again to Christ and changed her life.
Who can you be interceding for?
My question is: ‘What if everybody has given up on them?’ And better said, what if they gave up on me? Ten years ago I was a rebel myself towards God and Christianity. I always told anybody who wanted to hear it, that to believe in God is stupid. It is all imagination. But some people didn’t give up. They were standing in the gap. They were persistent to see a life change, even if they didn’t see interest, even if the reality shows something different, even if it was hard to reach me. And after a long time fighting against God, I bowed my knees and surrendered myself to Him.
So I want to ask you: ‘What if Christ can do this miracle which is impossible in our view. What if the person in your surroundings who rebels the most and doesn’t show interest, comes to faith? Who can you stand in the gap for? Whom has God called you to intercede for, who do you have on your heart? Do you dare to commit yourself in prayer to this person, even if you don’t see progress? Are you available to pray faithfully, to believe and continue, even when you don’t see improvement? Are you available? Can you commit yourself to this person?