Do you know people who are far from God? I imagine we all know someone we want to come to faith. As people who have been changed by the Gospel, we long for others to be changed, too — especially our unbelieving family and friends.
At Northridge Church, our outreach model is simple: We pray, invest, and invite. We believe every Christian should be praying regularly for every nonbeliever in their life, investing in those relationships, and inviting them to take steps in their faith journey (think: asking to share the Gospel with them, inviting them to church, etc). We believe each of these things should be part of the natural rhythm of the Christian’s life.
But, notice which step comes first. The reality is, without prayer, our attempts to influence others towards the Gospel achieves little. The Bible reminds us that people can’t come to know Jesus unless God draws them (John 6:44).
When we pray for unbelievers, we pray to that end, asking God to draw them into salvation. We pray for God to “open their hearts” as he did with Lydia in Acts 16:14. We pray for God to free them from the bondage of sin that Paul describes in Romans 6. We pray for God to use us and other believers to share the truth of the Gospel with them.
If you’ve begun to grow weary and wonder if God will ever save your lost friend, don’t give up. Don’t lose hope. We are told not to be anxious, but in every situation make our requests known to God (Phil 4:6). Those words were written by a man who made it his life goal to destroy Christianity, yet God saved Paul and used him mightily for the spread of the Gospel.
Remember, it’s not over yet.