What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?
Now I don't mean for calamity to befall your enemies, I mean have you ever asked God to do whatever it takes to get the attention of your loved ones?
If you had an unsaved loved one, and somehow you knew that they would come to Christ if you got cancer, would you pray for God to give you cancer? What if there was only a 50% chance that through your struggle with cancer they would come to Christ, would you then pray for cancer?
If you knew that an injury or illness would cause your loved one to come to know Christ would you pray that it happened to them?
What are our priorities? Is comfort in this life important to us? Should it be? In the time line of eternity this life, no matter how long in human terms, means nothing. If we keep our eyes on eternity, maybe we will see that whatever it takes to bring people into a personal relationship with Christ is worth it.
How willing are we to have God do whatever it takes? Of course, He does not need our permission, but I believe that He wants our willing participation. Do we really mean it when we pray and tell Him, 'your will be done'?
I felt led to start praying that God have His will and do whatever it takes in the lives of my loved ones to bring them to Christ. If it takes illness, so be it. If it takes calamity, so be it. I don't want any tragedy to happen, but I know that it is better to experience pain and discomfort in this life than to loose your soul for eternity.
I do not take this lightly. When I first started praying like this, God brought to my mind that I might be praying for a tragedy in my own life that would affect my loved ones. Was I ready for that? Was I ready to lose my life, if that is what it took? I felt I could honestly answer that with a yes. But God was not finished asking me questions. Was I willing to pray that His will be done even if it meant losing someone very close to me?
This was much harder for me. When God first brought that thought to my mind while praying, it literally took my breath away. Thoughts of my wife and children raced through my mind. My prayer stopped, I felt as if I was at a fork in the road, one way was God's will and the unknown, the other way was my prayer for protection and comfort. How would I feel if I said yes, and then God took a loved one from me?
A flood of peace came over me as I realized that God loves me and He loves my loved ones even more than I do. He is not going to do anything to any of us on a whim. His plan will always be perfect, and His plan will march forward with or without me. But my obedience in saying 'yes Lord whatever it takes' is what He wants from me.
I believe our prayers avail much. I also believe that our obedience in everything, including our prayers will make a difference in our lives and in the lives of those we pray for.
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. James 5:16
These devotionals are written by Ralph Dettwiler, and reflect his views.
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