Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
You have a loved one for whom you are praying. Often our beloved family members are those whom we find most difficult to help spiritually; something in the past has built a wall between us. You plead in prayer, "Please, Lord, I don't know what to do or say! Let some good angel lead him or her to salvation."
There is some special Good News in the Bible put there to encourage us: "If anyone sees his brother [or sister] sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He [God] will give him [the one praying] life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death" (1 John 5:16, 17, NKJV). Let us glean the Good News:
If you feel a heart-burden for the salvation of someone, you can know that it is the Holy Spirit who gives you that burden. He would never burden you to pray for someone who has committed the unpardonable sin.
"Sin not leading to death" is obviously still sin, but it is sin that the sinner is capable of repenting of. (If it is never repented of, then of course it becomes "sin leading to death.")
The solution that God has for the problem is to give you "life" for that person, not somebody else or even an angel. The reason is that God knows that nobody else can be as efficient an agent in reaching that person as you can be.
That calls for repentance, great sensitivity, and insight to discern what to do or say and what not to do or say. Sometimes the first good step is to say nothing, to get out of the way of the Holy Spirit, to give Him some freedom to work without your interference. It can be a real blessing to learn how to pray for someone without nagging at him or her.
When and if it comes time to say something, then is when the Holy Spirit will "give [you] life" for that person; knowing what and how to say it--that's worth praying about very seriously!
And remember, the Lord loves that person more than you do!
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: May 16, 1998.
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