4 Things to Remember If Your Loved One Still Isn't Saved

You’ve been praying for your friend or loved one for years. Maybe decades. But they seem no closer to Jesus than the day you uttered your first prayer. 

In some ways, they seem more lost than ever, reaping the consequences of their poor choices and struggling against the undertow of their sin. Or worse—they’re enjoying the fruit of prosperity, oblivious to their need for a Savior. 

I know that weary road. The one you walk every day wishing, hoping, and praying that your loved one will come to faith in Jesus. You see them traveling the path of destruction, or perhaps disinterest, and you yearn for so much more for them. Peace. Health. Purity. Love. 

Some days you grow discouraged and disheartened, wondering if your prayers are accomplishing anything. God’s going to save who God’s going to save, you think, so why bother praying, and crying, and hoping? 

God is going to save who God’s going to save, and this truth gives me great hope. It assures me that God will do everything in his unfailing power without violating my loved one’s free will to draw them to himself. But he will use my prayers to help bring that transformation about. 

Our prayers aren’t useless, otherwise he wouldn’t tell us to pray. But sometimes we grow weary. If you are one of the weary ones, committed to pray but struggling against doubt and discouragement, here are

Four things to remember when your loved one still isn’t saved: 

1. You can pray in confidence. 
While not everyone will come to faith in Christ, God’s invitation is open to everyone. You can pray in confidence, knowing that you're praying in agreement with God's will. His heart desires everyone to come to repentance, and he’ll do everything possible to draw them to himself. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). 

2. No heart is too hard for God. “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst” (1 Timothy 1:15). The apostle blasphemed the name of Christ. He hunted down and murdered untold number of Christians. and did everything within his power to wipe Christianity from the face of the earth. 

By his own testimony, he was the baddest of the bad. Yet God saved him. No matter what our loved ones have done or how hard they seem, God can still remove their stony hearts and give them hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 11:19). 

3. If your prayers reach beyond your lifetime. Even if your prayers go unanswered in this lifetime, they can still extend into the future. Even if you're no longer alive, your prayers will continue to work on your loved one’s behalf. Heroes of the faith like Moses, Solomon, and Daniel often prayed for future generations, asking God to draw them to himself. 

Based on Deuteronomy 7:9, my husband and I often pray that God will extend his saving grace to a thousand generations of our family. 

"Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments."

We pray for our grandchildren's salvation, for their future spouses' salvation, and for salvation for the generations yet to come, through time until Jesus comes back.

4. Even if you aren’t nearby, God's people are everywhere. A beautiful example of this happened at Paul’s conversion. First, God spoke to Paul apart from the influence of a sermon, preacher, or Christian witness. Then, after Paul received faith, he sent Ananias, a believer, to explain the next steps and to baptize him. 

Oftentimes, if we’re the only Christian in our family or circle of influence, we think it’s all up to us. If we don’t witness to our loved ones, then no one else will. While we should use every opportunity God gives us to share our faith with those closest to us, we might live far away or they might resist our efforts. Maybe the opportunities for spiritual conversations are rare or limited. 

While God often uses a believing family member or friend to lead someone to Christ, He isn’t limited by time, distance, or manpower. God has the world’s resources at his disposal and can use anything and anyone. When you pray for your lost loved ones, don’t forget to ask God to bring bold, winsome, and dynamic believers into their lives. 

God saves those he’s going to save, and, by God’s mercy and grace, we get to be a part of His work. He invites us, through the soul sweat of prayer, to come alongside him as he draws our loved ones to Himself. As theologian and author C. S. Lewis wrote in his book, Miracles

“The event [in question] has already been decided—in a sense it was decided “before all worlds.” But one of the things taken into account in deciding it, and therefore one of the things that really cause it to happen, may be this very prayer that we are now offering. . . .” 

Pray on, dear heart. “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). 

Who are you praying for? If you'll leave their first name in the comment box, I'll join you in prayer for their salvation.    

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  1. Amen! Sometimes it takes decades, which only makes the blessing sweeter when it occurs. I have come to realize, that our Savior is more tenacious that we are. There's been times I've given up on someone I was praying for, and years later I can see God never did. Thank you for this encouraging reminder ma'am.

    1. Right you are, J.D. There is no greater joy than seeing a loved (and much prayed for) friend or family member experience the joy of salvation. Knowing that our prayers had a part in their salvation is heart-bursting, overflowing, Jesus kind of joy.

  2. Please pray for my daughters Boyfriend Ameen.
    He is of Muslim Faith and does not know Jesus.
    I pray for his salvation and his family’s salvation, that our God may be glorified.
    Thank you for your prayers my sister. God bless you.

    1. Father, I pray through the mighty power of Jesus that you save Ameen. REveal yourself to him in unmistakable ways so that he will know he's come face to face with you. LIke you did with the Philippian jailor, save him and his whole household.

  3. Please pray for my Husband Dave for salvation and for my Son Bobby who is fighting alcohol. This message made me realize that I have become weary from praying. Pray that I will be refreshed and able to stand strong in my frayer life. Thank you and Blessings to you.

    1. It's easy to grow weary, but God's Word and His Spirit can give us hope and enable us to persevere. I'm praying for you, Dave, and Bobby. May the Lord open their hearts to believe.

  4. My dad, Manny aka Emmanuel. He’s a good guy, but he’s struggling.

    1. I'm honored to pray for Emmanuel. Lord, open his eyes and reveal yourself to him. In the strong name of Jesus I pray, AMen.


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