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God changes hearts. He brings us out of darkness into His marvelous Light. We have first-hand experience with this truth, and that’s why it humbles us so greatly to see others in need of this same type of change.
Do you have a friend trapped in sin? Pray the words of 2 Cor. 4:6 on their behalf.
While these words do not guarantee you’ll see change in your friend, there is something powerful about praying the very words of God and leaning into His sovereign work in our lives.
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” 2 Cor. 4:6
1. ACKNOWLEDGE THAT GOD IS THE ONE WHO PIERCES THE DARKNESS – not you!
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness…”
The only person who can overcome the darkness is God. And he brings his light on his timetable. He’s in charge; you aren’t. Acknowledging God as the Light helps you let go of control and grab onto him. It also helps you set aside unrealistic expectations or personal preferences for how certain situations play out.
2. ASK GOD TO PIERCE THE DARKNESS OF YOUR FRIEND’S HEART
“…has shone in our hearts…”
True conviction concerning the hideousness of sin is brought about only by the Spirit of God. You cannot nag your friend into lasting, eternal change. Trust the Spirit because he’s really good at his job. In fact, in the previous chapter, Paul says the ministry of the Spirit is glorious as he brings new life (2 Cor. 3:6-8).
True conviction reveals the hideousness of sin in comparison to the beauty of God. When the Spirit of God shines into the heart of your friend, they will come face-to-face with God’s glory. And when this happens God’s glory makes their sin look very ugly to them (Read 2 Cor. 3:16-18 on what this beauty looks like in us).
True conviction breaks the heart. So, when you ask God to pierce the heart of your friend, be sure to be there as a “soft place” for your friend to fall.
3. ASK GOD TO SHOW YOUR FRIEND THE FACE OF JESUS CHRIST
“…to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
That’s what you ultimately want, right? It is not enough for someone to admit the darkness of their sin; they must also admit their need for Light. In this passage, Paul reveals the glorious Light is found in the “face of Jesus Christ.”
Pray that your friend will leave the darkness and run toward the Light as their true source of life and joy.
But here’s the thing. This passage reveals that we all need this prayer. The more you meditate on this passage, the more you see in yourself areas of darkness that need to be pierced by God.
It is impossible to keep a grudge, nurse pride, or barricade our hearts from further wounds if you desperately acknowledge that God alone commands the Light.
You cannot help but surrender to God’s will in a painful relationship when you are seeking after God’s glory and not personal gain or convenience.
But when you see fruit of God’s Spirit working in your friend, you can joyfully claim 2 Cor. 4:7 – “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”
Are you praying for a friend today? Leave a comment and let us know what other Scripture passages have guided your prayers!
Check out last week’s Ministry Monday here – The Ministry of Thankfulness
This week, I’m linking up with Gracelaced! Check it out here!