Don’t Give Up Praying For Your Loved Ones

Some of you may be wondering if the prayers you’re praying for your loved ones are effective. Does God hear you? Will He act when the ones you’re praying for are willingly going their own way? Can your petitions outweigh their defiance? Do your prayers make a difference? This morning I was reminded of how refreshing Abraham and Lot’s story is. Especially as it relates to the effectiveness of our prayers for our wayward loved ones. For those who aren’t even pretending to try to be all that lovable.

 

When God called Abraham (then Abram) out of his homeland in Genesis 12, he took his wife Sarah and his nephew Lot with him. Lot ended up complicating things a bit, as family members can do at times. Both Abraham and Lot grew into substantial families with increasing amounts of servants and cattle causing fights to break out between the two groups. Abraham realized that the land could no longer sustain both families. The best thing to do was separate.

Graciously, Abraham let Lot choose were he wanted to live and Lot chose what appeared to be the best land for himself. (This is a blog for another day—the blog about how hard it is to give up your rights.) (And how much God blesses it.) Time passed and the city called Sodom, where Lot was living, was attacked and Lot was taken captive. Abraham heard the news, deployed his fighting men and rescued Lot from captivity. (This would be another blog about helping people who don’t deserve it.)

Here’s where we narrow in on the part about how God hears our prayers and the part about how desperately our loved ones need them. Even the ones who don’t want them. Who don’t think they need them. Fast forward to Sodom and Gomorrah becoming so evil that the Lord planned to destroy it. Abraham approached the Lord and asked Him how many righteous people would have to live in Sodom for Him to spare it?

“Will 50 do it?” Abraham asks.

“Yes, I’ll spare it for 50”, the Lord responds.

“What about forty-five righteous?”, he prays.

“I won’t destroy the city if there are 45.”

Abraham’s petition continues to 40, then 30, then 20. Finally he finds the courage to get the number down to 10. If the Lord can find 10 righteous people He’ll spare the city. I have to believe that when Abraham was pleading with the Lord to spare Sodom and Gomorrah, he wasn’t so much begging for the city as much as he was begging for his nephew, Lot. He had one loved one in mind.

The angels of the Lord found Lot sitting in the gates of Sodom, a picture indicative of how Lot’s heart and affections had become firmly set on worldly pleasures and darkness. A sordid incident followed where Lot stepped outside his home and offered his virgin daughters to an aggressive band of men who were trying to break the door down. The Lord’s angels grabbed Lot and whisked him back into the house. They warned him of the impending destruction of the city and told him to get out as fast as he could, and take his family with him.

Lot hesitated.

This is the point in the story where it’s easy to be done with Lot. After all the mercy, the grace, the second chances, the resources Abraham had expended, those angels. Lot hesitates?

Even there the Lord’s compassion meets him—at the very place of his hesitation (Gen 19:16).

The angel grabs Lot’s hand, his wife’s hand and the hands of his daughters—what a stunning, tangible picture of rescue—and brings them out. This is undeserved deliverance at its finest.

As the city burned and the smoke swirled skyward, Abraham watched from the place where he’d prayed to the Lord to spare the city. Abraham must have thought to himself, apparently there were less than 10 righteous people in the city. As he looked out over the plain and took in the sobering sight, we get one of the most telling verses about the effectiveness of praying for our wayward loved ones in all the Bible.

“So it was, when God destroyed the city of the plain, he remembered Abraham and brought Lot out of the middle of the upheaval…” (Gen 19:29).

I was so prepared for the verse to read that in all the upheaval God had remembered Lot. But when Lot was in trouble it wasn’t Lot the Lord remembered; it was Abraham. Abraham had prayed for God to spare the city because He wanted God to spare his nephew. He didn’t stop petitioning at 50, not at 40, not at 20, not even at 10. And when he trembled too much to ask for 1 righteous, maybe even throw out the possibility of there being zero in the city, still the Lord remembered Abraham. Because He’d heard his prayer.

