We all can bring at least one person to mind—someone in our lives that wants nothing to do with this Jesus guy. They’ve heard of Him, but absolutely aren’t interested in welcoming Him into their life.
For me, I have a friend that isn’t shy to express the unbelief she has. She’s questioned me about who He is and why I believe, but thinks it’s all just a pile of mumbo jumbo. With such evil evident in the world, it’s hard for her to wrap her mind around there being a good Father.
It’s easy to think of someone similar in your life, isn’t it?
It breaks my heart. I want other people, my friend included, to experience the peace, joy, hope, forgiveness, mercy, love, and relationship with Jesus that I’ve gotten to experience firsthand. I want them to know the good direction and guidance from the Lord, so they have the chance to lead a fulfilling life that can only be explained by Jesus having His hand on it.
So how in the world can we use our earthly capabilities to help someone come to know Jesus? The truth is, we can’t.
We can tell them everything about Him—the miracles, the death and resurrection, how we are forgiven of our sins. All of the beautiful acts He did, and how He took on the weight of our sin to save us and give us eternal life, because He loved us that much. We can share it all, and yet, they still might not believe, or want anything to do with Him.
We cannot change that. It is not our battle to fight. Instead, we can turn to God, the One who holds the heavens and the earth, who draws people to Himself, and we can pour out our heart to Him in prayer for those people.
The prayer? It might look different for everyone, but here are three prayers I pray for those around me who do not believe.
I pray you stop and take in the world around you. The intricate details of creation—the trees, the leaves, the sand—God knows every one. I pray when you look around, you see God’s prints everywhere, and that it inspires you, filling your mind with wonder and awe.
Psalm 19:1 says,
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.
Just as the heavens speak of God’s glory, so does everything that was created by Him.
It’s a beautiful world with ugliness abounding, but yet, our God is bigger, and our God is stronger. I find peace knowing that although it’s full of good and bad, none of it scares Him. Not a moment will surprise Him. He’s been before us and He will continue to be after us.
I pray that you don’t let the not-so-beautiful things sway you—the wars, death, abuse, poverty, human and sex trafficking, sickness. I pray the beautiful things remind you, like they do me, that there’s something bigger than us out there—that there is someone more, who created such beauty and is in control of everything that goes on.
I pray you realize how known and loved you are. If you feel as if your past will always dictate your future, that you’re not worthy of grace, peace, and love, then I must beg to differ.
God knows your doubts, hurts, pains, resentments, fears, rejections, heartbreaks, your secret burdens. Every ounce of you that doesn’t believe or feel worthy of a love so true? He knows it. And He loves you exactly as you are, right where you are (Romans 5:8).
I think of the times I’ve been lost, gotten off track, and gone through seasons of extreme loneliness and confusion. When I’ve fallen into patterns of living selfishly and unwisely in past relationships and career choices. I felt the emptiness that came from pursuing things that weren’t meant for me.
However, with each unwise decision, I felt the Lord nudging me back to Him, with open arms, and He does the same for you.
I pray you believe that you are forgiven. God knows every single sin, far and wide, that we commit, yet He still loves us more than any human ever could. He still forgives us, no matter how big we’ve messed up.
I’ve felt guilt, shame, and unworthiness because of decisions I’ve made in my past. But God is bigger than these feelings. He overwhelms us with His peace and healing power. Through His Word, God opened my eyes to how He sees and thinks of me.
He showed me how much I was loved and how He delighted in me, just as He delighted over a repenting nation in Zephaniah 3:17. He helped me learn that I could rejoice in who I was and walk in His freedom and love, no matter what. You can do the same!
When we return to Him and His ways, He doesn’t hold it against us. Our God is compassionate, and if He sees you coming back, opening your heart to Him, He’s going to put the best robe on you and celebrate with a feast, because His child was once dead, and is alive again (Luke 15:22-24).
We might see our friends, families, and colleagues come to know Jesus, or they may accept Him without us knowing. The times are getting darker and heavier, and we must remain steadfast in prayer.
But there’s something else we can do, too. We can continue to seek out His truth, His character, and His love for ourselves.
Because as we dig our roots deep and anchor into Him, it will change us. And our family and friends will be there—watching how we deal, what or whom we turn to, how we speak, and how we act when there seem to be arrows flying at us from every angle. They’ll see us, realize there’s something different about the way we live, and just maybe, they’ll want to see how they can experience that peace and freedom for themselves.
My friend says she will never believe. But I will continue to pray for her, and for Christ to shine through me whenever we interact.
Although our unbelieving friends and family may reject Jesus to our faces, by remaining faithful to the Lord as we live, and by praying for those who don’t know Jesus, we just might be a catalyst that draws them closer to the true peace, joy, and hope we relish in relationship with Jesus.