If someone you love has ever walked away from God, my heart is with you. I know the pain that comes with it well. While we have to leave those situations in God's hands and trust that He is not done with that person yet, the waiting is never easy. However, there is something that we can always do; pray for that person. The fact of the matter is, that person you are praying for, probably doesn't even want you to pray for them, and that could lead to some painful things. . . but do it anyways. I know that situations like this are challenging, and can feel defeating. You don't even know what to say, or what to do. You're scared that you're going to do or say something wrong, and that is going to push that person even farther away. Here are some ideas of how to pray for someone in this situation.
1. Pray that they realize their need for a savior
At some point, at some level, the person you are praying for recognized Jesus as savior, or they would never have been a Christian. The fact that they walked away from their faith might call into question the strength of how strong their relationship with Jesus was to start. However, the point of this is not to judge someone on why they walked away, but to pray for them to walk back. For whatever reason, they have come to the conclusion that they don't need anyone else, that they can save themselves on their own. It is so important to be praying for them that they will realize they cannot do it on their own, and they are in dire need of Jesus.
2. Pray that God-loving and God-fearing people come into their lives
While they will most likely not be intentionally seeking out godly relationships of any sort. Pray, pray, pray, that godly people come into their lives. People that will talk with them, love them, and encourage them in faith, but will also let them know they are making a mistake from walking away. As you know, I always want to be as real as possible on here, so that is why I say that so harshly. I'm not here to say, oh encourage them and pray for them, but if they say it's not for them, let it go. The truth is, some Christians have become to worried about being accepting and politally correct that they become to careful when evangelizing. Do you believe that Jesus is the one and only way or not? If you do, you better act like it. We have lost our sense of urgency.
3. Pray for their pride to be destroyed
Similar to the first point, some people just think they can do it all on their own, they don't need anyone, especially a savior. That mentality is from the Devil, and it needs to be torn down before they will ever acknowledge and accept their need for Jesus. This might mean they go through some hard and trying times to get to this point. If that is what it takes, pray for it. Know that you are not praying for bad things to happen to them in order for them to lose their stubborn pride, but pray for what matters, that their soul be saved.
4. Pray for surrender
A person that walks away from faith needs to surrender their heart back to God. They have built up a wall around their heart that is not easily broken. However, the power of God can tear down those walls, and I can promise you that God has been faithful and has been doing that. However, that person does have to take the step of surrender eventually. Pray for that to come into their lives.
5. Pray for tough love
Lastly, I suggest you pray for tough love. Pray that people come into this person's life that love them dearly, and want what God wants for them. Pray that they will help guide them back to Christ, even if means giving tough love. Give and show love that is founded in God's truth, but that also does not shy away from God's truth. Believe me, you are not doing them any favors by condoning their walk away from God.
Also, for all of those that are reading this post and relate to its content, I pray for you. I pray that God will give you strength to continue this battle. It is not easy to watch someone walk away from God, and it can feel like a heavy burden to bear. Stay strong in faith, dear friend, it is a fight worth fighting.