Afterword

He Draws the Unwilling

The greatest gift of all is the gift of eternal life and that is life in Christ; it is Christ himself, who died to save sinful people from an eternity of separation from God.

God had answered our prayers by giving this wonderful gift, a Person who loves and redeems those who believe in him, to Jack who had been so slow of heart.

We were grateful and still we grieved. We grieved for ourselves only, because we knew Jack was healed and happy, yet we missed him.

Life went on. The church friends, fellow Christians, and others who had been so supportive during the time of illness were never forgotten for their generous gifts and loving encouragement.

The financial crisis that developed during the illness was resolved by life insurance which Jack had purchased only two years before his death at a time when he was in excellent health. He always had an uncanny ability to make good investments at the perfectly opportune moment. Some of the undeveloped land he purchased ripened as prime lots at ideal times when Mandy most needed help to pay for college and other large expenses.

God has given grace and strength to Mandy, continuing to test her faith through many trials and difficulties, to assure that his relationship with her remains two-sided and alive.

In the initial years following Jack’s death, we would often look back and remember the events surrounding his miraculous salvation and new birth. I prayed deeply to understand why Jack could not have been healed. Mandy felt it had to do with the type of personality he had. He had always been the sort to be influenced by his friends, desiring to go along with them and to please them. Perhaps he would not have been able to remain strong in the Lord, but would have fallen back into old patterns. The way that God arranged things, he was separated to his family and to the Lord while he lived. It was better to take him when he had just reached the Mountain, before he had time to stray or to backslide.

No matter how hard we may try to understand, there are mysteries of the Kingdom that we cannot fathom. Was Jack right that his cancer was a discipline? If we agree to this, are we not forgetting that God puts our sins as far as east is from west when we seek his mercy and pardon for all that we deeply regret having done?

Was it the prayer of abandonment which we had prayed, asking God to do whatever it might take to save Jack, that achieved the glorious breakthrough? Paul did instruct the Corinthian believers to hand over a man involved in sexual immorality to Satan “so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.” (I Cor 5:5) Grievous sin calls for drastic action to be taken in order to avoid the worst consequences— namely, utter destruction on the day of God’s Judgment.

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Needless to say, the prayer of abandonment should never be prayed until all other avenues have been thoroughly exhausted. Yet, had it not been prayed, would Jack have died alone, apart from the love and comfort of his family? Would divorce have been the solution to the deteriorating marriage, a way that would have brought such ugly repercussions compared with death? We do not know.

We cannot understand or explain all that occurred but we can say with complete certainty that God hears the petitions and intercessions of his people, and he places people in our lives for whom we are to intercede. He expects us not to fail in this responsibility nor to give up. Keep praying for your loved ones who do not know Christ! Keep praying for your friend who is bound up in Satan’s steel traps of alcohol, depression or other strongholds.

I once was in a deep meditation, not caught up to the third heaven, yet somewhere near a place of Revelation. I had wakened from a dream in which the word “petition” had been spoken. I turned to a Psalm that I knew contained that word, and read it…

The Lord answer you in the day of trouble!
The name of the God of Jacob protect you!
May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion.
May he remember all your offerings, and regard with favor your burnt sacrifices.
May he give you your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your plans!
May we shout for joy over your victory and in the name of our God set up our banners!
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions!
- Psalm 20:1-5 (RSV)

In reverie, I began to remember the message in my dream. It was the idea that in response to petitions and intercessions, God acts. He does for one at the request of another. So though he will not force a man to believe, yet in answer to prayer he will overrule him, for prayer gives privilege.

The closed heart of an unbeliever may be opened by the Lord on behalf of the prayer and fasting of a believer, for he draws the unwilling by calling his own to prayer.

He rescues the weak, the rebellious and the captured brother by way of his devoted people. The story of Lot pictures this great truth.

Of the many legacies provided to us by the Lord through Father Abraham, we have the testimony of the importance of intercession. If you have been made strong by God’s love and promises, use your strength to be an intercessor, and may the Lord remember you.

KEY VERSE: Genesis 19:29 "So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived."

Introduction

About

Chapter One

What About Lot?
Further Study

Chapter Two

A Type of Christian
Further Study

Chapter Three

Westward Ho!
Further Study

Chapter Four

Time for Worship
Further Study

Chapter Five

Severing Ties
Further Study

Chapter Six

The Rescue
Further Study

Chapter Seven

The Promise Sealed
Further Study

Chapter Eight

Nearer to God
Further Study

Chapter Nine

The Covenant
Further Study

Chapter Ten

To Whom Much Is Given
Further Study

Chapter Eleven

God Remembered Abraham
Further Study

Chapter Twelve

A Good Ending
Further Study

Afterword

He Draws the Unwilling