This week I attended an intercessory prayer meeting specifically for people with family or friends who need Jesus. Most of us are parents praying for our prodigals.
Some of us have waited for years for God to move in the lives of our children, our spouses, our friends. And some of us have not seen even one hint of an answer. Satan pounces on that, and it’s easy to become derailed and give in to despair. I despair often. However, sitting in a room with others like me and calling on God with them—to me it feels powerful. I walk out renewed and hopeful.
God is moving. I don’t see it, but I trust it.
As we prayed this week, one man mentioned his own conversion. A man who had a lot to do with his conversion once told him he wouldn’t believe until the truth was revealed. This man knew about God. He knew about Jesus. The facts were there, shadowed and silent, but they were dormant seeds, dry and lacking life.
Then in a glorious moment, God revealed them. The dormant seeds of truth sprouted, and this man began a life of trusting God.
The story touched me, because if God can do this for one person, he can do it for many, including my lost loved ones.
Light, water, life
As I thought about this, I realized every person we were praying for last week had spent time in church. Most of them were raised there. They have the facts. They know their way around a Bible, can name many of the disciples, and know a few verses by heart.
Yes, the seeds are there, dormant and waiting. They just need a little revelation. They need to be illuminated, and they need to be empowered. That was my prayer, that the dormant truths in the hearts of my loved ones will be illuminated and empowered. Seeds will break open and reach for the sun. Water will hit and dissolve the hard shell on these truths.
Tiny, dry, useless seeds can become huge, beautiful, fruiting plants. That’s my prayer for my loved ones.
Do you pray for lost loved ones? It’s hard to wait. On Sunday our preacher spoke of waiting, and this phrase struck me—waiting is hard and requires deeper surrender. Those words jumped out and warmed me to my feet.
God isn’t silent. I think nothing is happening, but it’s happening. Something happens in the lives of my loved ones when I take them to God’s throne room and call God’s attention to them by name. But also something happens in my own heart and soul. I learn to trust, to surrender. I grow. My own branches get longer and stronger. I can bear more weight for the kingdom. I can bear more fruit.
God uses my despair, my waiting, to empower me. He uses my perseverance and hope to empower my loved ones.
Comfort from His words
I collected a few verses that bring me comfort concerning light and water and life:
John 1:4-5 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Matthew 13:31-32 He told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” (This verse is about the kingdom, not individuals, but how many kingdoms aren’t made up of individuals?)
John 4:14 “But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
1 Corinthians 3:6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.
If you pray for family members or friends who have heard the truth, trust those dormant seeds. Trust those God sends to water them. And then trust that God has been making them grow, and wait with hope and expectation for those plants to breach the ground and reach for the sunlight.
And know, while you wait, God strengthens you and loves you and holds you close.