At this time of year, as we celebrate the extraordinary blessing of Immanuel – God with Us, our hearts often turn to friends, family, and others who have not come to know or believe in Jesus.
Our hearts long for them to know that the Creator of everything is a loving Father who cares so deeply for them that he came personally, in the person of his Son to live among us. And he not only lived among us but he gave his life to demonstrate God’s love and to bring us into everlasting relationship with Him.
How can we help our family, our friends, and even those around us to come to know or believe in Jesus? Recently, I came across a verse in the gospel of John that I think might be a good place to start.
44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me— John 6:44-45
Two things stand out to me in this passage. First of all, if we want to see anyone come to Jesus, we need to understand that only the Father can open their understanding and give them faith.
We are in a battle for the salvation of the lost. In the words of Paul from 2 Corinthians 4:4, “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” Those who have never heard or those who have heard but not believed, have been blinded by Satan.
Our job is to proclaim the Good News AND to pray that the Father would draw them to Jesus. There are so many things that we can do to be a better witness and to make the message clearer and more persuasive, but only God can overcome the blindness that Satan has caused. Only he can cause his light to shine in someone’s heart and draw them to Jesus.
6 “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6
Our loving heavenly Father, we ask that you would draw our family, our friends, and our neighbors to your Son, Jesus. Break the power of the blindness that Satan has caused and shine in their hearts so that their eyes would be open to your glory in the face of Jesus. Amen!
This is our hope. This is our prayer. Let us pray it continually and with great faith in the power of God to do more than we can ever ask or even imagine.