“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised.” (Hebrews 10:23)
One of the most remarkable stories I have ever read was told by Ted DeMoss in the book The Greatest Lessons I Have Ever Learned, compiled by Bill Bright. At the time, DeMoss was a young insurance salesman. One day he visited an apartment to call on a man whose name had been sent to his office as a direct mail response. DeMoss went to the third story apartment and knocked on the door. The man, who spoke through the door without opening it, refused to let DeMoss in, and even threatened to throw him down the stairs. After some effort, DeMoss convinced the man to let him in so he could talk to him.
DeMoss fully intended to talk with the man about insurance, but when he opened the door, before him stood an old blind man with a white beard. DeMoss said, “I hadn’t been in the business long, but I knew he was too old to buy any insurance I might sell him.”
The Spirit of God impressed DeMoss that he needed to talk to this man about Jesus Christ. When the man asked what he wanted to talk about, DeMoss replied, “I want to read the Bible to you.” Of course, DeMoss didn’t have a Bible with him and had to look around the apartment to find one. He finally found one covered with dust on top of a stack of books and opened it to read the third chapter of John.
When he looked up, the old man was crying. DeMoss said, “Sir, would you like to invite Jesus Christ into your life right now, right here?” The man said, “Well, I would like to do it right now, but not here.” He wanted to go to the kitchen and do it with his mother. Puzzled, DeMoss thought perhaps he had a photograph of his mother in the kitchen and wanted to go there for sentimental reasons. He followed the man to the kitchen and, to his surprise, there was his ninety-eight year old invalid mother sitting in a canvas-backed chair.
The old man said, “Mother, God has sent a man to our home. He’s been reading the Bible to me, and I’m going to accept Jesus Christ.” The woman screamed and, when she regained control, said, “Mister, I don’t know who you are, but I have prayed for my boy every day for over eighty years!”
This story reveals the great truth: Never give up on anyone as long as they are still breathing! Your prayers will long outlive you. The words of your prayers are stored in heaven in golden vials before the throne of God (Revelation 5:8). Your words do not fall to the earth unheard. During certain seasons, your prayers (and giving) will come up before the throne of God (Acts 10:1-4). Though you may pass from this life, your prayers continue to live in the presence of God. Often, saints of God will die without seeing their family members receive Christ. Years pass and suddenly they receive the gift of salvation.
This is why many children accept Christ after the death of their Christian loved ones. It is not some emotional moment, or the desire to make others feel better by a professed conversion. It is often the prayers of that mother or dad coming up before God, who supernaturally moved on their behalf. Curses and blessings continue for generations A curse can continue for generations. Joshua prophesied that the man who would rebuild Jericho would lose his firstborn son when he laid the foundation and his youngest son when he hung the city gates (Joshua 6:26). Hundreds of years later, this curse was fulfilled in the days of King Ahab when he issued a decree for Hilel to rebuild Jericho. Both of Hilel’s sons, Abiram and Segub, died while the city was being rebuilt (1 Kings 16:34). The words of Joshua’s curse held for several generations.
Blessings can also continue for generations!
“He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.”