Today J and I visited a man who used to go to our church in Adelaide. He now lives in a nursing home, at the age of 99, because he can't really care for himself anymore. Visiting him was such an encouragement for me.
He was excited and surprised to see us, not knowing that we were in Adelaide, and told us that he had prayed for us just this morning. This man is an exceptional man of prayer. His eyesight is poor and his hearing is going so he can't really watch TV or read a book (not even the Bible. He now listens to it through headphones). He told us that instead he spends his evenings praying, every evening. I suspect that he spends most of his time praying really. I couldn't imagine concentrating on prayer for that long, but hearing his commitment to prayer was an encouragement for me to keep working on my discipline for spending time in prayer.
He is very old and is eagerly awaiting his death so that he can go to be with God. When I asked how he was he complained that he was too well! But he expressed his trust in God's timing and he makes the most of the time that he has left.
Here is one example. He told us that he spoke to one of the cleaners who works in the nursing home and asked her if she loved Jesus. The cleaner told him that she did, and he was so pleased. When he found out she didn't read the Bible often he encouraged her that she needed to be fed from God's word. Later on he gave her an old copy of a Bible reading plan and commentary notes, which she found very useful and encouraging.
I always find myself encouraged after speaking to this faithful old man. He always encourages us to keep loving and serving God, and his faith shines through in everything he does and says. I can only hope and pray that God would create in me such a faithful heart.