Praying for the Wayward Believer

We
all know believers who have for some reason fallen away in their walk with God.
They have become as Paul said “shipwrecked” in the faith. In some way the
world, the flesh, and the devil have made inroads into their faith life, and
they are away from God and out of fellowship.
 
I
have found James 4:5 to be a real key in praying for these prodigal sons and daughters of God. Listen to it in these various
translations: Or do you think that the
Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously?”

(NKJV) Or do you think Scripture says
without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?

(NIV) Or, do you think that the scripture
says in an empty manner and to no purpose, The Spirit [Holy Spirit] who has
been caused to make His permanent home in us has a passionate desire [to
control us] to the point of envy [of any control indwelling sin may have over
us]?
(Wuest) Do you think the
Scripture means nothing that says, “The Spirit that God made to live in us
wants us for himself alone”?
(New Century Version)
  
When
we are born again, the Holy Spirit becomes a jealous lover! He wants no person
or thing to take our focus off of Jesus and the Father. He becomes intensely
jealous whenever Jesus and the Father’s place are taken by another.
  
Notice
James 4:4 in the Amplified: You are like
unfaithful wives having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your
marriage vow to God! Do you not know that being the world’s friend is being
God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as
an enemy of God.
  
The
most miserable people on earth are not happy
go lucky
sinners. The most miserable people are those who have walked with
God and have fallen into sin. Their every action is a grief to the Holy Spirit.
He is jealous to win them back to the Father.
 
In
praying for a wayward believer, pray for the jealous yearning of the Holy
Spirit to rise up within them every day.
Pray for God’s jealous love to draw them back to the Father every waking
moment. Pray that they will have no rest or peace until they are back in
fellowship.
  
Years
ago I had a friend who attended the same Bible school as I did, and attended my
church. In fact, we worked together for a while on the church staff as
custodians.  After he completed school,
he found another job and I lost contact with him. I saw him one day while
running some errands, and there was my friend, cursing, blowing cigarette smoke
in my face, and telling me of his sinful escapades. I affirmed my care for him
and encouraged him to come back to the Lord.
 
I had
such a burden for him after I left his presence. I cried out to God for my
friend to come back to Jesus, and I prayed for this jealous lover to draw him
back to the Father. I prayed that he would find no rest or comfort until he
came back to the Father in repentance. I prayed for the jealous lover to draw
him every day, and I prayed that the Father would send believers across his
path of life daily to encourage him to come back to Jesus.
Some
time later I received a phone call from my wayward friend. He had come back to
God and had cleaned his life up. He had been set free from the deception of the
enemy.
 
Take
some time today to pray for the jealous lover to rise up in those that you know
who have fallen away from God. He will draw them back to Himself as you give
yourself to praying in faith for them.

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