I did not grow up in a Christian family and had little acquaintance with the things of the Bible as a child and as a teenager. I had heard the name Jesus but mostly it was when people used it as an expletive.
From watching movies like the Robe and Ben Hur in my childhood years, I did see a moving presentation of the Crucifixion of Jesus and remember being distinctly and at the time inexplicably moved by viewing those scenes, even though I was not saved until many years after seeing those movies.
It was not until I was in college that I was exposed in any continuing way to some things from the Bible. When I would regularly visit a Catholic Newman center on the campus of Western Illinois University, I did not follow much of what was said in the homilies given in those services, but I distinctly remember being strangely moved when we would sing the Model Prayer that Jesus taught His disciples to pray.
I also visited a few churches with friends during those years, but I do not remember anything about what was preached in those churches. My exposure to Bible truth in my college years also included a movie about Christianity that I saw with some Christian friends.
Having had a habit for many years of browsing in bookstores, I encountered in a Christian bookstore some books about the New Age movement that warned that some of the things that I was involved in at the time were of demonic origin. I bought those books, and God used them to speak to me although I was not a believer yet.
God continued to work in my life by directing me to the religion section of the Public Library in Cookeville. From the hundreds of books in that section, He led me to read several that gave me a good overview of the story of the Bible.
God then directed me to some apologetics books in a Christian bookstore in Cookeville. Those books presented me for the first time in my life with the objective historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
About the same time, someone put a tract on my windshield that I read the day that it was put there. Through my praying through the suggested prayers in the back of the apologetics books and at the end of the tract, God saved me!
I am confident that the person who put that tract on my windshield prayed for God to use that tract to reach someone with His truth. God answered that person’s prayers by using my reading of that tract as part of how He brought me to saving faith in His Son.
Soon after I was saved, I wanted to go to church but had no idea about what church to go to out of the dozens of church names that I saw in the phone book for Cookeville. I prayed, and God directed someone to come up to me at work and invite me to his church.
The person who did so did not know that I had been recently saved. God answered my prayer by leading me through him to the only truly independent fundamental Baptist church in Cookeville!
Many years after I was saved, I learned that I had been born in a missionary hospital run by Canadian Presbyterian missionaries in a small town in India. Those missionary doctors and nurses prayed over every baby that was born in that hospital.
Until I am with the Lord, I will not know for sure what they prayed for when I was born. It is entirely possible that they prayed for me to be saved one day, and if they did, God has answered their prayers!
Whether anyone else prayed directly for my salvation, Scripture reveals that Jesus of Nazareth, the incarnate Son of God, prayed for me to the Father (John 17:20-26). I praise our Heavenly Father for giving me to His Son in answer to His prayers and in fulfillment of His glorious promise to His Christ:
“Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession” (Ps. 2:8).
Having been saved by the Father’s fulfilling His promise to His Son, may we all be used by Him to reach many others who will also be saved in fulfillment of the Father’s glorious promise to His Son that He would give Him the heathen for His inheritance. Knowing these things, let us all be diligent to pray and share the gospel of God concerning His Son to people in the power of His promised Spirit whom His Son has given us in fulfillment of the Father’s promise (Luke 24:49; Acts 2:33).
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who is faithful to keep all His promises to His Son and to everyone and everything else, including every living creature (Gen. 9:9-17). “Even so, come, Lord Jesus (Rev. 22:20).