Alliance News Feed – Don’t Give Up on Praying for the Lost

by an Alliance worker serving in Senegal, West Africa

My wife and I served in Senegal as international-worker apprentices from 2013 to 2015. During that time, I befriended a young Guinean man, Sam*. He had traveled to Senegal to study the holy book of West Africa’s dominant religion.

My friendship with Sam grew during those two years. And we began studying the Bible together, focusing on the life of Jesus.

Just before our Alliance apprenticeship in Senegal ended, Sam returned to Guinea. I didn’t hear from him again.

In 2016, my wife and I were appointed to Senegal full-time with The Alliance. I learned then that Sam had returned to our country and was living in another city.

What’s in a Name?

During these past two years I’ve continued to pray for and meet with Sam. But recently I began to get discouraged, since he hadn’t shown any signs of committing his life to follow Christ. (Interestingly, Sam’s real name sounds like “salvation” in the official language here.)

About a month ago, Sam called me and said that he had something important he wanted to talk to me about. So the next time I traveled to his city of residence, we met.

“Yousou (my name in his peoples’ language),” he said. “I pray and fast all the time, yet I don’t see any change in my life. I observe all my friends praying and fasting, and nothing good ever comes about from their prayers either. What do I do?”

A Loaded Question

I smiled for a quick second. Then I asked Sam, “Have you ever prayed in the name of Jesus?”

He hadn’t.

So I reminded Sam about our studies of the life of Jesus and all the wonderful miracles He performed. We had learned how Jesus had power—even to conquer death. “If Jesus can do all of that, I’m sure He can hear and answer your prayers,” I said.

During our time together that day we read Luke 11, the passage in which Jesus teaches the disciples how to pray. I then prayed with Sam that Jesus would reveal Himself to him.

After our conversation, Sam said, “Yousou, I’m going to try praying in the name of Jesus for these next few days. And when I have, I will call you.”

I encouraged him. “When Jesus reveals Himself to you, choose who you want to follow—Jesus or the god of your religion.”

“When I know who God is,” Sam replied, “it won’t matter what my family or friends say—I will follow Him no matter what.”

A Lesson in Faithfulness

This is how the Lord encouraged me this week to not give up on praying for the lost. Sometimes our timing isn’t the Lord’s timing. We need to be faithful and trust in Him.

Although I still haven’t heard back from Sam, I pray that when I do, I will hear only the name, “JESUS!”

Please pray that my friend will experience redemption—salvation—in choosing to follow Christ, no matter the cost

*Name changed

Learn More

A Story in the Baobab Tree” illustrates how God is moving in this highly gospel-resistant West African nation.

Source: Alliance News Feed – Don’t Give Up on Praying for the Lost

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