Praying for The Salvation of My Parents
Photo by berenice martinez on Unsplash.
I experienced many struggles in the journey of praying for my parents’ salvation. I met with emotions and questions that I had to tackle and resolve. I give God the glory that both my parents have since been baptised (in 2022), and I hope my sharing below will benefit you.
FEELINGS OF GUILT & DISCOURAGEMENT
“I am not praying enough and that is why they are not saved.”
Whenever you notice that you are not praying enough, thank the Lord for the prompting and actively resume praying. Do not let the lack of prayer on your part discourage you. Instead, use this as God’s way of reminding you to keep on praying in faith.
The parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18:1-8 teaches us how Jesus desires for us to trust in His goodness, to seek Him persistently and not to lose heart. However, Jesus questions whether He will find faith on earth when He returns (v8). Let us surprise Jesus with our faith by not giving up on praying for the salvation of our loved ones. And when praying for the lost, focus on His unchanging character and will.
QUESTIONING THE WILL OF GOD
“Maybe it is not God’s will for them to be saved.”
This is the devil’s lie. God desires for all to be saved. 2 Peter 3:9b says “but (the Lord) is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” Thank the Lord that whenever you are praying for your loved ones, you are doing the will of God. Rejoice in your partnership with God.
DOUBTING GOD’S ABILITY TO SOFTEN HEARTS
“God can do every kind of miracle, but He cannot override the will of man. If my loved ones seem so stubborn in their unbelief after so many years of praying for them, then it is no use praying. God’s hands are tied.”
This is yet another lie of the devil. Our loved ones have willed to believe in false gods because they have been deceived. 2 Corinthians 3:14-15 tells us that their minds and hearts are veiled from seeing the Truth. Therefore, instead of praying for God to ‘force’ our loved ones to believe in Him, we should pray for these veils to be torn off from their sight.
“But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.” (2 Corinthians 3:16)
Pray for God to reveal to you what those veils are so that they can be torn down in prayer. See these veils like layers of an onion; keep peeling them until they are no more. As God reveals, we pray accordingly. Do not be afraid to pray all kinds of prayers. I have read many books on how to pray for the unsaved and tried every method available. (When desperate, try everything).
EMBARRASSED ABOUT YOUR SAME OLD PRAYER REQUEST
“I have been sharing this same prayer request for years. I’m too embarrassed to share it again because others are probably sick of hearing it.”
Seek out individuals who share the same desire for their loved ones to come to the Lord. Not only would you feel more open to sharing with them, you would also be able to pray together with and for one another. Pray frequently and fervently. Reach out and say “let’s pray for our loved ones”.
HOW MANY PRAYERS & HOW LONG MORE?
“Mark 11:24 says ‘whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours’. So, do I pray once, believe that it is done and stop praying?”
This does not seem like the right interpretation of the verse since it contradicts Luke 18’s teaching on persistent prayer.
What I found most helpful was to think of praying as taking down a wall; one strike at the wall is rarely enough. The number of strikes varies depending on the hardiness of the wall, but one thing is sure: there will come a time when a final strike will bring that wall down. Let each strike—each prayer—be done in faith, with the belief that the wall will eventually fall.
… know that the Lord loves our loved ones more than we do.
I noticed a strange phenomenon in myself – I do not feel as great of a burden to pray for my siblings as I do my parents. It then led me to think that perhaps my lack of burden for them meant that it is not God’s will for them to be saved. But that was a lie and a thought to be banished. As I ask the Lord to give me a burden for the salvation of my siblings, I also pray regardless of whether I feel the burden. As salt and light in my family, I have a responsibility to pray for my family members who are yet saved. I might be the only one praying for them.
Continue to expose your loved ones to the Word of God and the gospel because faith comes from hearing the Word (Romans 10:17). Take every opportunity to speak to them of the Truth. You may also invite others such as pastors or evangelists to speak to them.
When you feel discouraged and find yourself distancing from God, reset your focus toward God again. Proclaim His power, remember His character and desires, and rebuild your faith in Him. Return to the fundamentals and pray each time as if you are praying for them the very first time. God will truly strengthen you.
Finally, know that the Lord loves our loved ones more than we do. He will certainly hear our prayers for them..
Ike Kie and her husband, Colin
Missionaries, Grace Methodist Church