February 15, 2024

Shonna Hubert
“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”
James 5:16

As a new Christian in 2009, I yearned to share the Good News with my family and friends. This included my sister, who lived out of state for quite some time due to her various military career assignments. However, I wasn’t sure how to broach the subject with her as I knew she, like my previous self, was skeptical of corporate worship and believing in something or someone you couldn’t see. We did not grow up in a home that encouraged a lot of trust, faith, and hope; there certainly was not any talk of Jesus.

I recall our first “Jesus conversation,” she asked me a lot of questions I was not prepared to answer. I hung up the phone feeling as if I let God down by not articulating well enough the joy and peace that one feels once they accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Prayer…I told myself I’d pray for my sister to come to know the Lord. Thus ensued a 14-year petition campaign for Jesus to open my sister’s eyes to His glory and to believe.

Over the years, my husband and I daily lifted up prayer asking for the Lord to open my sister’s ears, mind, and heart to Jesus and to bring someone into her life (perhaps someone that lived nearby) that could speak the truth in love to her. Nothing happened for years. Perseverance and faith helped continue the petitions to God. He was teaching me patience.

Eleven years later, my sister retired from the military and moved back to Texas. During her few Cypress Creek Church visits, she admitted to loving the way the church and people there made her feel; this sparked new hope, as I knew the Holy Spirit was moving inside her. Supplication for her to believe ensued with new fervor, and by now, our community group was praying, too.

Over the next few years, God began placing other believers in my sister’s life. She began listening, researching, and ruminating on the words she was hearing with a fresh perspective — I could tell by the questions she’d occasionally ask that her mind was shifting. There isn’t one certain point in which her heart changed, it was a gradual thawing out and warming up to Jesus. Then one day my sister told me she joined a women’s bible study group near where she lives and sent me photos of a new bible she just purchased. Her excitement was contagious! I fell to my knees in praise to God.

She’s still learning and growing in her faith and recently asked me how to pray. Wow, God’s work has come full circle!

Prayer indeed works. While we may not always get our prayers answered as quickly or the way we would want, we can be assured that when we commune with God through prayer, He is listening. We find encouragement and the assurance that the Spirit is at work — in His timing, not ours.