In the early 1930’s a poor carpenter in the mountains of Romania prayed the following prayer:
‘My God, I have served you on earth and I wish to have my reward on earth as well as in heaven. And my reward should be that I should not die before I bring a Jew to Christ, because Jesus was from the Jewish people. But I am poor, old and sick. I cannot go around and seek a Jew. In my village there are none. Bring a Jew into my village and I will do my best to bring him to Christ.’
God heard that prayer and graciously answered. A young Jewish man, who had become an atheist, was passing through some spiritual turmoil. He found himself thinking about the God he said that he did not believe existed. He would be passing churches and be drawn to go in. Then something drew him to the carpenter’s village. ‘I had no reason to go there. Romania has twelve thousand villages, but I went to that one.’
‘The carpenter courted me as never a beautiful girl had been courted.’ He saw the young Jewish man as an answer to his prayer and gave him a Bible to read. ‘The Bible he gave me was written not so much with words, but in flames of love fired by his prayers. I could barely read it. I could only weep over it, comparing my bad life with the life of Jesus; my impurity with His righteousness; my hatred with His love—and accepted me as one of His own.’
That young Jewish atheist was Richard Wurmbrand; who would go on to be one of the most celebrated Christians of the twentieth century. Are we praying that God would use us in bringing people to himself?