My heart hurts for those who fail to see You and even more for those who refuse to see You. I see myself when I look at them. The old me was much the same: ignoring every alarm You sounded out of compassion to keep me from evil, harm, and danger; turning a blind eye to the warning signs You displayed to steer me off the path of destruction; turning a deaf ear to the godly counsel of loved ones who attempted to speak Your truth into my life out of genuine concern and love for me. Father, keep others from following this same foolish path.
As I look back, I realize how foolish I had been. Lord, work in the hearts of Your children who have walked away from You. Help them to see this world has nothing to offer them but empty living and short-lived thrills.
Father, forgive me for my part in this. Forgive me for the times in my own life when I pursued this world while claiming to be Your follower; forgive me for giving others false reason to associate my worldly living with the believers’ calling. Forgive me for not recognizing the weight and influence my own actions would have on others. Forgive me for being self-obsessed and self-absorbed, seeking to satisfy my own pride and desires at any expense.
I thank You, Father, for pouring out upon me grace upon grace, abundant grace (John 1:16)! Nothing in my life deems me worthy of such an act. But for some reason, You found me worthy to be ransomed, restored, forgiven. I thank You, sweet Jesus, for Your willingness and joyfulness to suffer for my sake so that I might be reconciled with the Father and adopted into the family of God (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 2:7-8; Galatians 3:26)!
Heavenly Father, I beg You – pour out that same grace upon those who are still chasing this world. Open their eyes to their foolish living. Open their eyes to see You! Father, I know You love them even more than I do. Your heart aches for them, breaks for them more than I could ever know. Soften their hearts to hear Your Truth! Although they may have heard Your Good News a million times before, allow them to hear it once more in such a way that they cannot deny You any longer! Father, I ask that You would pierce their hearts with Your Word and set their hearts on fire for You! Prepare their hearts to hear of You again and make their hearts fertile ground for the seeds You are sowing.
Oh Father, as much as it pains me to say these words, I know I must: Break them, if that’s what is necessary for their hearts to be reconciled with yours. Tear down the walls they have built that separate them from Your love. Shatter the the lies the enemy has sown in their minds. Wake them from their slumber, O God (Ephesians 5:14)!
Lord, You are our omnipotent God, Creator of the universe and all that we see before us. In a single breath You created the sun and the moon and the stars. It is not for lack of power on Your part that we have free will, but rather, it is Your compassion that allows us to choose for ourselves. Pour out Your grace and kindness upon those who are still choosing the world. Help them to choose the better portion (Psalm 16:5; Psalm 73:26; Luke 10:41-42). Help them to see that following You is the only choice worth making. Help them to see that no amount of earthly fun, excitement, pleasure, or success could ever satisfy like You.
Father, You know the way I was living before. I sought after the approval of man; I gave into the lusts of the flesh; I looked to earthly relationships to satisfy my loneliness; I mindlessly, thoughtlessly, did anything and everything to fit in; I laughed as others mocked Your name; I based my identity on the opinions of others; I chased every high and wallowed in every stupor. I compromised the faith. I sacrificed truth and lasting joy for fleeting pleasures. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost (1 Timothy 1:15-16). I choose this world, time and time again, snoozing the alarm You so compassionately sounded over and over to save me from myself. I know what it means to live for the world and by Your grace, I now know what it means to live for You. Because of this, I can say with all confidence, living for You is the only way to truly live.
The temptations of this world are intoxicating. Father, I know that all too well. And so my heart aches with a clear understanding of why it is so hard for those who don’t know You (and those who know You and yet reject You) to turn from the world and its foolishness. To them, it isn’t foolishness. To them, I am the fool (1 Corinthians 1:18). But God, be merciful. With great compassion, gather them up (Isaiah 54:7). With everlasting love, pour out Your compassion upon the work of Your hands (Isaiah 54:8).
May my life and the lives of my brothers and sisters in the faith be a testimony for You. Father, grant us opportunities to share about Your love, Your sacrifice. Grant us opportunities to share our testimonies boldly, without shame, without fear, without reservation. Give us Your words – nothing more, nothing less. We know Your divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness; we know that You have already equipped us with every spiritual blessing (2 Peter 1:3; Ephesians 1:3). And so we rest, confident in You, knowing that You work in us, both to will and to work for Your good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). Father, use us in any way, in every way, to whatever extent You so desire, for the sake of adding souls to Your Kingdom, for the glory of Your name. May we most gladly spend and be spent for Your will, for the souls of others (2 Corinthians 12:15).
Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ
With all my love and adoration,