Like most of you, I have close family members who are non-believers, and I have other family who say they are believers in Jesus, but who aren't following the Lord. I've told them the Gospel, I've begged them to believe, I've warned them, etc, but to no avail. Some of you may remember that when my husband and I married we were both unbelievers. I came to Christ first, but he was rather stubborn. I prayed for him for nearly 7 years before he joined the Kingdom, and in the end it had nothing to do with my witnessing or pleading, and everything to do with my husband's heart being willing to know the truth and the Holy Spirit answering him. But how did that come about? How did his heart change? What made him call out to God? Spiritual warfare! Ultimately it was the Holy Spirit who drew my husband and God who saved him, but I believe all my prayers and warfare for him helped a great deal.
I have a son who claims to be an atheist and I've been praying for him for 25 years. I only tell you that because I know some of you out there feel like you've been praying for your loved ones for forever! God's timing is perfect. Prayers of the saints are powerful
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. james 5:16
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
What are strongholds? The dictionary says they are fortresses, but another definition says that a stronghold can be a viewpoint, a belief that a person clings to. In other words, atheism, agnosticism, buddism, new-age, humanism etc can be strongholds. How do we demolish them? With the weapons God gives us which possess divine power!
So, what are our weapons? How can we as humans, as mere flesh and blood battle things we cannot see?
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of ]the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Ephesians 6:12-13
First of all, we put on the armor of God. Armor is to protect ourselves, but not to harm our enemy. However if we are going into battle, we need to protect ourselves first and foremost. If you do not, you will be overcome.
In Ephesians 6, we learn the pieces of our armor that we must put on. Actually, I would say we need to have these on at all times
- Belt of Truth - God's Word is the only truth in this world. Know it!
- Breastplate of Righteousness - You must be truly saved and following Jesus
- Shield of Faith - you must believe God answers prayers and believe His Word is true
- Feet -Gospel of Peace. Know the Gospel, know the Word of God and everywhere you plant your feet, that peace, love, and joy goes with you.
- Helmet of Salvation - the hope of your salvation. This hope coupled with your faith will shield your mind from the lies of the enemy
What are our weapons? I believe there are 4 main weapons given to us and they are all interconnected
- Prayer - persistent, faith-filled, Bible-inspired prayer is powerful ! (Also prayer in tongues is powerful) The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16
- Use of Jesus's name. I've personally seen demons flee at His name!
- Word of God, which is our sword. You must know the Word, memorize it, and recite it outloud to the enemy.
Fasting is not popular among today's all-about-my-comfort Christians, but I can tell you it is the rocket booster that gets the rocket off the pad!
So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.” Mark 9:29
What I'd like to do here is lay out the battle plan I use to war against the spiritual entities that are keeping my loved ones from the truth. (some of these I took from a sermon from Perry Stone)
- Pray in Faith
- Pray when you feel burdened (Sometimes the Holy Spirit will put that person on your mind and you feel a burden for them. At that time, drop to your knees and pray)
- Pray as a warrior - Remember you are in a battle for the soul of your loved one. Act like it. Be disciplined. Get angry!
- Pray that the Lord send a Godly person to witness to your loved one
- Pray that God will awaken their spirit Ephesians 5:14, Romans 13:11, 1 corin 15:34
- Pray for any emotional or spiritual ties they have with a non-believer who is leading them down the wrong path be broken in the name of Jesus! 1 Sam 18:1
- Put them under a hedge of warring angels Ezekiel 22:30 Ezekiel 13:5
- Change the way you talk about them to others. Don't be negative or critical, but talk about your hope and faith for them!
- Love them unconditionally, yet don't approve of their sin
- Pray against any spirit that may be vexing them. Resist and rebuke it in Jesus's name. Some you may know, some you don't. Examples Addition, porn, drugs, insecurity, rejection, fear
- Break the spirit of manipulation on them from those around them
- Pray against the following spirits: Seducing Spirit, Spirit of bondage and Spirit of infirmity and weakness.
- Pray that their own will will be broken and changed to follow the will of God
- Pray the Word of God over them
Use the Word of God.
If your loved one is a family member, I encourage you to seek out Scriptures that refer to children or descendants being saved or households and quote them often.
- Claim Household salvation Acts 16:31
- Claim Household infilling of the Holy Spirit Acts 10:44-45
- Read or recite Psalm 91 over your loved ones every day! I do this. I have it memorized
Here's a few Scriptures that may help.
Ephesians 1:16-19 - a great prayer for your loved one
Collosians 1:9-12 - Another great prayer
God is a Father. He is the Creator of families. He loves families and He wants to save households. That theme runs throughout Scripture.
Only Noah was righteous, but God saved his entire family
Only Rahab saved the spies but God saved her entire family when Jericho fell
Only Lot was good and related to Abraham, but God saved his family when Sodom was destroyed.
So, don't give up. I encourage you to formulate your own battle plan and stick to it every day. It will seem like you aren't accomplishing anything most days, but don't give up! One day.... completely out of the blue... your loved one will get saved! I guarantee it! Why? Because I know my God and He is Love!