My theology tells me that God can save anyone; no one, no matter how antagonistic or apathetic, is beyond His reach. That's probably what you believe too, right? But practically speaking, I have to admit that from my vantage point, some people seem more likely to be saved than others. So I was encouraged and inspired recently when my former pastor told me a wonderful true story.
Several years ago he challenged his congregation to think of someone who seemed "impossible" and pray for that person's salvation. It so happens that there was a young man in the community who wrote prolific and caustic letters to the editor, railing against the things that Christians hold dear. This woman decided to make him her prayer focus. For the next couple of years she cut out his letters and put them on her refrigerator and used them as reminders to pray for her impossible person's salvation.
Several years passed. Then one Sunday in the "meet and greet" time in the service, the man standing in front of her introduced himself. He was none other than the writer of those letters to the editor, the man she'd prayed for for two or three years! She was too dumbstruck to say anything then, but following the service, she found the courage to ask if he really were the same person of letter-writing fame. Sheepishly, he replied that he was. So she told him that she'd been praying for him. And then hetold her his part of the story.
He worked for a local coffee shop where some people he met invited him to church. For whatever reason (could it be the woman's faithful prayer?) he decided to go. Over time, through prayers of the faithful woman, the witness of his friends, the proclamation of God's Word at church, and the work of the Holy Spirit, he came to trust Jesus. And now, several years after his conversion, he continues to grow in his faith and openly shares his story of meeting Jesus.
That story inspires me to pray for the "impossible" people in my life. And to ask you: Have you seen "impossible" people come to faith through prayer? Would you share your stories with us?