Back to Articles Page

A Key For Drawing a Young Man Toward the Lord

"And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony,
and they did not love their life even to death."
(Rev 12:11)

Friends of ours invited my wife and I to an evening gathering in their home. They had arranged for a small group of Christians to come over for fellowship and prayer. We have known this fine couple for many years and, since we had no prior plans, we said we'd be happy to attend.

We were greeted warmly when we arrived. Our friends introduced us to the handful of people already in their living room. Then the husband said, "I'm hoping our son can make it - I'm hoping you two might be able to encourage him." I didn't know their son well, but he had always been pleasant in our company. I knew he was in his mid-to-late twenties and was living on his own - out of town, I thought. The young man did not show up by the time our friends got the meeting started, nor did he arrive as we discussed the Word.

Since our friends are gracious hosts, they had already planned a nice spread of food and drinks for after the discussion and prayer. Perhaps their son was aware of this, as well as the general timing of his parents' house meetings, because he arrived shortly after we had finished praying. We were milling about their dining room table full of snacks when he came through the front door, accompanied by another young man.

Ah! You made it, after all!" my friend exclaimed, obviously happy to see his son and his friend. "The Schillings are here," his dad continued, "You remember them, right? C'mon over and say hello!" We greeted the young man and met his friend, a very pleasant fellow. After just a minute or so of small talk, our host asked, "I wonder, Matt and Bonnie, if you might have a word for our son?"

Why waste time? His son was making great strides forward after some toubling and challenging times. The passage from childhood to adulthood can be bumpy sometimes and their son had stumbled a little in the transition. But his parents were confident their son had steadied himself. They had seen clear proofs in the recent months that were of great encouragement to both of them. But their son didn't have a close relationship with Jesus Christ, at least not yet. His parents knew, like all Christians do, how helpful that can be. And so, they were hoping we might have an edifying nugget to drop in their son's lap.

Bonnie and I were caught a little off guard by that, but only for a moment. Scripture counsels us to be "instant in season" (2 Tim 4:2) and "ready to give an account of the hope that is in us" (1Pet 3:15). I was happy to oblige. So, I asked the young man if there was anything specific that I could pray with him about. We are firm believers in "praying specifics". We believe specific prayers lead to specific answers. Praying for all the children of the world is a nice thought, but how would one ever know the outcome of such a prayer? What would an answer to that look like? But, if we pray for a particular child, because that child is facing a particular challenge, well, we can certainly watch for the answer, and will recognize it when it comes!

Such pairs of requests and answers are called testimonies. Not only are testimonies of great encouragement to those directly involved, they also make for great "conversation pieces" about the goodness of the Lord. They become further anecdotal evidence to show others that God really is a "very present help in time of trouble" (Ps 46:1). Much of scripture is a recounting of wonderful testimonies. And, of course, you're reading one right now.

So, I asked their son, "Is there anything in particular troubling you at the moment? Anything specific we can pray about?" "Yeah," he replied without hesitation, "I lost the key fob to my car." His parents chimed in about how big a deal this was for all of them. His car was sitting locked about forty miles away, in a nearby town where the young man lived. It seems replacing modern key fobs can be quite expensive, especially if the car isn't handy. It would be quite an expense to tow the car. They also said a new key fob would cost hundreds of dollars. And, because his car was sidelined, his parents had been making extra trips back and forth, shuttling their son about.

They had all been searching diligently for the lost key for several days. They had turned rooms inside out looking for it, without success. "Okay," I said, "I'll pray. But I don't want you to be confused about what I'm about to say. I'm going to speak to the missing key fob." The son looked quizzically at me, so I explained. "Scripture tells us Jesus spoke to the wind and the waves and they obeyed Him. He spoke to a tree. Actually, He answered that tree! He once asked a demoniac for a name... and the demon replied, not the poor possessed human."

"But," I continued, "Jesus isn't the only one in scripture to do this. God told the prophet Ezekiel to call to the winds, to come blow upon some dry bones. He once had a prophet prophecy to a profane altar! So, I'm going to follow the lead of scripture and speak to your key fob." With that, I placed my hand on the young man's shoulder and called out, "Key fob! In Jesus name, be found! I command you to make yourself known! Jesus, I ask that you would anoint my words and show this young man You are alive and well and are present with us now. Let him see You care for him. In Your name I pray, amen!" Bonnie also prayed for our friends' son.

We lingered for maybe another half hour, fellowshipping with the gathered group and then said our goodnights. We headed home, only a few blocks away, and settled into our living room. Within the hour, our friend called us with good news. It turns out their son and his friend had left shortly after us, walking toward the friend's home. Their son was skeptical about my prayer. "Can you believe that guy talked to a key fob?" he asked. More receptive, his friend replied, "Let's look behind my garage again." "We already looked back there," our friends' son said, "And it's too dark now." "Let's take a look anyway," came the hopeful reply.

They walked out behind the garage and turned on their cellphone flashlights. They quickly spotted something glinting in the light - the missing key fob! Though it had been missing for days, and though the back of that garage had already been searched, still the lost key fob was located within an hour of me commanding it to be found!

I hope that answer to prayer has had a lasting impact on our friends' son, especially since it came in a rather unusual form and was so quickly answered. I also hope you are blessed by this testimony. A missing key might not seem like much in the grand scheme of things. But little things can be key, wouldn't you agree?

© Matthew Schilling January 2023

top of page