Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.
During my quiet time one morning, I reviewed the names and prayer requests in my prayer journal and found a name that made me stop to consider who else was praying for the needs of this person, and made a sad conclusion. I recalled recent conversations with relatives and friends and realized most of them had given up on this person. I often faced discouragement myself as the years have slipped by and there hasn’t been any change, any apparent softening of the heart towards the message of God’s love and gift of salvation through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Many of us have been praying for a loved one on our prayer list for a long time. Maybe the name on your list is someone who has turned away from the Lord, and you have diligently prayed for this prodigal son or daughter to come home. Maybe the name on your list is a relative or friend who has never called upon the Lord for salvation, and you have prayed for this loved one for many years, and still have not seen this prayer answered. It is easy to think that because there has been no change after all this time, they will never change and that attitude can lead to giving up on consistently praying for them.
Sometimes we become discouraged when answers don’t appear. It is hard to understand when we pray for someone and don’t see anything happen year after year. Even when we are discouraged and weary, we must continue in diligent prayer and keep believing God is doing a work we cannot see, yet.
Ask God to give you more love and compassion for those on your prayer list, and as you keep praying for their return to the Lord or their salvation, may you see that your prayers always keep open…a door for hope.
James 5:16b The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.