Everyone likes to see results. That’s why we spend time in prayer, church attendance, and soul-winning. But sometimes results are slow to come. A dear friend of mine told me the incredible story of his father’s salvation experience. When this friend trusted Christ as his Savior at the University of Kentucky, he was instantly ostracized by his Hindu family, especially his father. They disowned him and took away his inheritance.

Thankfully for this man, he was not without friends in his new faith. He would always make a point of asking people, including myself, to pray for the salvation of his father. As the years passed, each of his family members trusted Christ as their Savior — all but his father. Still, this man continued to beg for prayer. I have to admit I was ready to give up on him.

When my friend’s father was on his deathbed, he called for his son. There in the hospital room, he asked what he must do to be saved. The son had the thrill of leading him to Christ shortly before he died. God had heard his prayers, and He had answered. God may not work in the way or timing that we want, but He is always on time.

Spiritual growth takes time. Faith-building takes time. And yes, even seeing the fruit of our soul-winning takes time. The Bible encourages us to pray like my friend. It also teaches us to watch with perseverance. That means we should pray with our eyes open (not literally), expecting God to answer and watching earnestly for His response.

Who doesn’t want spiritual growth? Who doesn’t want to see God answer their prayers and bring lost people to Christ? These are good things just about everybody wants. But are you watching for what you’re waiting for? Tell God some of your specific requests right now, and then watch how He answers. Watch and wait: He won’t be late.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder