How Do I Know When My Actions Reveal I’m Not Trusting the Lord to Answer My Prayers?

Question from a reader:

I just read Doreen Button’s comments on your website relating to a person worried about her loved one’s salvation. I know that once we give something to the Lord it is wrong to take it back and keep being anxious about it. My question is this: I am dwelling on a loved one’s salvation and have read this wonderful article and given it to the Lord, but still want to do something more, like give them Scripture to read. But if I do this, am I not trusting in the Lord with my prayer? I tend to be an impatient and OCD person which makes it worse.

Answer from Heidi McLaughlin, EPM staff:

When it comes to a loved one’s salvation, it can be so tricky, can’t it? We don’t want to push them further away by sending them things or constantly talking about the gospel with them, but we also want to be sure that we are following any promptings of the Holy Spirit to share with them. I really think you are already on the right track. Keep praying that God will guide you and trust that He will. 

I also think that it is very normal for us to give something to the Lord and then take it back and keep being anxious about it.  Our sanctification can be seen when each time we grab it back, we more quickly hand it back to the Lord. And gradually, we find that we become more patient and trusting. It’s a normal process—seldom once and done. So don’t be too hard on yourself. Keep praying and keep giving it to God. Send verses if you feel prompted to do so but also be aware of when it might be your compulsion pushing you; listen for the still small voice of the Holy Spirit, and obey when He might be saying “wait.” The more you practice listening, the easier it will become to discern His nudge from your urge.

Whether or not it is your child you are concerned about, I hope some of the wisdom shared in these additional articles might be of help to you: 

How One Mom Prayed for Her Prodigal Child, and Her Encouragement for Other Parents

I Worry Over My Teen Daughter’s Salvation. Do You Have Any Advice?

Heidi McLaughlin is a ministry assistant at Eternal Perspective Ministries. She oversees EPM’s ministry of sending Randy’s books to prisoners.