Have you ever wondered how God feels about the lost souls in your family? You pray for them because you yearn for their salvation. You even ache for them, knowing that their sinful lifestyles are separating them from the God who loves them and they are endangering their eternal souls.

When Israel was a child, I loved him, /and out of Egypt I called my son. /… It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, / taking them by the arms; / but they did not realize / it was I who healed them. (Hosea 11:1,3 NIV)

Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina said, “Oh the souls! If you knew how much they cost! …God runs after the most stubborn souls. They cost him too much to abandon them.”

One of my college professors was an avowed atheist. I became friends with Professor Kirk when I joined the campus planetarium staff; he directed the shows. As our friendship grew, I shared with him my belief in Jesus, and he listened because of our friendship. But he would not give faith a try.

Then Ralph and I wedded. Less than two years later, I discovered the miracle of the Eucharist and became Catholic. Shortly after that, we both discovered the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and my faith became more alive than ever. Then, during a visit to my parents’ home, which was near the college I had attended, I learned that Professor Kirk was in the hospital dying from cancer. So I went to visit him.

On my way to the hospital, I prayed for his soul. Unexpectedly, a vision overtook my mind. I saw Jesus leaning over my friend’s hospital bed, crying. Tears streamed down his cheeks. He sobbed with an inconsolable yearning because this man was still rejecting him and he would soon face the eternal consequences of his decisions.

The scene shook me to the core. I wanted to comfort Jesus, but there is no comfort I could offer that would replace the pain of the loss of a person’s eternal soul.

When I arrived at the hospital, Professor Kirk was delighted to see me. He asked, “Can you heal me?”

“No, I can’t,” I replied. “Only Jesus can do that.”

“Well, forget it then. I don’t want anything to do with Jesus.”

And I knew that Jesus was still leaning over the hospital bed, crying.

Abba-Father was crying with him. His tears were (and are) united to every parent who understands that something terrible is happening to a beloved child and there is nothing they can do to stop it. The gift of free will includes the option to choose a loveless eternity.

Why would anyone reject the love of such a Father?

Meanwhile, I stood at Professor Kirk’s hospital bed and felt entirely inadequate. I searched for words that might make a difference. It was very heart-breaking to see Jesus weep. I wished that I had learned how to engage the faithless in such a way as to open their minds to the truth and open their hearts to God’s love.

Wouldn’t you like to know how to do this too?

I suspect that my professor and most others who reject the Christian faith have never been properly introduced to the real Jesus. They adopt key misconceptions about him that make belief in him seem disadvantageous. They’re basically good people and have very loving hearts. They are more like Christ than they realize.

So what keeps them away from Jesus?

And then there are those who believe in Christ but they don’t go to church or do much else with their faith. I suspect that many of them have never been properly introduced to God the Father. He’s not an authority in their lives because they want to be their own authority between right and wrong. They don’t realize that he’s a Doting Daddy and that his commandments are really blessings.

We who have a good relationship with Jesus are called by the Father to continue the mission of Christ, equipped and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Abba-Father’s yearning desire to embrace his lost loved ones is manifested through us. The ache you feel for those who are rejecting a lifestyle of faith is a tiny portion of Abba’s ache. When you grieve for them, you are tasting the salt of Abba’s tears.

God is counting on you to work with him in bringing lost souls to his outstretched arms. All baptized Christians are called to apostles. As disciples, we learn the faith. As apostles, we share the faith. During Vatican Council II, 2,500 bishops wrote the Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People to help us understand how important the lay faithful are as apostles. The decree starts with a mind-blower:

In its desire to intensify the apostolic activity of the people of God the Council now earnestly turns its thoughts to the Christian laity.

The opening sentence shows how much the bishops cared about the role of lay people in the mission of Christ: “In its desire….” they wanted “to intensify” — stir up, make hot, increase — our “apostolic activity.” In other words, they reminded us that we’re part of an apostolic Church while implying that there’s more we should be doing.

As a Protestant girl watching her dad lead congregations, I knew how much time he put into preparing his sermons. I knew that he prepared each service and printed up the bulletins. I often helped fold those bulletins. His ministry was what I admired most about him. And so I often envisioned myself behind the pulpit and thought it would be very fulfilling to follow in Dad’s footsteps.

