Perspective: Return to the First Century
I have just been on a remarkable journey through East Asia. My traveling companions were several Oklahoma business leaders who used their business backgrounds to impact others for Christ. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, many came to faith and saw the power of God fall.
I could tell you many stories, but today, I would like to tell you a very personal experience. A few months ago, I had the privilege of hosting several Christian leaders from East Asia. Among them was a young woman who works for an American company. She is only a few years older than my daughter and served as a translator for the group. She is a vibrant follower of Christ, and we connected very easily.
One of the places we visited while our East Asian guests were in Oklahoma City was my home church where my daughter is on staff. My friend confided in me that she was touched by the loving and close relationship Alisha and I enjoy. She told me of the bitterness and unforgiveness she had battled toward her father, who had been absent much of her life and was very hard to live with when he was around. She and her mother had embraced Christ and sought to act and live differently in relationship to her father. While it helped their relationship, her father was not a believer, and she longed for him to be transformed by Christ.
I had a special time of prayer with her for the salvation of her father, and then several times during the visit, I led the group to pray for him. I committed to pray for him in the days ahead.
Before leaving for East Asia, I received an email from my friend. She had told her dad that I had prayed for him. He was moved by that and wanted to meet me. She wondered if I would etch out some time from a very full schedule. I told her I would gladly meet him no matter what the hour, and I would continue to pray for his salvation.
Her father rode the train for more than five hours to meet the man from the other side of the world who had prayed for him. Late one evening, after an all-day seminar, my friend and her dad came to my hotel room to visit. I admit that I was humbled that he wanted to meet me and felt immediately that the hotel room became holy ground. I told him why I had prayed for him and shared the Gospel with him. He asked many questions—good ones. Like people all over the world, he wanted to wait until he got his life in order before accepting Christ. As I continued to press the claims of Christ and His grace, my friend’s father’s eyes and heart opened. That night in the capital of the largest communist nation in the world, my friend’s daddy prayed the sinner’s prayer of repentance and faith.
My eyes well up with tears as I type this. The joy of watching this humble man embrace the Savior was overwhelming. The brightness in his eyes when we lifted our heads was unforgettable. Tears of joy surrounded by the biggest smile ever flooded his daughter’s face.
Who am I that God would privilege me to pray for this man and then lead him to faith? This Skiatook boy experienced a First Century miraculous event halfway around the world. To Him be glory, honor and praise. Just had to tell you.