God rescued Lot because He remembered Abraham (Gen 19:29).Click To Tweet God rescued Lot because He remembered Abraham. In other words, Lot was spared because we serve a compassionate God, but also because Abraham dared enough to pray for him. I know it can get discouraging at times but let’s keep praying those we love back into the obedience of Christ. Let’s keep petitioning. I believe the Lord will hear our prayers on behalf of those we love so dearly.

And do that thing He does so well—remember and rescue.

  • sammy ze

    Thank you for this. I especially need to read this today.

    • Kelly Minter

      So thankful Sammy. Bless you.

  • Julie Bowen Colvis

    A much needed reminder….and encouragement to keep at it. I just finished your study on 2 Corinthians and really enjoyed it. Thanks for being so open with some of your struggles. It helps to know I am not the only one who questions, fails, falls, doubts, etc.

    • Kelly Minter

      Ha. You definitely are not. I think it’s all the questions, fails, falls and doubts that have kept me in Bible study and dependent on the Lord. The minute I think I have it together–yikes.

  • Lee Tucker

    The last week has been Very difficult. Momma is 91 & has another urinary tract infection. It really takes a lot out of her. She is weak, unable to stand, and every night when we put her to bed- I always wonder is tonight the night. Part of me wants her to stay with me, yet another part wants her to come closer to her walk with our Lord. I’m still not working & hoping my disability case will come through. With so much on my plate I have gained weight, I’ve never been 200 lbs. God bless you in your journey. Please keep her…us in your thoughts & prayers. ❤

    • Kelly Minter

      Hi Lee, thank you for sharing this. I will pray for you and your Momma today. You have been so faithful and loyal to her. I know she cares for you deeply. I can only imagine the tension of being pulled between your Mom being with Jesus and staying here with you. Thank you for posting, Lee. I will pray.

  • Nanine

    Thank you for the encouraging reminder. Absolutely LOVE All Things New. One of the most biblically insightful and thought provoking studies I have had the privilege to do. ❤️

    • Kelly Minter

      Thank you Nanine. It’s a really powerful letter I pray will challenge and encourage me for years to come. So glad you enjoyed it!

  • Red Ryder

    Kelly please pray for all the millions of parents and grandparents who have been kicked out of their adult children’s and grandchildren’s lives. It is epidemic in this country now because everyone is ultra offended and no longer care to work out imperfect relationships — even w/their parents. It is a crisis in this country that no one is addressing. Thank you.

  • Teri Nelson

    Dear Kelly,
    Thank you so very much for these encouraging words for such a time as this! My sister and I have been praying for our unsaved parents now for 44 years! My Dad & Mom are both 87 years old. My Mom is New Age and my Dad has Catholic background! I praise God I found the Lord at age 21 as I had never heard the gospel EVER growing up! And have been married to a believer for nearly 44 years in May. 😃
    But now my Mom has Alzheimer’s and my Dad is taking care of her best he can. My outlook has changed & my perspective, too because of what you said through the word: 😃🙏😃

    “God rescued Lot because He remembered Abraham” Gen. 19:29

    I have been a little discouraged after praying 44 years for my parents and their pride just seems to get in the way of needing a Savior (especially my Mom) who doesn’t believe in sin!!! And now she truly is suffering from Alzheimer’s… could she find JESUS in all her confusion & forgetfulness?

    But now…i am reminded again that:
    “God rescued Lot because He remembered Abraham” …so He may remember my parents as I pray for them also!!!

    I am sooo encouraged that NO MATTER WHAT to NOT GIVE UP my prayers for their salvation as my GOD truly hears regardless of the circumstances!!! May their hearts be so touched by God’s grace alone, for HE is worthy of our PRAISE!!! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!!! ❤❤🙏❤❤

    God Bless you, Kelly and thank you again! 😃

    P.S. I’m going to share your blog with my sister in California, too.

    In Christ’s love,
    Teri Nelson

  • This was for me Kelly! Beautifully written with truth I never saw in this light. I have prodigal sons, one who lives ‘right’, and one whose a mess. As their mother my responsibility is to keep pressing in on their behalf no matter how messy it gets. With tears intermingled with my prayers I will no give up, I will press on for their sake! You blessed me today, thank you dear heart!