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Hard Questions The Church Is Asking (1 of 7)

February 24, 2010

How come the person I’ve been praying to come close to God all these years still seems so far away from Him?

First, know that our primary responsibility is to witness to God’s grace and activity in us. Too often we believe that we are the ones responsible for converting people. We don’t convert people to Christianity; God does. But God, in His divine wisdom, has called us to join Him in this exciting, yet stressful endeavor. We share God’s work in our lives with people. We testify about our journey and God’s faithfulness along the way. We try to answer questions our friends and family have about God and faith. We are tools used by Him. We have a real part to play, but God brings about the change of heart.

Second, don’t assume that the people you are witnessing to and praying for aren’t responding at all. I am a very impatient person. If I were a farmer, I would stand in my field and yell at the seed to grow. God’s spirit works differently. God does work that we cannot see and people are responding in ways that we cannot always recognize. I am consistently amazed when people tell me about the “secret-to-me” growth they are experiencing (You would think I would learn!). Something might be happening that you cannot see. Maybe they are not fully aware of God’s work on their unbelieving heart. I have heard it said that people need to hear the gospel at least seven times before they respond.

Lastly, don’t quit. God hasn’t given up on them so you shouldn’t either. Talk with someone else about how you have be a stronger witness. Evangelism should never be done alone. It’s a comforting thing to know that you are praying hard for your friend. Maybe someone else could help you lead them to become a follower of Jesus. Seek a mature follower of Jesus to join you in praying for and leading your friend to Jesus (it’s a reason why we have small groups in the church).

Keep praying for God to work in their lives. Pray that God would continue to use you to speak the truth and to love them genuinely from the heart. Trust God in everything. Wait patiently. I know this – there is no formula. As you struggle through this you should also be aware that God is working on you too.

Have you tried taking them to Panera? It’s worth a shot, right? I have had some great conversations there!


February 24, 2010 Posted by | Zach | | 1 Comment