How to Talk to a Friend Who Doesn’t Believe In Jesus
Do you have a loved one, a friend or neighbor who is not a believer?
Have you have carefully looked for openings to share your faith? Perhaps, many times . . . over many years. You wait and pray and wait some more.
It would be great if a single, gentle nudge from you led the person to believe in Jesus but it doesn’t usually work like that.
Can you imagine…
Paul standing in front of the Roman Governor, and Jewish king, and their entourage. Even though he was risking his life to do so, Paul continued to proclaim the Gospel message of Jesus, which led to the following dialogue:
Festus shouted, “Paul, you are insane. Too much study has made you crazy!”
But Paul replied, “I am not insane, Most Excellent Festus. What I am saying is the sober truth. And King Agrippa knows about these things. I speak boldly, for I am sure these events are all familiar to him, for they were not done in a corner! King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do—”
Agrippa interrupted him. “Do you think you can persuade me to become a Christian so quickly?”
Paul replied, “Whether quickly or not, I pray to God that both you and everyone here in this audience might become the same as I am, except for these chains.”
Then the king, the governor, Bernice, and all the others stood and left.Acts 26:24–29
Paul could not make anyone believe in Jesus. He could only tell his story about the way Jesus had changed his life and leave rest to the Holy Spirit working in the person’s life.
So, like Paul, you and I are called to tell our stories of faith with hope. And then we continue to pray that “whether quickly or not” they will come to faith.
A Prayer for a Friend Who Doesn’t Believe in Jesus
Father, thank you! You have given me a beautiful story of faith to share. You have changed my life in amazing ways and I’m sure in ways of which I’m not even aware. Your grace is amazing. Your Holy Spirit a blessing . . . giving me strength, hope, peace, joy, and so much more.
I want my loved ones, my friends, my neighbors—everyone to know, love, and trust You. I want them to believe in Jesus. I want them to experience the peace that passes understanding, courage to fight their fears, strength to follow Your will, and hope to face an uncertain future. I want them to feel Your love.
So, I ask that You will help me gently and respectfully tell all that You have done for me. Please give me the courage to share my story . . . the hard parts and the healed parts, the broken and the restored. And by the power of Your Spirit, soften their hearts and work in their lives to want what I have. I pray that they will want to know about this Jesus who has changed my life. Your Word says that You “want everyone to be saved and understand the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4) Thank you! I believe Your Spirit is at work and “whether quickly or not” many will come to believe in Jesus. In whose name I pray. Amen.
How has believing in Jesus changed your life? What difference has He made in the way you live? What is your story of hope.
Peter wrote to the Jewish Christians who had been driven out of Jerusalem by persecution:
Worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way.1 Peter 3:15–16a
And the Holy Spirit used those Christians to touch lives with the Gospel of Jesus.
So, you and I can be encouraged. We can do what we are called to do and prayerfully trust the Holy Spirit to do the rest.
On today’s note write:
I will share my story of faith and hope . . . and I will pray.
God bless you today as you tell everyone about God’s love and the hope you have in Jesus.
Click here to read the rest of Acts 26.
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Just like Paul, we face all kinds of uncertainty in our lives but we are called to bear witness to the TRUTH and when we truly come to know the Lord Jesus Christ in our lives, we are called to proclaim the good news. Our starting point is ‘love’ and to tell our own story of how Jesus has transformed us, so that others may come to believe. We shall be guided by His spirit to open our hearts and minds to explain why we feel the ‘joy’ of our risen Lord even during the difficult times – thank you Deb for your beautiful insights. God bless you and have a lovely day.
Angela – Ireland
Thank you, Angela! You are so right. If we start with love and the message of all God has done for us . . . maybe those we witness to will want what we have and turn to Jesus as well. God be with you and bless you, my friend!
Good morning, Deb! What a beautiful day the Lord has made for us today!
This post touched me and has encouraged me to pray even more diligently and constantly for our dear friend, Paul, who just had his 81st birthday. He says he’s an atheist, and he’s told us his family story as he grew up with atheist parents from Austria. He became an engineer and is very analytical and math-minded. Yet he committed to marrying a Christian woman and raising their two children in the Christian faith. AND he attends worship faithfully with them! But he doesn’t say the creed or have any desire to receive the blessings of Baptism or Holy Communion — yet! He does say the Lord’s Prayer! He and I played in the handbell choir for a decade together and got to know each other in our small group Bible study (which he also faithfully attends!). So the Spirit is working and we just keep Paul in prayer. I told him when he’s ready to be baptized and profess his faith as God’s dear child, we’d like to be his sponsors! How I pray that day will come! Just wanted to share! Pray for Paul! Pray for the Spirit to keep working in his heart. (And his family to be persistent and patient!) God bless!
Hi, Jane. I’m joining you in prayer for Paul. What a blessing that he has chosen to be honest with you all. I’m sure there are many like him that we assume have given their hearts to Christ Jesus but are just involved in church for whatever reasons. It’s a blessing that you all are praying and I’m consider it a blessing that you have invited us to join you in lifting up your friend. God bless you all!
We can all gently and respectfully share our stories of faith with others, and pray for the Holy Spirit to do the rest.
Thank you SO MUCH for lifting prayers up for Paul!