Sometimes, the hardest battles we fight as Christians are the spiritual one within our own family. That is certainly the case with me growing up in the Philippines. My mom was a born-again Christian and all the kids followed in her footsteps. But my dad was an unbeliever and that created a very uncomfortable situation in our family. I would go to church or family gatherings feeling joyful but incomplete without my father. We grew up committing ourselves to the ministry, and our dad didn’t like that one bit. Our house was like a military training camp with my father being the commander. His every word was an order that needed an immediate call to action or else there would be a skirmish. But then, it was a blessing in disguise because it made us grow spiritually responsible. Even though we were young, we knew our dad needed Jesus in his life and just like gold, our faith was tested. We witnessed a major struggle in their marriage when my father committed adultery. It was chaos but this persecution made us dwell more in prayer and in worship. In the midst of this trial, we grew deeper on our faith. The Lord taught us to trust Him completely as we prayed for our family’s restoration. During this painful period, God’s grace filled our hearts with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. And then, after eight years of intercession, my dad had a change of heart. He started to join us in our family camp and even attended our Father’s Day celebration at church for the very first time. It was a day I’ll never forget. During the service, our pastor led people in a prayer of acceptance. The Holy Spirit worked in my father’s life that day, and he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. It was the day before he was shot dead. Shock and incredible pain set in. Thanks be to God for the grace and peace He gave us during that difficult time, knowing that our dad was in heaven. In Acts 16:31, they replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved-you and your household.” Indeed, praying for the salvation of our loved ones is worth the fight! No one is promised tomorrow. Don’t ever stop praying for them.
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