I enjoy your teachings sooo much and respect your opinion. I'm asking for your help on and issue I've struggled with for years. I've been a believer for over 65 yrs. and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is ALL powerful and there is nothing he can't do.
My problem is, WILL he do it??
So my praying for the salvation of my family, specifically my daughter and her
family never gives me any peace or comfort because I'm saying to myself what
if God says "No, these are not people I've chosen, I won't open
their spiritual eyes to my truth, thus they will be cast into utter darkness for
eternity". Then there would be nothing I can do, including to continue to
pray. I agonize over this daily. After all we have no idea who God will call and
we know that not everyone will be saved and there are some people who God allows
to be spiritually blind.
I'd appreciate your thoughts. Thank you very much!
Blessings to you, I pray that our Lord will continue to use you mightily.
I read your email and I could hear your sadness but don't give up hope. There are some things that we are called to do and some things that are beyond our understanding. The calling and election of God is the later. That is not our job to understand the mysteries of such things. That is God's business. Our job to is do what He asks us to do and that is to pray and share the Gospel knowing that God is 'not wanting anyone to perish, but wants everyone to come to repentance.' (2 Pet 3:9) and He is One 'who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.' (1 Tim 2:4) Without this we start to see God as the one blocking someone's salvation which is NOT the truth. He desires that all come. 'Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.' (Rev 22:17)
So what He asks us is to pray and share. In Revelation it gives a unique picture of the prayers of the saints coming before the throne. It says:
Revelation 5:8 And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty- four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Later in Revelation 8 they are seen as incense before God:
Revelation 8:3-4 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne. (4) The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel's hand.
So your prayers matter to God. No one can say whether another person will be saved or not but I do know that God loves to work through families and even seeds sown many years (sometimes decades) before can still come to life. So never give up hope and keep entrusting them into God care. Let me give you two examples of this. One is from my families experience and one is the experience of some good friends of ours.
My Grandmother: My Mum witnessed to my Grandmother and prayed for her for many decades without any sign of change. It looked hopeless... My Grandmother just didn't really want to know. She thought she was a good person and all would be well. In the last few years of her life she went into an old peoples home. It got right to the end of her life before the prayers were answered. In the last month of her life she finally acknowledged that she was scared of dying because she didn't know Jesus and wanted to be forgiven of her sins. She gave her life to the Lord and though there wasn't much of it left, she was saved and came to know him with only weeks to go. She died soon knowing whom she trusted in and where she was going. It really was a miracle right near the end of her life. So don't give up praying!
Our friends Stan and Yvonne: They also had witnessed and prayed for their Mum and Dad (Mr and Mrs Farnsworth) for decades with no sign of hope. I wrote about this in a recent study so I'll include it here: Nothing could move Mr and Mrs Farnsworth until right near the end of their lives when Mr Farnsworth was close to dying. Mrs Farnsworth went out to the gate to get the mail and looking up to the heavens, she finally cried out to the Lord asking ‘Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me!’ Why did she pray that? Well, as a child of around 10 years of age her mother had taken her to a church where they asked everyone to pray. She didn’t know what to say so she asked her mum and her mum said ‘pray create in me a new heart and renew a right spirit within me.’ So she prayed that. But many decades passed without any sign of that being answered. Yet a seed was planted in this young life which sprang to life in her last days. The Holy Spirit brought the memory of that prayer as a child back to her mind, out at the gate getting the mail, and she prayed it again with meaning and was born again! She rushed back inside to tell her dying husband what she had done and why. He joyfully received the message and also cried out to the Lord to be saved. He then said to his wife ‘this is the first day of our new life!’ He died the next day. True story... God ordained!
So again... don't give up hope! God hears. And He cares for your daughter and other family members. Sometimes it takes people a long time to come. Even Jesus' brothers didn't believe in Him till after He had died! And that was even knowing Jesus intimately and seeing what He did! But they did eventually come.
I'll add my prayers to the many that you have offered up and we'll believe together that God will draw and give them an opportunity to hear and believe again, just like he did in the two examples I gave.