How do you pray for a loved one that you wish was closer to God? This has been weighing on my heart lately, and God spoke clearly from His Word this week:
Live in such a way that God’s love can bless you as you wait for the eternal life that our Lord Jesus Christ in His mercy is going to give you. Show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. There are still others to whom you need to show mercy, but be careful you aren’t contaminated by their sins.
Titus 1:13, 16
Rebuke them as sternly as necessary to make them strong in the faith…. Such people claim they know God, but they deny Him by the way they live.
Perhaps you could think of it this way: Onesimus ran away for a little while so you could have him back forever.
As I read these 3 books, exactly in the order above, I felt fears melt away and received a new strategy for prayer:
1. I will pray and commit to live in such a way that God’s love can bless me and those around me, and in so doing, set an example for those I love. And I will pray to show mercy while being careful not to compromise my faith. And so encourage my loved one to do the same.
2. I will pray to speak the truth in love. With correction or rebuke, my intention must be to help my loved one grow strong in the faith. If I appear judgmental or disappointed, my words will be of less value than pearls before swine because not only will what I intend to communicate not be received, but the message that will be received will be one of condemnation rather than love.
3. I will pray with expectation that after searching for a little while, my loved one will return forever. As the prodigal son ran away but came to his senses, and as Onesimus ran away from Philemon but returned as his servant and fellow believer, I will stand firm in believing that the present does not predict the future. I don’t need to see the future or know all the answers. I just need to know and trust the One who does. <<click to tweet this>>
Beloved, do you have a loved one that you are praying for? Can we pray together?
The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results. James 5:16