Persistent Prayer

joel

by Joel Comiskey

When I shared one week ago that my dad received Jesus, Timothy Wright commented:

“So pleased to hear your great news. I wished it ended all this way. I have prayed for my family almost every day for my entire family since I became a Christian 29 years ago. Not one has become a Christian and my Father is in Hell and denied Jesus up till his last breath. Jesus was so good to continue to give my dad the opportunity to come to him.”

I responded to Timothy’s comment, saying, “Timothy, thanks for your honest sharing. The fact is that many do go to hell. In reality, I was ready for my dad to resist right up to the grave because he had so consistently resisted our past witnessing to him. I even subconsciously thought about how I would prepare my kids for my dad’s death without Christ. My kids had just returned from a Panama mission trip in which they prayed for a deaf team member who they “thought” God ha “promised” to heal (a word picture). My daughter’s faith was tested when God didn’t heal him. With regard to my dad, by God’s sovereign grace–which our minds can’t truly grasp–God broke through in a miraculous way, as you can tell by my diary entry and his testimony to others [this was a synthesis of what I shared with Timothy].

I was excited when Iain, reading about my dad’s salvation, wrote, “Thanks for the encouragement. I will not give up on my parents….” And this is my hope for those hearing about my dad’s salvation.

I also want to thank those who persistently prayed for my dad. Angela Munizzi writes: “Joel, David and I rejoice to hear this great, great news! We had placed your Dad’s name in our prayer journal and it is so encouraging to hear this great testimony!”

Comments?

Joel

8 thoughts on “Persistent Prayer

  • Joel,
    As I read your words about your Dad and the story about Mr. Mueller I was inspired to write my thoughts. I often think about my walk, and whether or not I have the stamina, the endurance to go where He wants me to go, and be what He wants me to be. Sometimes it seems as if I just don’t have the energy. Then I think about the position of leadership that He has placed me in, and how important it is not just to be a follower, but a disciple. I think of my kids who are always watching, my home church members, my co-workers, my fellow leaders, and I think about how Jesus never gave up on me as He walked up that hill with the weight of the entire world on His shoulders. He thought long and hard about what he had to face, and even talked with His Father about it in the garden. He knew full well what he was to face, and it must have been horrifying. Yet he stood up, turned himself over, and basically said, bring it. I think about how much determination it must have taken for Him to endure what He did so that even at the very last opportunity, his offer would stand for all, like with your Dad, to come and follow Him.

    I guess what I am trying to express is that on those days that I feel like I just don’t have the strength or energy to be who He wants me to be. I have the ultimate leader to look to for inspiration. He is the ultimate example of leadership, a saviour, a hero. How blessed we are.

  • probably your best newsletter yet, in both the facts behind the stories, and your pure pointed teaching to glorify the ways and the wisdom of God, were the best I’ve read yet.

  • I celebrate with you brother. I prayed for my dad for almost twenty years before he gave his life to our Lord. He went home to glory 18 months ago, and I am so thankful that he is in heaven with Jesus. I always loved my dad and he was a great father, I was so sad to see him go, but of course what made my dad special was his spirit and soul, which the Lord gave him and lives on today and forever. I was very comforted by the words of Paul in 1 Cor 15, basically making the case that if you want to inherit heaven you have first got to shed this earthly flesh. Dad’s spirit was ready and the next step was to leave his earthly shell. I rejoice with you and know well the dichotomy of missing him dearly, but rejoicing in anticipation of a heavenly reunion.

  • I’ve come to realize that many of the long time relationships that I have are because I have continued to initiate communication over the years. If I had not done that I know that there are many people that I would have lost contact with. God has shown me that I am to continue to pray for these friends salvation. In some cases that has been a 40 year commitment. The story of George Mueler praying for his five friends gives me faith and an attitude of don’t quit no matter what the circumstances look like.
    My Step Dad resisted until his eath bed at “85” when he finally accepted Christ. Thanks Joel for sharing your life with us. My prayers are with you and your family. Thanks be to God for his faitfulness to never give up on us.

  • I’m excited about these testimonies here. Like Steve said, we must keep on praying and communicating and hope for the best. My brothers and sister are now encouraged to visit my aunt jean (lives about 20 minutes from my parent’s house in s. california) to witness to her about Jesus. She’s 84 and needs to also have a salvation experience.

  • Joel,
    This was a great moving story about your father having a spiritual experience after so many years being so resistant do to his ego and gift of intelligence that blinded him from the truth. I understand the pain and frustration of a love one not responding. Why so many wait to the last moment before they cross over is a wonder sometimes. My father passed away on Oct 11 2001 in Southern California. My older brother, sister and I have prayed for him for thirty years. We all told him the salvation message with no response. The night he died he was very much out of it because of the cancer and drugs he was own and responded very little. Yet we knew he could hear us. I was in Washington at the time and making plans to fly down the next day. I had been talking to him on the phone for the last week, but he responded less and less with only grunting sounds. My brother was alone in the room with him in the hospital room. Once again my brother told my father about Jesus in a simple way in his ear. At the same time, my brother was unaware that two sisters from his church in Toledo, Washington felt the urgency in their spirit to pray for my father. They heard my brother went down to be with my father because he was sick and was not aware of the details. Once my brother stopped talking to my father and prayed with him out loud he felt a peace and my father passed away. A gentle breeze entered the room for a moment as though an angel was there to take my father’s spirit. It was over for him on this plain. A nurse shortly entered the room and did the final vital signs and shut of the machines and made the final notes in his chart then left the room. My brother had then called me reporting what he did before my father cross to the other side. The next day my brother was contacted by the members of his church and shared what they felt when they prayed. They did not stop praying until they felt a release to stop. My brother asked about the time when this occurred and it was at the same time my brother was sharing and praying with my father. God truly sends his messengers to work in mysteries ways that are beyond our understanding at times. I know my father is with Jesus.

  • Jud, thanks for sharing your story. I was impressed by a couple things: 1. The love you as a family had for your dad’s salvation. 2. The power of prayer. I love how God stirs HIS SAINTS to pray persistently.

  • Dear Joel,
    I came to Jesus after reading CS Lewis’ Mere Christianity which helped me to understand why the Christian world-view was superior to that offered by other religions.
    I had opportunity to explain this to my agnostic father who then returned to Christianity after exploring other religions.I think the key point in there was a Holy God who would accept anyone who was Christ-like regardless of religion however Christianity gave the clearest picture of Christ-likeness possible. Most people are resistant to a Gospel that says Heaven is for Christians only. Romans 1 is clear that is not the case. St Paul’s speech at the Aeropagus is another. Also think about Christ’s attitude towards Samaritans. A Gospel that recognizes other religions as containing essential truths but short of perfection faces less chance of resistance. A man’s sins will gnaw at his heart regardless of religion and ours is to provide the most effective medicine, Christ-likeness, for it. Men who hear it will not immediately give up on the religion of their fathers but will think about it till they have no choice but to yield. Religious disputes are a fruit of the flesh and by not allowing it to flourish the Gospel goes in more readily. I am not saying sugar-coat the Gospel. I am saying that Jesus is the Way and Christianity is the GPS that helps most to arrive. The others are signposts which you may miss.

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