I almost took the pious road and put prayer as #1, but I think even before you start praying for God to change someone you should remember that it is not about you. As much as you want to help others you’ve got to do it for them, not because it makes you feel good or look good in God’s eyes or the eyes of the world.
Prayer is not about changing God’s mind, but actually serves to change you. It helps you to enter into the mind and heart of God, relinquishing your desire for control and learning to depending totally on Him. He has a plan for everything and everyone, and through prayer you can learn to see His will and say with Jesus “not my will but yours be done” (Lk 22:42).
Having patience is very difficult, for we live in a society that demands instant gratification. When we don’t see results we give up. But let me warn you. If you haven’t learned from your own personal experience already, God likes to work slowly. His time is not the same as our time. Nevertheless, He knows each persons heart and never gives up on them. You’ve got to be patient, even when you feel like no change is ever going to happen. It’s often right after you’re about to call it quits that God finally seems to come to the rescue.
Lesson #4Love, Don’t Judge
The love we have received from God was given freely and unconditionally. You are in no position to judge who is worthy of that love. It is a direct contradiction of all that God has tried to teach you. Your love must be given freely to any and everyone who you encounter. You have to remember that it is God loving them through you. Everything you do must be done in love.
When you are leading people to life change you will be forced to make sacrifices, some minor others very painful. It is a natural part of the process of dying to self. Love is a gift of self and that requires sacrifice. The most effective evangelizers are not just teachers and preachers, but those who bear witness by their lived example and sacrificial love for those they lead.
You have to remember that though you are trying to lead people to God, He is also at work. And though it is hard to watch people suffer, especially those you love, it is often through their suffering that they return to God or find Him for the first time. Sometimes you’ve got to be willing to let suffering work its magic on their souls.
Don’t give up! Sometimes you may grow weary and think nothing is ever going to change. That’s the evil one trying to convince you to throw in the towel. How many times did the Israelites turn away from God? And how many times did He welcome them back? God never gives up on you, so why should you give up on those who you are trying to lead to Him?