My role in answered prayers?

Hey guys,

There are a few things I’ve been praying about for a few years but have yet to see them pass. I’m sure they will happen but unsure if I need to do something about it.

For example, I’ve prayed for a few of my friends who weren’t raised in faith and am curious whether it’s the Holy Spirit’s job to direct them or if I should say something to them.

Basically, I’m not sure of my role when I ask something in prayer. Should I let God do his work or should I take steps to move forward?

Thanks for any advice you can give!

It is the role of the laity to evangelize. However, we have to be prayerful and prudent about how we do that. Sometimes in our zeal to “convert” a friend or loved one, we may come on too strong too soon, and end up driving that person away.

An approach I learned in Cursillo was to “make a friend, be a friend, bring a friend to Christ” — in that order. In other words, normally we need to earn a person’s trust and treat them with Christ’s love before we have the “right” to have them listen to us in matters of faith.

Another useful idea is to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead. There have been times when I was not sure it was the “right” time to broach a religious subject. I would pray to the Holy Spirit, asking Him to let me follow His lead, to let me know whether it was time to speak or remain silent. I would ask Him to allow me to be His instrument, and if He desired that I speak directly to a person, that He give me a clear opening/opportunity to do so. And sometimes that did happen — for example, I was given a few moments of privacy with that person (when we had been previously surrounded by others), or the conversation steered itself in the right direction without a lot of effort on my part.

So there are times to let the Holy Spirit do the work, and times to move forward. It’s a matter of prayerful discernment and sensitivity to how receptive your friend might be.

St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the Gospel constantly; if necessary, use words.”

My belief is always “do our best and trust God for the rest”.
For example, if I am looking for a job, I will send out as many resumes as possible, network with as many friends as possible, then pray and trust God for the rest.

Trust God is important but do my best is critical.

I have been praying for my brother to be saved for many years. In addition to my prayers, I also talk to him. He is far away in Asia, I have to talk to him on the phone. He always said he would go to local RCIA class but never took action.

A month ago, I traveled back and talked to my brother in person. I also went to the local church talked to the priest and the nun in charge of RCIA class. I gave my brother’s and sister in law’s name and phone number to the nun.

After I came back to States, I made follow up phone calls. I was told the nun has called my brother numerous times. My niece said she was so embrassed of receiving so many calls that she would make sure to bring her parents to the RCIA class. They finally went. Would they continue? I certainly pray so.

My point is that we always have to do our best. Of course, we cannot approach people in any annoying way. But we can approach them out of love and courtesy.

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