Below is a little project I’m working on. I’ll explain more in a few weeks but I thought I would share a little excerpt from it. This particular section is talking about how we can walk students through praying for their friends and family who do not know who God is. Hope it’s useful:
I don’t know about you, but when it comes to my friends and family, there are no other people on this planet that I would rather spend a majority of my time with. Now we all know no family or friend group is perfect, they all have their shortcomings and annoyances, but for the most part they are people you love and respect. Also if you are anything like me, you have friends and family that do not know how much God loves them and they do not know Jesus the way you do.
One of the greatest things you can do for your friends and family is pray for them. We have 4 ways in which we can pray for our family and friends:
- Pray for an opportunity to talk about Jesus (Colossians 4:3). Ask God to give you an opportunity to tell others about Christ and to invite them to your small group. God will take you seriously and answer your prayer!
- Pray for God to prepare hearts. Pastor Rick sometimes says, “Do you know how God softens hearts? He sends the rain!” Anytime you see someone going through a storm in life, you can know God is softening a heart.
- Pray for God to burden your heart. Ask God to make your heart tender toward a specific person or group of people.
- Pray that God’s Word will simply take off. Pray that the words of Jesus “will simply take off and race through the country to a groundswell of response” (2 Thessalonians 3:1 MSG), just as they did among the early Christians.
It is important to know that God loves your family more than you do. He is a good God. It says like a basic thing but it really is profound. We need to remember to pray these things in faith. Faith energizes us; it allows us to be close to God continuously. We have to remember to be patient and allow God to work. Change could happen tomorrow, it could take twenty years. We need to allow God to work.
Take time, right now, to go over the 4 ways to pray for friends and family. Remember to pray with a humble and repentant heart. We first need to be right with God, because in my life, I saw people start to change when I changed myself first. Pray for your friends and family today that God would move in their lives.
*Some material from our Saddleback outreach materials.