When You’re Longing for a Loved One’s Salvation

Do you have a loved one that has yet to find the hope and peace of Christ?

It is a grievous battle, spending years praying for a loved one to find salvation. It is hard to pray for the lost, but even harder when it is the ones that we love most.

I’ve fought this battle for years. I cycle from fervent prayer to anger to painful sorrow and back again. It breaks my heart to see some of those I love most living without that hope and grace.

Is there someone in your life that you’ve been praying for?

When You're Longing for a Loved One's Salvation

Has God seemed to be silent or leave you with an unanswered prayer?

How do you continue to pray for the ones you love to find salvation when God seems to have forgotten them?

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When I began this journey of praying for loved ones to find salvation, my mindset was so far from God’s truth. I believed I had some power in helping them find salvation. I thought it was up to me to show them Jesus. And my days were filled with overwhelming feelings of failure and pressure.

I’d spend every single moment wondering if I said the right thing or if the situation was an opportunity for me to step out.

As I began to realize that their salvation wasn’t up to me, I began praying hard for them. But over time, I saw no answers and no hope and so I grew angry. Why wasn’t God opening their hearts? Doesn’t He want everyone to be saved?

These questions pounded hard on my faith. But I then began to see it wasn’t that God wasn’t offering grace and calling them to Him, but it was hardened heart and sin that was keeping them from His grace.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. -Ephesians 6:12

Satan is at work all around us. He is fighting for us just as God is. And because God has given us the choice, so many fall to choosing Satan’s lies over the hope of Christ.

Satan disguises himself as wealth, prosperity, security, power, lust, anger, apathy, and so much more. And oftentimes, when hurting, those we love will grab at any and all things that will help them stand.

I was once there, struggling in big ways and grasping at anything but God’s redeeming love and all-consuming grace. It is so easy to be blinded by our fear, our past, our pain. These things drive us away from Christ.

So how do you cope with the sorrow of loved ones without salvation? How do you continue praying and loving when there is so much brokenness?

Fight the Good Fight

We must stand against Satan in prayer and action.
He is working to steal away your loved ones attention, but you have the power to cast him out.

Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. -Ephesians 6:11

Ask God to fill you with His Spirit and stand firm against Satan’s attacks.

This was hard for me. I’d often spend my time fighting those I loved and their beliefs or attitudes. But when we pray and stand against Satan, that is when we can put on the armor and the power of the Spirit of God and make a difference.

Fighting against those you love will more often than not drive them away. We need to pour out the love and grace that Christ offers while fighting the schemes of Satan.

This is a balance that God has taught me and is still teaching me over many years. Pray that God will work in you to see this balance and to find the healthy and good way to fight.

Remove the Pedestal

I didn’t realize how much of an idol my loved one’s salvation had become.

It was so important to me that it drove a wedge between me and the Lord.

My faith was weakened by this idol. It took a long time for me to finally realize that I need to be working with God for whatever His plan is and to trust that no matter what, He is good.

That is no easy task when you’re talking about loved ones. But God wants to be your first priority. Don’t make a loved one’s salvation more important than God’s will.

When you do this, you will find your faith suffers and your strength fades. God is your sustainer and your hope.

Ask God for the strength to surrender your loved ones to Him no matter what happens. Then you will find the strength to love them fully and to fight for God’s will.

Praise God No Matter What

Satan wants you to believe that there is no hope. He wants you questioning God’s goodness. Don’t let him win this battle.

Raise your hands and heart to the Lord in praise. It is amazing what hope and joy and peace comes when we praise God despite disappointment and sorrow.

If you have a loved one who has yet to find the hope and peace of Christ, remember to fight for them in prayer, to make the Lord and His will your priority and to praise God in all things.

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. -1 Thessalonians 5:18

If you’re longing for a loved one to find salvation, don’t give up hope. Stand firm in prayer, surrender your heart and desires to the Lord and don’t stop praising God. He will answer in due time.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. -Galatians 6:9

How have you found hope and strength in this battle?

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  1. Oh, this is such a hope-filled post Nicole! I have been in this place of longing my entire life, and I’ve never thought of our loved one’s salvation becoming an idol, but you’re right. Realizing God loves them as much as we do and his timing is so perfectly orchestrated for a yielding heart brings a calm assurance.

  2. Wow. This is such a timely post. I have several loved ones who’re struggling with their unbelief and don’t even know it – or at least refuse to acknowledge it.

    Lately, a lot of the verses like the reprobate mind and Jesus coming to bring a sword between loved ones almost haunt me. In one respect, I can read passages about God’s judgement on those who refuse Him and know it’s just, but when I think of those passages in the context of my loved ones and that not all will believe, there’s almost a hopelessness.

    Thank you for your post. I needed it, because their salvation isn’t up to me and I must trust God – even in this. And it’s anything but hopeless.

    I’m really glad I found your post on Fresh Market Friday. Always enjoy reading. God bless!

  3. Wise words, Nicole. Isn’t crazy how anything can become an idol? “One plants, another waters, and God brings the increase.” Thanks for the encouragement!

  4. Nicole, what a thoughtful post. It can weigh so heavily on our hearts when our people don’t know Jesus, can’t it? So thankful for the work of the Holy Spirit, and that our prayers aren’t a meaningless part of the fight. Will lift up prayers for your loved one today, friend. (((Hug)))

  5. I have several family members I’ve been praying for for years. At times, it feels like their getting farther away from Salvation, and I get frustrated. But you’re right – God’s way and God’s time. He loves them more than I do, and He won’t give up on them. Thank you for the encouragement!

  6. I have been praying for over 20 years for the salvation of my loved one. I’ve been ready to give up and let go. It seems that is the best way to quit being discouraged and enduring the anguish of this situation where I’m finding myself devalued.I’m at an impasse. Your words spoke to me and I found hope and a sense of purpose as I’ve found that praising Him for EVERYTHING. It is hard to know if I’m being naive and wasting time. I desperately want to be with my grandchildren yet this is being denied me as well. It’s no small matter to do battle with spiritual forces that keep me from experiencing victory. I will continue to pray with now with conviction that God is greater than the forces of evil that keep my loved one from God’s love.

  7. This is so true in so many ways–not just when we are waiting on a loved one to come to the Lord, Nicole. I so appreciate your wisdom on trusting God even when our prayers go unanswered. I’m currently facing a situation that feels that way, but like you, I’m learning to praise and trust God no matter what does or doesn’t happen. He knows best and so I will rest in that truth each moment as disappointment tempts me to doubt. Thanks for this! I’m tweeting and pinning for sure!

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