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Monica got no spiritual help from her unbelieving husband raising their brilliant son.

At 16, he went away to school to study rhetoric, and plunged into all the excesses the city had to offer.  By 17 he was living with a girl, and soon she was pregnant.  Two years later he began a 9-year teaching career, during which he said, “I was led astray myself and led others astray.”  All this time Monica prayed fervently for her son.

He began attending a church, but only to study the preacher’s rhetorical style.  But gradually the preacher convinced him intellectually of the truth of the gospel, though his sexual passions hindered him from committing himself to Christ.  Nevertheless, he began asking God to help him become pure, adding, “but not yet” fearing God would hear his prayer too soon and remove his lust.

One day he heard a childlike voice saying, “Take and read, take and read.”  So he grabbed a Bible and read the first passage he saw: “Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (RO 13:13-14).

He was instantly converted.  He was 32.  And Monica’s son, Augustine, became one of the great early Christian theologians.

Rob and Alida (fictitious names) also prayed for years for their son, who as a teen began a long downward slide into rebellion and drugs.  But one night not long ago, while driving down the highway, he had a sudden panic attack.  He pulled over and called his dad.  Imagine Rob’s joy as he heard his son say, “Dad, I need to be saved.”  They talked for a long time and that night Rob’s son was born again.  He was 26.

Soon he was sharing the gospel with friends and co-workers.  “He’s completely changed,” Rob told me recently, “now he talks about the Lord all the time.  It’s amazing.”  Not only that, but God saved the young man’s estranged wife within a week of saving him, and they began working things out.

ht: Blazing Center