Many of us spend months, even years, praying for someone to believe the truth about Christ’s love. We may speak a word of truth or remind the person about a Bible verse. We may build on a relationship and hope for an opportunity to share what we believe. We may even cry and beat our fists into our pillows at night or fast until we forget how to be hungry—anything to convince our friends and family that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.
But are we praying right when we try to devise ways to convince someone about God’s love? Are we pleading with God, using the right direction? Is it possible that by praying what we think is right, we’re actually blocking our friends and family members from the truth?
A clue is given to us in Revelation 3:20. This is a key verse that is often used in evangelism packages. Jesus is speaking. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him….”
Many of us have seen the famous painting by William Holman Hunt which illustrates Jesus standing outside an old wooden door, knocking and waiting for someone on the other side to open it. On close inspection, we notice Jesus has no doorknob on his side. The door must be opened by the person on the other side whose soul realizes its need for a Savior.
But according to the Revelation verse, the first step is to actually hear Christ’s voice. That soft baritone that says, “I love you, and I’d like to visit with you. Won’t you please open the door?”
When we truly hear the voice of Jesus, it’s almost impossible to ignore him. His voice is filled with so much love and entreaty. He truly enjoys talking with us and listening to us respond. He is the ultimate Communicator, the Word.
So it seems that the best way to pray for those we love is to ask God to remove any barriers so that their souls can hear the voice of Jesus. Take away any distractions or other noise that might be keeping them from hearing that one sweet voice. Delete any fear that blocks the need for a trustworthy friend. Open the ears of the heart so that only one voice is heard and responded to.
Let’s pray right. Pray for others to hear.