Some persons may indeed try to abdicate their life, disowns their spontaneity, seek security by “conforming” to what is outside of them. But they don’t actually escape life or their responsibility for it. They only succeed in appearing “wooden,” unlively. We may know what to expect from them, but we have as little delight in them as they do in themselves.
Willard, The Spirit of Disciplines, 60
Upon reading this I could help but think of a good friend I have. This describes him to a tee and it makes me incredibly sad. He is the kind of person Paul would describe as “dead in trespasses and sins, following the prince of the power of the air, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, a child of wrath” (Ephesians 2:1-3).
Like Paul in respect to the Colossians, I “pray for him asking that he may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:9-10). And yet I admit that I fall short. When I say that I pray for him I mean that I pray when I feel like it and even then I know not what to say to God. Sometimes I settle for simply wishing something and thinking, “Oh, he’s God, he knows my thoughts, let them be a prayer.” And yet I must intercede for this girl, this child of God, and pray on him behalf daily as Paul did for the Corinthians. Thinking about him and wishing that he be saved is not enough. I must pray that when I talk to him about Christ that he speak through me and give me the words to say. I must ask that he grant me success in getting through to him and that he may open him eyes to know the truth. I must hand him salvation over to Christ, for it is he who can grant it, not I. “Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins,” (James 5:20) but he who saves him has saved him in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. I must remember that it is not I that can save him, but he.
And with this, I pray dear Lord that you do save him. Use me if it be your will and if not shut up my tongue that I may not lead him more astray. Give me the strength to have patience with him and be gentle and loving. Let me not deceive him but tell him truth, that he may believe it and be saved. How much more do you want him to be saved than I do! He is your child, whom you love and cherish.. May all the angels in heaven one day rejoice when he comes home to you. Please, Lord, let that day come and let it be near. Let him not lose hope, give him strength to get through each day, forgive him of his sins. Lead him not to temptation, but please, dear God, deliver him from the evil one. No one can snatch him from your hand once he allows you told scoop him up into your arms. No one, Lord. Cast away from him those who tempt him to deny you, place him in a surrounding where people love him and care for him and who will pray for him daily, interceding for his salvation. Remove the veil from his eyes that he me see you and know the truth when he hears it. Please, dear God. This will not be the last time I pray for him. You will be hearing from me again. I pray all of this in Jesus’ name, Amen.