Hey Pastor J, I have a quick question about prayer. How do you pray for someone who is, as far as you know, not a believer, and is making very poor and (potentially) dangerous life choices that could ruin their life (for lack of a better phrase)? I know that more often than not, people come to God when they get to the absolute end of themselves and realize they need a change. There’s a guy I know that has shut me out of his life,so the only thing I can do is to pray for him,but I don’t know how.
Hey my dear friend: You’re really awesome to be so concerned and loving for your friend. He or she is very lucky and blessed to have you.
I think prayer is an automatic necessity, and it can’t be emphasized enough. I’m always wary about giving too many instructions for prayer because it can easily be a formula, but I think it’s certainly okay to pray for a divine face-smashing intervention. It’s okay to pray that your friend totally gets that uppercut wake-up call.
Here are some other things to consider.
1) You can show there’s way better than the world.
I know this will feel like a waiting game until your friend crashes and burns: but you don’t have to wait. Before I really came to know God, my Christian friends would always take me out to the movies or dinner or their home to show that you can have fun without reckless substances and liquids and chemicals, and that there can be a good time without all the cheap mindless, sexual, gyrating pig-slop. They didn’t really give me a “Christian lite version” of something, but it was really their total love and laughter and craziness, and most importantly, their vulnerability.
I found that the biggest difference between my Christian friends and everyone else was that I didn’t need to “measure up” all the time by puffing out my chest. When I was at the club or at a drunken party, there was always this sizing up ego-pissing-contest with certain code words and cool language and false bravado. It was exhausting. But most especially with my genuine Christian friends, I could relax. I could be myself. I wasn’t relying on alcohol to build a pseudo-interaction or to make me fun. I could be loud and nerdy and messy and not worry about being the social definition of a “man.” When I saw a better way, I wanted that. I wanted how God wanted things to be.
My Christian friends also cooked crazy good food, and that’s one thing you can’t ever enjoy at a drunk drug party where everyone is throwing up on their shoes. Not to judge anyone: but I like chicken parmesan better than half-digested chips and salsa.