I have loved my husband for 15 years. I think I knew from the moment that I met him that I was going to love him – deeply, intimately, and without judgement. He was raised in a good home – a Catholic home and attended church regularly. Somewhere along the way he got lost. He began to question the brutal criticism and judgement that so many Christians place on others.
Several months after we got married, he informed me that he was no longer a believer. I was crushed and cried for what seemed a lifetime. He has always hated to see me cry, let alone be the one that has caused it. My tears were not for myself or for my own disappointment. Rather, my tears were for the man I loved who was lost.
Years have past and, with alot of prayer and perserverance, my husband is slowly coming around. Right now, I can see that God is working heavily in his life. I have come to learn that sometimes those works aren’t always easy. God has my husband on a journey that, very well, may leave Dan on his knees. I know that this must happen and that only our Saviour can see the end of our journey but for a loving wife it can be painful to watch.
I sit and watch this wonderful man of mine struggling to grasp the uneasiness, the darkness, and the unknown. Desperately, I want to reach out and save him but I know that God is at work. I must allow God to move in his life, I must pray….My prayer is one of deep desperation, love, and sadness. I know that my Father see’s my broken heart but He also sees my commitment to Him and my husband.
So what do we pray for when praying for an unbeliever?
1. Pray that the Holy Spirit will convict the person concerning sin, righteousness and judgement.
And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgement; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me; and concerning judgement, because the ruler of this world has been judged. – John 16:8-11.
A. The first is concerning sin. The primary sin being unbelief in Jesus. The starting point of repentance is the recognition and acknowledgment of wrong doing.
B. The second is concerning righteousness. Repentance is a change from sin toward righteousness. A large part of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is in the teaching of righteousness. While Jesus was physically present on earth, He taught His disciples the way of righteousness. The Holy Spirit is now doing this in our own time.
1 Cor. 2:14 states, “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”
Pray that the Holy Spirit will open up the mind of the unbeliever to receive the teachings of the Word of God.
And Third, concerning judgement. The unbeliever is caught up in his own lusts. 1 John 2:15 describes those as the lust of the flesh, eyes and pride of life, and John also says that those things are going to pass away. Pray that the Holy Spirit would reveal to the unbeliever that their way of life is going to result in vanity and judgement.
2. Pray that God will draw the person to Himself. A man cannot come to Jesus unless the Father draws him to Christ. (John 6:44).
3. Pray that there will be a door opened – an opportunity for the gospel to be presented. Paul asked the Colossians to pray this way “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well that God may open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; in order that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak.” – Col 4:2-4
4. Pray that the gospel will be presented to the person clearly and unadulterated. Pray that the person sharing will be bold in presenting the whole gospel and will not shy away from fear of offending. Notice in the verse that it says “in order that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak” – Colossians 4:4 (1)
All of us know someone who is lost. All of us desire to see them come to Christ. We need to start with prayer, and then keep on praying because you do not know when God will move on that person’s heart. That is up to God.
The Catholic Church has this prayer for unbelievers:
O God, the everlasting Creator of all things, remember that the souls of unbelievers were made by Thee and formed in Thine own image and likeness. Remember that Jesus, Thy Son, endured a most bitter death for their salvation. Permit not, I beseech Thee, O Lord, that Thy Son should be any longer despised by unbelievers, but do Thou graciously accept the prayers of holy men and of the Church, the Spouse of Thy most holy Son, and be mindful of Thy mercy. Forget their idolatry and unbelief, and grant that they too may some day know Him whom Thou hast sent, even the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our Salvation, our Life and Resurrection, by whom we have been saved and delivered, to whom be glory for endless ages. Amen. (2)
I will continue to pray for my husband…I know that our Father is ever faithful and I believe that only He can bring Dan back to Him. He is a wonderful man – a man that I love dearly and I will spend the rest of my life praying for his salvation.
Love to all – Jen