The desire to go to seminary and become a Protestant minister had disappeared by the time I went to college. It was not the path that God wanted me to take, so he suppressed that desire. Then, after I became a Catholic, he let it loose. He uncapped the well. But now the desire took the shape of lay ministry. I jumped through every door that opened to me within the Catholic Church. And there were many such doors over the next 40-plus years.

After the founding of Good News Ministries (this story was shared on Day 9), Ralph and I got a personalized license plate for our car. We still have it. It reads: APOSTLE. It’s a great discussion-starter!

Every Christian is an apostle. In the decree on the laity, the bishops wrote: “From the fact of their union with Christ the head, flows the laymen’s right and duty to be apostles” (paragraph 3).

They explained that, as members of the Christian Body and with Christ as our authority and guide, we have been privileged with the right — and commissioned with the duty — of making “all men partakers in redemption and salvation, and through them to establish the right relationship of the entire world to Christ” (paragraph 2).

And then they added: “A member who does not work at the growth of the body to the extent of his possibilities must be considered useless both to the Church and to himself” (paragraph 2). Wow! Useless! The first time I read that, it convicted me to the core. I became more energized than ever to serve the Father in the mission of Christ. I made a promise to him: “I don’t want to waste any time doing something that does not somehow advance Your kingdom on Earth. I want even my dying to serve You (somehow; I leave that up to You, Father).”

God designed all of us to do important work for the Kingdom of Christ. My energy comes from the Holy Spirit. This is what a normal Christian life is meant to look like. Living this way makes us feel much closer to the Father than everything else we do. We can be handicapped by past traumas that were inflicted on us by father-figures and still feel very close and very special to our Divine Daddy. The determination to be useful to the Church bypasses every obstacle on the journey into the Father’s heart.

Being useful to God means you are collaborating with him. It means watching for the doors that he opens for you — doors of opportunity where you can be who you really are with the gifts and talents he has given you — and saying yes to moving forward. It means discovering how you can put to good use what you have learned in your journey of healing from the past. It means finding ways to glorify God in even the most mundane of daily chores and the most unpleasant of duties.

Love that goes nowhere is not love. Love is an outward-moving gift that yearns to give itself to the beloved. “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love” (Galatians 5:6 NIV). How, really, are you expressing your faith? Are you using every gift and talent and skill to share God’s love? Are you using your resources for the growth of the Church?

Think of a time when you were asked to do something and you turned it down because you thought you weren’t qualified. Let’s imagine that a request went out for someone to organize a Bible study for children. You ignored it because you were afraid that you might get in over your head. Your fears were stronger than your love for the children, and that made you useless.

When we respond in fear, we’re useless because we underestimate the God who offered us the opportunity to work for him. We’ve forgotten that he’s powerful enough to help us accomplish the task. If God thinks we can do it, then of course we can do it, as long as we keep in touch with him and allow the Holy Spirit to function through us.

The essence of being an apostle is giving to others what we’ve received from God. This is why the bishops who wrote the decree on the laity stated that we are to put “at the service of others the grace received… as good stewards of God’s varied gifts” (paragraph 3). They based this on 1 Peter 4:10, which says: “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (NIV).

Whatever we’ve received, it came from God to bless us and so that we could use it to bless others. We are funnels of his blessings. As they pour into us from God, we pour it out to others. And if we do everything he inspires us to do (and nothing more, nothing less), he will never deplete our resources. We can’t possibly be more generous than God is. Being generous means that we give ourselves the opportunity to experience Abba’s generosity to us.

What is apostolic activity?

The decree on the laity says: “The Church was founded to spread the Kingdom of Christ over all the earth…. Every activity of the Mystical Body with this in view goes by the name of ‘apostolate’” (paragraph 2). In other words, everything we do that glorifies God is an apostolic activity.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church lists many kinds of activities that can be apostolic: our prayers, family and married life, daily work, relaxation of mind and body, and even the hardships of life, “if they are accomplished in the Spirit” (paragraph 901).

When our daily activities become spiritual sacrifices, they become holy actions, and by this we consecrate the world to God. See how important you are? Your everyday apostolic activities are consecrating the world! And that includes your loved ones who right now are far from God. By offering up your holy actions to Abba-Father on behalf of someone who needs sanctification, your good deeds are themselves a prayer. Your good deeds wipe the tears from Abba’s cheeks.

Scripture commands us to make sure that everything we do glorifies God. Otherwise it’s useless: “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17 NIV).

Doing it in the name of Jesus means that we are branches of God’s love, and we are staying attached to the vine, who is Jesus: “I am the true vine…. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me” (John 15:1,4 NIV). Therefore, all of our activities or deeds that are not apostolic result in no lasting fruit. They’re useless.

The bishops wrote: “The fruitfulness of the apostolate of lay people depends on their living union with Christ” (paragraph 4). Jesus said: “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

Does the time you spend watching television glorify God? If not, it’s a worthless use of valuable time. Recreational activities can glorify God (for example, if they recharge us so we can be enthusiastic in our servanthood), but if they keep us from our apostolate, they can be useless.

True apostles are identified by the following fruits (as indicated in paragraph 4 of the decree):

  1. We are hidden in God. We do not glorify ourselves. Therefore, the people around us see Jesus, not us, and by seeing Jesus they meet the True Father. If we’re in a powerful, public role, such as being the boss at work or the president of the parish council, the way we lead teaches others what Jesus is really like.
  2. We are free from the slavery of possessions and we accumulate riches that last forever. Materialism does not rule us. If we have something that another person needs, we are happy to give it away.
  3. We “exert all [our] energies in extending God’s kingdom” and our Christian spirit is an energizing force in the world. Will people remember us as someone who richly affected their lives? Will they recall how we made a difference everywhere we went?
  4. In difficult times, we persevere because we “consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18 NIV). When a service we do is attacked by someone’s bad opinion or by demonic interference, we take it as a sign that what we’re doing is important and so we continue it to completion.
  5. With the love that comes from the prompting of God, we do good to everyone (Galatians 6:10). If our neighbor is a bad-mouthed grouch, we evangelize him by mowing his lawn and finding other ways to serve him.
  6. We strive to please God rather than people. Perhaps a friend wants you to join him at a movie that has pornographic elements. When you say no because you don’t want to waste your time and money on a movie like that, he mocks you and calls you a religious fanatic. Nevertheless, you stand your ground because you care more about what God wants you to do.
  7. We are always ready to follow Christ, even when it means giving up something or getting persecuted. In other words, we’re willing to carry the cross with Jesus. It’s painful to spend money to fix a neighbor’s broken car, especially when we’d rather buy something for ourselves. What’s worse is when our relatives get mad at us for not using the money on our own family. But we rejoice because, more than ever, we feel the Father’s joy.
  8. We nurture Christian friendships in which we mutually support each other in all our needs. The way we care for one another (e.g., “Your need is as important to me as it is to you”) shows the world what the Father’s love is all about.

These fruits are non-verbal ways of evangelizing. To help others open their hearts to Abba-Father’s love and his ways of parenting us, we need to have words that help their minds understand the truth, accompanied by the fruits of our faith that can nourish their souls. Your words and your fruits must come from your own experiences so that you are genuine and they know it. Being genuine is very powerful in getting others to trust you so that they will listen to you.

Did you ever reject Jesus? Did someone help you come back to the Lord by their patient and persistent efforts? Share your story with them!

Are you someone who is patient, kind, compassionate, selfless, and on fire with your faith? To be effective in helping Jesus bring lost souls to the Father, we have to live the faith like we really believe what we profess. We need confidence to speak up about the advantages of being Abba’s adopted child.

Jesus told us in Luke 12:11-12 that there is no reason to worry about what to say, for when the opportunity arises, the Holy Spirit will give us the words. Is your relationship with the Holy Spirit active enough yet to rely on his help?

To be effective, we need to care about the souls of others so much that we cry when they reject Jesus.

I am speaking the truth in Christ — I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit — that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart… for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh (Romans 9:1-3 ESV).

Who’s your Professor Kirk? Which people in your life are making Abba weep? Do you pray for their salvation with the passion of heart-felt anguish? That’s the starting point. That’s the foundation for all evangelization efforts. Without this, the best words don’t make a difference.

Sadly, we can be the best evangelizers and some people will still choose to turn away. Why is that?

Anger at the root of faithlessness

There might be a million reasons that contribute to a person’s rejection of Christ, but for the purpose of this book, let’s look at the effects of father-wounds.

As you know, we are living in an increasingly angry world. The shootings in schools and malls give evidence of this, as do all the riots and heated political arguments and court cases and anti-Christian persecutions. Underlying this anger are unhealed wounds.

