We all have difficult people in our lives, and at times, we can all be difficult people in others’ lives. On a recent episode of Your Hope-Filled Perspective podcast, Lyli Dunbar and I chatted about persevering in prayer for difficult relationships. If you missed that episode, you can listen here: Persevering in Prayer for Difficult Relationships – Episode 149. Are you dealing with discouragement because of a loved one’s choices? Even when situations grow darker, Lyli has found a way to keep hope alive as she prays for a difficult person to change. She’s sharing her strategy and encouragement in today’s post.
Keeping Hope Alive as You Pray for a Difficult Person to Change
By Lyli Dunbar
My husband held the phone up to his ear and frowned. I could tell by the way his body tensed up that he did not like whatever was being communicated by the mysterious person on the line. After just two short minutes, the call ended. Silence filled the room as I waited for him to find the words to share devastating news. Someone we loved dearly had made a terrible decision, and now we must pick up the pieces once again.
I sighed. Every morning, my man and I stood in our kitchen, held hands, and bowed our heads to pray for God to reach this difficult person. But sometimes we pray, and instead of a miracle breakthrough, it feels like our loved one is running in the opposite direction from God’s love and mercy. The situation grows darker, and our hope grows weaker.
It’s incredibly painful to watch someone you love destroy their life. Maybe like me, you are praying for God to turn around a lost soul. We are both on our knees fighting what seems to be a lost cause, but that is a lie from the pit of hell. No soul ever strays too far from God’s rescue. His grace reaches into the deepest pit to save us as soon as we speak His name with a surrendered heart.
I know our God is greater than the schemes of the enemy. His love changes hearts. My Heavenly Father has compassion and loves my difficult person more than I do. His relentless love never gives up or runs out. The same sacrificial love that conquered sin and death on a cruel cross can shatter the darkness in a soul.
Strategy: how to pray for a difficult person
My new strategy for overcoming discouragement as I pray is to replace the enemy’s lies with God’s truth. Whenever my mind starts racing with negative thoughts about my loved one, I will speak God’s words of life and peace out loud in prayer. Sometimes I struggle to find the words to keep praying for someone, so I’ve learned to just lean on the Lord to give me His words.
If you find yourself short on words and high on discouragement as you pray, just insert the name of your loved one into the blanks and keep hope alive:
Lord, may ______ see and understand that the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. Help ______ turn to Christ who came that ______ may have life and have it abundantly. May ______ know You are the good Shepherd who laid down His life for _______. (John 10:10)
The god of this world has blinded the mind of _____ to keep _____ from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ. Shine in ______ ‘s heart to give ______ the knowledge of Your glory in the face of Jesus Christ. (I John 5:13-16)
Change the speech of ______ to a pure speech that ______ may call upon Your name, and we may serve you shoulder to shoulder with one accord. (Zephaniah 3:9)
One day soon, I believe our tearful prayers for our difficult person will turn into shouts of joy.
Salvation is near.
Hope is alive.
Anything is possible when we cry out to Jesus.
Let’s pray on, friends. As we wait for good news, may His praises fill our hearts as we trust Him. Someone we loved dearly could make a life changing decision today and surrender all the broken pieces to the Lord.
Do you have a difficult person or people in your life? How do you keep hope alive as you pray for them? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
About Lyli Dunbar
Lyli Dunbar’s burning passion as a writer, speaker and Biblical life coach is to fuel a wildfire faith in the weary hearted. She starts every weekday by digging into the Word verse by verse with thousands of women as a writer for Proverbs 31 Ministries’ First 5 App and Love God Greatly. A fireball at heart, Lyli is energized by singing karaoke in the car with her husband, reading 12 books at a time, and cooking Cuban food for a full house. Stop by lylidunbar.com to grab faith fuel for your day or connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.