Hosanna, my long-suffering friend from Colorado, sent me a song in celebration of my surrender to Jesus. She’s been a dear friend to me- long past the point where she probably should’ve been. I’ve made fun of her faith during my lapses between attempts at Christian living, and at other times I have just been a plain nasty person to her.
Yet she was praying for me, even though I don’t think I deserve to be prayed for. Or, more than likely, Hosanna was praying for me because specifically because I wasn’t a person worth praying for.
I think of Hosanna on this Ash Wednesday as all of my brothers and sisters in Jesus as we enter into the season of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. This song is very appropriate for this time of year.
I feel a bit like the prodigal son from Jesus’ parable. And, as everyone knows, there are many other prodigals like me. Either we were raised in Christian houses and wandered away from anything to do with the faith, or we thought our hearts were close to Him but our hearts were far from Him, or we were spiritually abused or abused physically or emotionally in the name of Jesus, or (just like the prodigal son in the original parable) we wanted to do things our way and indulge in the ways of the world, or any number of reasons I haven’t written here.
And many people in our lives gave us up for dead. We were/ are so far gone that many people forgot about us or assumed we would never change our ways.
But Jesus didn’t forget us.
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5: 6-8.
And there were/ are people in our lives who knew this and they prayed for us with a faith that God can and does reach anyone no matter how far gone we seemed to be. They were the people this song describes. They were praying for people like me because they believed God could reach us.
What about you, dear reader? Were you far gone like I was? If you were, do you know who prayed for you when it seemed like all hope was lost?
It wasn’t just Hosanna. I’m sure it was my mother and other family members Christians I have met in my travels in Colorado, Illinois, and my home state of Iowa. People I’ve met in my various attempts at a Christian’s life. People who knew I had demons. People called out for my dry bones to come alive as the song said.
I pray that my life and testimony bear witness to them that God does hear the prayers of the righteous and that we, all of us, should never stop praying for anyone, even as far gone as they appear to be.
I wish I could hug them now and pray with them and for them. I would love to sing hymns and modern songs of praise with them. But for now, as I type this on a mild evening (for a March 1st in Iowa anyway) I will have to be content to sit here and write this post.
If you ever prayed for me to come home to Jesus, thank you. This prodigal has come home.