During my 20s, I lived in Dundee, Scotland. A man living in a nearby flat said my friend and I were shiny and asked us why. We told him that we believe that Jesus is our Savior and living His gospel brought light into our lives.
He said he didn’t have that light in his life. He confided that he was dying from AIDS and didn’t believe in God.
We began visiting him once or twice a week to share our witness about God and bring light into his life before he passed. We learned that he had believed in Jesus at one point in his life but felt abandoned by Christ as his life progressed. Knowing that death was near made our friend despondent and despairing about what would happen when he died.
We promised him that if he would pray to God, he could find peace. But he felt he was so “far gone” that God would never answer him.
One dreary, cloudy day, I felt the Holy Spirit directing me to invite him to pray again and gave me the words to say to our friend. I also said we would pray with him if he wanted us to. I told him I would pray first and then if he felt like it, he could pray.
He nervously agreed.
As I said my simple, short prayer, I asked God to help our friend know that Jesus knew and loved him, so that as his life was ending, he could feel the “peace of God, which passeth understanding” (Phillippians 4:7.)
I finished praying and looked at our friend. He nervously fidgeted, but then looked at us with a new resolve and said he would pray.
He started haltingly, awkwardly saying his prayer, but he grew more confident as the words tumbled out of his soul. He asked God to acknowledge his existence and he prayed for peace.
As he finished, we sat in the stillness, hoping beyond hope that he received an answer from God. He’d kept his eyes closed so we quietly waited to hear his experience.
Suddenly, sunshine broke through the clouds and poured through the windows of his apartment. He was enveloped in light!
He opened his eyes in wonder as the sunshine hit his face and skin. He told us he also felt warm inside like a blanket had been wrapped around his insides. He felt peace!
We confirmed that feeling was the Holy Spirit and God’s answer to his prayer. God knew him and loved him. When we left, we encouraged him to keep praying.
We only saw our friend one more time. We were grateful that he had taken a last chance to pray to God and that he was open enough to receive God’s answer to his prayer.