Perhaps your heart is heavy and concern fills your mind every day over family and friends who seem far from the Lord. To you it seems their daily lives are lived in large part without any regard for the Lord or concern for His will. You long to see them experience “new birth,” put their trust in Jesus for salvation, and enjoy an intimate relationship with their Heavenly Father!
Perhaps you’ve tried to talk to them about their relationship to the Lord without success. In fact, they’ve let you know, “Don’t go there! I’m not ready for that conversation!” At this point at least it seems that the door is shut… They don’t want you, in their words, “shoving ‘religion’ down their throat!” You grieve! You pray for them every day!
Well it might encourage you to read a couple of stories in the Bible! I was reminded of them this morning during my time of “coffee with the Lord” and my “Prayer Run” as I lifted loved ones who aren’t serving the Lord to Him in intercessory prayer…
Daniel 4… God found a way to communicate clearly His reality to pagan King Nebuchadnezzar! He used a dream and an unpleasant (even frightening) circumstance to make Himself real! When it was all over Nebuchadnezzar wrote these words in an open letter “to all peoples, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth.”
“It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me! How great are His signs! How mighty His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion endures from generation to generation… Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of Heaven, for all His works are right and His ways are just; and those who walk in pride He is able to humble!”
Here’s another one – the conversion of Apostle Paul: Here is his own testimony before King Agrippa…
“I was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the Lord’s people in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. I was so obsessed with persecuting them that I even hunted them down in foreign cities. On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. About noon, King Agrippa, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.” (From Acts 26:9–23)
So here’s the deal! I’m praying for my friends and family who don’t know the Lord yet and aren’t serving Him. I’m asking Him to reveal Himself to them – His love, His grace, His character, and His concern for them! I want them to hear and respond to the Gospel! He knows just how to do it – I don’t! I’ll do my best to cooperate with Him and do my part as He works in their lives and leads me. I’m convinced “He’s a good, good Father – that’s who He is” and I believe He will reveal Himself to them in answer to my prayer!