Nearly everyone has some amount of unresolved anger that goes back to the unmet needs of childhood. And it leaks out. It always eventually leaks out. Have you ever lost your temper over some little thing and then wondered why you reacted so strongly?

We might think that we have all of our anger issues under control. We might even have nothing but good memories of childhood and feel no reason for anger. Or perhaps we’ve accomplished a lot of healing and we truly experience Abba as the Perfect Father who gives us all the love we need. But still lurking in our subconscious psyche are influences from the past that, when awakened, bring out the ugly in us.

The frown of a grocery store clerk might trigger an impulse to become self-defensive and rude. Why? Because unhealed wounds release the infected puss of anger. When a new circumstance reminds us of old traumas, disappointments or heartbreaks, wham!

We’re usually not even aware of the connection.

The clerk’s frown might unconsciously remind us of the angry face of a parent who was punishing us, making us feel insecure about ourselves. We want everyone to like us, even strangers, but here’s someone whose frown seems to be announcing that we are unlikeable. This is rooted in the misconception that we are bad. Our parents probably communicated that it was our behavior that was bad, not us, but as children (and sometimes even as adults!) we internalized it, took it personally, and concluded that we are bad and therefore unlikeable.

The normal reaction to the re-awakening of “I’m bad” is to get self-defensive (which is a plea to be seen as a good person) and rude (which is anger trying to make the other person seem less good than we are).

Similarly, anger is at the root of faithlessness, because there’s a father-wound triggering the desire to reject God. The parent’s frown becomes God’s frown. The unbeliever reacts to an invitation to go to church as if puss were leaking from an old wound: “God knows how bad I am, so why would I put myself into a church where I feel disliked? No, I’m going to protect myself by making up my own mind about what’s good and what’s bad. I don’t want religion to be another parent controlling my life.”

Can you hear the anger in that reaction?

Fatherhood’s role in finding faith

When we know, really know, that Abba loves us no matter what and that he sees everything that’s good in us and delights in it, anger no longer interferes with our faith. By searching for our anger-triggers with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can disable them. By giving Abba-Father time to minister to us, we can be healed. If only everyone knew this!

Well, you now know it, and so the Father is asking you to share it with someone who is ready to listen to you. You’ve shown compassion and you’ve been laying the groundwork by asking the Holy Spirit to anoint his (or her) heart and you’ve offered up good deeds as a prayer for his (or her) sanctification. Because of this, “They will know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them” (Ezekiel 34:27 NIV).

Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” (Luke 15:3-7 NIV)

Do not be discouraged when your efforts to bring lost souls to the Father seem to fail. Jesus described the Father as a shepherd who never stops trying. But he counts on us to be persistent in joining him in going after the lost.

Imagine what happens to those who have had especially traumatic childhoods. Even if their family had been church-goers, they will not know God as he truly is without first receiving a lot of healing through therapy. Spiritual healing usually comes after emotional healing. Abba cannot minister to those who distrust him. He cries for them like any good father who does not have access to their suffering child.

Because fatherhood has been undermined throughout society for multiple generations, trust in God is at its lowest point. Father-wound anger is exploding everywhere in riots, road rage, and other demonic upheavals. The Divine Daddy who he wants to hug their wounds away cannot reach them, though they are most in need of his mercy.

And so the anger escalates. While Abba reaches out to them, saying, “I have what you seek,” those who need it most don’t know that they can look for it, and when they don’t look, they don’t find.

On April 24, 2008, about a mile from my home, a 16-year-old boy named Kendrick waited for his mom to pick him up from the library. Unfortunately, at that moment she was getting out of jail after being arrested for driving without a license.

Kendrick had grown up without his father. When he was seven, his mother began dating a man who soon moved in with them. The boy suffered abuse from both. Later, an investigator would find more than 40 scars on his body.

One Christmas, this “stepfather” smashed all of Kendrick’s Christmas gifts to punish him for doing poorly in school, while his mother did nothing to rescue the holiday.

When he was 13, the boy’s unresolved anger exploded in public. He grabbed a tree branch and attacked a beautiful white egret until the bird was limp on the ground. Then he redirected his anger to a duck. When officers arrested him, a witness said, “Even though this act was serious, it’s my hope this young man gets some help and isn’t lost in the system. He just needs someone there for him after school.”

