7 Reasons We Can’t Give Up on Our Non-believing Friends

Maybe you’ve prayed for a non-believing family member or friend for a long time – so long, in fact, that you’re close to giving up on him or her. If that’s where you are, here are some simple reasons not to give up today:

  1. God’s still doing the work of drawing people unto Himself. He will be doing so until believers from every nation, tribe, people, and language gather around His throne (Rev 7:9-10). The family member or friend for whom you’ve been praying for a long time might well be in that number.
  2. We don’t always know what’s going on in the hearts of others. We might think we do, but we can’t fully know what others are thinking. I’ve seen situations where someone who seemed to be hardened was actually considering Christ – just quietly and unbeknownst to me.
  3. We don’t always know what God’s up to in their lives. I’m so glad that God works according to His plans, but I’m still learning how to trust Him with His plans. What I’m learning is that God isn’t obligated to give me the details when He’s working in somebody else’s life.
  4. God’s timing for responding to our prayers is seldom our timing. He doesn’t operate according to our calendar or our clock. He’s not rushed, nor is He ever late. His delay in answering our prayers is not evidence that He doesn’t care – so we can’t give up.
  5. God loves our family and friends more than we do. He sent His Son to die for the sins of the world, and He is love in His very nature. That love ought to allow us to rest in His work in our lives and the lives of others.
  6. It’s the enemy who wants us to give up on others. Ultimately, what he wants us to do is not just give up on others, but rather give up on God. “After all,” he says, “God surely doesn’t care if He hasn’t answered your prayer yet.”
  7. Many of us can talk about others who never gave up on us, no matter how far we had walked away from God. They kept praying for us. And kept praying for us. And prayed some more, until God saved us. In many cases, we’re our own best example of why we can’t give up on others.

If you’ve been praying for someone for a long time, don’t give up. Keep pressing on from your knees on their behalf!   

1 Comment

  • Robin G Jordan says:

    Let’s also not forget Jesus’ parable of the barren fig tree. (Luke 13:6–9). The owner of the vineyard wanted to cut down the fig tree because it had yet not borne fruit. But the gardener urged the vineyard’s owner to give the tree more time while he fertilized and tended it. We had a fig tree growing next to our well which is a good place for fig trees. They require a lot of water to develop foliage and to bear fruit. They also benefit from the regular application of nitrogen fertilizer. A fig tree must mature in order to bear fruit. While some trees may bear fruit in three years, other trees take up to six years before they reach the right maturity for fruit-bearing. There is nothing you can do to speed up the maturing process. The gardener probably knew these facts and said what he said to mollify the vineyard’s owner. It was a tactful way of urging the vineyard’s owner to be patient. The gardener also knew that some loving care would not hurt the tree. Jesus was urging his listeners to be patient and not to give up because they did not see immediate results.

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