I have dear friends that are not Christians. The greatest, most on-going pain in my life is the reality that there are people that I love, family members and friends who are in many ways even closer than family, who reject Christ.
I have spent hours with them trying to point them toward Christ. Dinners that go late into the night, text message conversations that span entire days, and they seldom lead to change. I leave them drained, burdened, with a painful swelling in my heart that nothing seems to alleviate.
I once heard a friend say that prayer is often the thing we must do when we don’t know what to do. So this is a prayer I’ve written, intertwined and informed by God’s word, to help guide me in this pain.
A Prayer for My Unbelieving Friends
Lord, I call to You; my rock, do not be deaf to me! I am weary from my crying, the pain of their unbelief sticks in my chest and sends waves of longing and frustration throughout my body. Why does it seem that I want them to believe in You more than You do? If I were You, I would open their eyes this moment, fill their hearts with faith and all the joy that comes from believing. But their heart remains as hard as this floor against my forehead. Why will You not save them?
Oh God, send Your light and Your truth to lead them! Oh Father, let Your light shine out of darkness into their hearts to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory in the face of Jesus Christ! Enlighten them so that they can know what is the hope of Your calling, what are the glorious riches of Your inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of Your power to those who believe! No one can come to You unless You draw them through Your Son–oh God, draw them!
I pray that You would help me to walk in love and truth toward them. Guard me from frustration at their unbelief. Guard me from throwing up my hands and lashing out at them in exasperation. Help me to walk the long road of love and be available always to point them toward the truth. Without changing the message, help me be all things to them and use all possible means that somehow they may come to a knowledge of the truth.
I pray that You would open my eyes as I read Your Word. Grant me a wisdom from Your Word that manifests the aroma of life to those who are perishing. Fill my heart and mind with truth so that I am not tempted to make unfounded arguments or latch on to something false just because I think it might persuade them to think as I do. Let my words be truth and seasoned with salt, filled with grace.
Father, guard my life. Keep me from falling in to sin that would bring shame to the gospel. Help me to fight the sinful desires within, help me to guard my words and my life so that nothing in me would turn them away from Christ.
Show them the beauty of Jesus. May the cross not be foolishness or unverifiable history, but may it be a message that You bring with power to their hearts that leads to salvation. The gospel of Jesus Christ crucified in shame for us is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes. Show them that Jesus Christ is more beautiful than all competitors. In love, bring their schemes of earthly joy to ruin that they might seek their all in You.
Father, I trust You. Their heart is in Your hands. Save them. Please! Save them, for their good and for Your everlasting glory.