He never got that help. Three years later, Kendrick’s anger exploded again while waiting for his mother to pick him up after school. He often waited for her at the public library that was next to his school, while playing the video game World of Warcraft. On the day of his mother’s jail time, the library closed and the boy continued to wait, alone, hurt, and angry. The evening grew dark. He saw the headlights of a car turn into the library’s driveway. At last! But no, this was not his mother. The driver was a teenage girl. She parked near the front of the library, stepped out of the car with a couple of books in her hand, then walked toward the book drop-off box.

Kendrick rose from his bench. The girl slipped the books into the box and turned toward her car, telling her girlfriend on the cellphone that she saw a “weird guy” near the front of the library. Suddenly, he grabbed her and twisted her arm behind her with a tight squeeze. He yanked her away from the car and, as she squirmed and began to scream, he hit her so hard across the face that she felt dizzy. He hit her again and again until she blacked out. Then he dragged her behind the library and raped her.

When the police found her, she was comatose and near death. She survived, but the boy’s angry attack had irreversibly damaged her brain. The girl, who was 18 at the time, has regained her mind and her memory, but she is still unable to walk, talk, see or eat on her own.

Kendrick is now serving a life sentence in prison.

Abba cried for both of them. And for their families. As Saint Pio of Pietrelcina said, God did not abandon them. He ran after them, hoping that they would stop and seek him so that they could find him.

Jesus said, “Seek and you will find…. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? … Your Father in heaven will give good gifts to those who ask him!” (See Matthew 7:7-11.)

And the Father said, “When you search for Me with all your heart, you will find me and I will restore you” (Jeremiah 29:13-14).

The girl’s mother, Vanna Nguyen, found God during her daughter’s rehabilitation. The relationship she’d had with her father made it easy to believe in the goodness of God the Father. Vanna had grown up in Saigon, Vietnam. In 1975 when the Vietnam War ended, her father was captured by South Vietnamese soldiers and imprisoned. Five years later, he returned home.

One night, he pulled Vanna close to him and whispered in her ear, “We can’t survive here. You need to leave.” He had made a deal with a local fisherman to smuggle his daughter out of the country. She would go to America to live with an aunt.

Vanna became a U.S. citizen, married and gave birth to two daughters. The second child, Queena, is the one who was brutally attacked.

Although Vanna had lived much of her life without a father, her memory of him was as a loving protector. This was a good start for eventually finding the love of Abba while she cried with aching love for her wounded daughter. Raised a Buddhist, she turned to the Christian faith in her daughter’s rehab center. Abba-Father helped her turn bitterness and anger into forgiveness and hope.

“I think if not for God, we may have all fallen apart long ago,” Vanna wrote on a website dedicated to raising funds for Queena’s huge medical expenses (joinqueena.com). She believes that she and her daughter have been called by Christ to be light for the world (as Matthew 5:14 describes). She says she knows that this is what is most important. It has been difficult, but she has learned to trust Jesus for Queena’s future.

Best of all, she has witnessed the healing that God has given to Queena’s heart. Despite what happened to her (and remembering it), and despite her handicaps, Queena has a joyful spirit. She has an unshakable determination and a constant smile that has inspired adults and children all around the world.

How did it happen? Are people like Vanna and Queena specially chosen and prepared by Abba-Father for this? Would you or I be able to choose faith in God if something like this happened to us?

All of us are chosen to have this kind of faith, and all of us are prepared by God for whatever we’re going to face. Faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Trust is a decision we make. The kind of faith that Vanna has comes from her decision to trust God and her desire to lean on him. She is a child who has a healthy relationship with her Divine Daddy.

We too can have this kind of faith for every trial we endure. There’s a supernatural strength that’s given to us by the Father through the Holy Spirit. Having a personal relationship with the Holy Spirit (also known as “baptism in the Spirit”) makes a huge difference! So does turning to faith-filled friends, a spiritual director, and possibly even a good therapist. When any of these are missing from our lives, we suffer more.

The heart of the Father

Vanna nearly lost her child to violence. Abba Father knows what it is to lose a Son to violence. But not all violence is physical. Spiritual violence — the destruction of a soul — is a terrible, terrible tragedy. Many parents have lost their children to the faithlessness of today’s culture. Abba-Father knows what this loss feels like, far more than we do. He is more upset by it than any human parent could ever feel. He longs to spend eternity with every son or daughter he’s created, and he knows the mortal danger their souls face if they continue to stay away from him.

