Many years ago, I discovered that a church elder smoked cigarettes. I didn’t mention this to anyone, but one day a companion of mine told me he had seen this elder smoking and didn’t know what to do. We could have criticized this elder or spread gossip about him, but instead I said, “Let’s pray.” That was a salvation. We did not pray about this elder’s situation in particular, because even that could have been judgmental, opening the door to a loss of respect for him. Instead, we prayed that the Lord would have mercy upon us, so that we would only see Christ in the church life.
Not long afterward, that elder gave a message in which he said, “You do not even know the power a little three-inch cigarette can have over you.” I sensed that he had had a breakthrough in this matter, and I praised the Lord. I believe our prayer played a real part in this, even though in our prayer we never directly mentioned his habit.
Adapted from David: After God’s Heart, pages 22-23.
Tomorrow: “Even the Leaders May Have Problems”