We look at a violent abuser like Kendrick or his mother or his stepfather and we see anger that repulses us. Abba sees a wounded soul in danger of being lost forever.

We look at abortion-rights women screaming against pro-life Christians and we see their hatred and stubborn refusal to accept the truth about abortion. Abba sees lost children who need healing and deliverance from their fears.

We look at shooters who kill dozens of school children and steal every child’s right to feel safe. Abba sees these killers as children who were not safe in their own homes.

He is not justifying the evil they do. He does not excuse their sins nor overlook them. However, if only he could reach them and embrace them and heal them, then there would be less violence in the world. He cries for them, longing for entry into their hearts.

Like any good parent.

Have you ever loved someone who refused to accept your love? How do you feel about it? You’re loving them passionately with a suffering love like Jesus experienced in his Passion. Did you know that if someone has nailed you for embracing Jesus and rejecting their faithless lifestyle, you have invisible stigmata? Think about it: When someone refuses to let you reach out to them with your love and God’s, you are nailed with Jesus on his Cross. The pain you suffer is your stigmata.

At first, when someone rejects our love, we feel bad for ourselves. We want to be in a mutually loving relationship. We hate rejection. We mourn what we desire but cannot have. Perfect love, however — Abba’s love within us — makes us feel bad for those who reject us. We mourn for them because we know that deep down in their hearts they desire to be loved completely and unconditionally, and we know that they have closed themselves off from it through their bad decisions and misconceptions and anger-fed attitudes.

This is a love that’s united to Abba’s heart. When we unite ourselves so intimately to his heart that we mourn for lost souls with tears, he smiles. He receives our unity as a hug, which is an echo of the hug that he is giving to us.

Today’s Exercise: Pray for Lost Souls

Write a list of all the lost souls in your life. Then pray for them using the following prayer or your own adaptation of it. I recommend praying it immediately before the Rosary, which is the Blessed Mother’s weapon for breaking the strongholds of the demonic forces that have imprisoned your loved ones.

But first recall who you are to the Father:

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
      because the Lord has anointed me
      to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
      to proclaim freedom for the captives
      and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
      and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
      and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
      instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
      instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
      instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
      a planting of the Lord
      for the display of his splendor.
(Isaiah 61:1-3 NIV)

A Prayer to Free the Captives

Father God, I pray that You would teach me to yield myself to Your Spirit. Holy Spirit, teach me to trust You as a living Person who leads my life and my prayers. Help me to understand Your ministry and power. I long to see a demonstration of Your power in my life just as the Apostle Paul did (1 Corinthians 2:2-5).

I thank you that You indwell, seal, sanctify, and empower me. You guide me, teach me, and pray through me. Help me to partner with You in everything I do. Transform my life completely with Your power. Make me sensitive to Your promptings, and teach me to partner with You in prayer in a deeper way. Bring effectiveness to my prayers for the salvation of ______.

I thank you that through Jesus Christ the darkness vanishes as I pray for lost souls. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for convicting the world of sin and for inspiring righteousness. I pray that You will soften the hearts of ______. Remove the spiritual blindness from their eyes, and help them to understand the truth about You. Bring them to repentance and salvation (Acts 3:19). Help me to be Your light in their lives. Help me to let my light shine before them, that they may see my good deeds and glorify my Father in heaven (Mathew 5:16). Show me how to be Your witness and how to show acts of love to them. I believe that You are working in their lives even as I pray. I promise to persevere in prayer until ______ are safely in the Father’s arms.

In the holy name of Jesus, amen.

NEXT: Please post (in the comments below) a question or share how this chapter ministered to you. Let's connect!

© 2020 by Terry A. Modica
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Joseph Debono
Joseph Debono
November 14, 2020 5:04 pm

I have not only enjoyed reading these twenty four chapters but I have learned more of how much God the Father loved us and still loves us. Looking forward for the remaining six chapters. God bless!

Brad Matheny
Brad Matheny
Reply to  Joseph Debono
November 15, 2020 7:47 am

Thank you Terry for compiling this book. It is an excellent journey in learning how to become closer to Abba our Father. I have enjoyed with anticipation as each chapter has been released. Looking forward to the next 6 and praying for great inspiration for you at your retreat to complete this important work. Many thanks and God bless.