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Praying for Unsaved Loved Ones

Praying for Unsaved Loved Ones

Lee Strobel explains the importance of praying for the salvation of your loved ones, and persevering in prayer for even the most unlikely converts among your friends and family.
Original Air Date: October 15, 2020

Excerpt:

Pastor Lee Strobel: I mean, is there someone you love, but you’ve kind of given up on? Is there someone you love whose eternity that you are desperately concerned about but you’re not – you’re not following that up with prayer?

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: Pastor Lee Strobel will encourage you to continue praying for your friends and family who don’t know the Lord. This is Focus on the Family with your host Focus president and author, Jim Daly. And I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: John, I believe that as Christians, one of the most painful things we experience is knowing that some of the people we love do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. And it seems like, the more we talk about the benefits of being a Christian, the more closed off they become. Even Jesus experienced this. In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus said, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown, and among his relatives, and his own family.” That’s straight from the New Living Translation. Today, Pastor Lee Strobel will share with us the importance of praying for that loved one. And who knows? God might put someone else in their life. Someone who might be the one to lead them to Christ. And that’s just fine if it gets the job done.

John: Yeah, whatever it takes. And, uh, Lee Strobel is a best-selling author. He’s been on this broadcast a number of times. Here he is now speaking at Woodlands Church in the Houston area where he’s a teaching pastor on today’s episode of Focus on the Family.

Lee: Well, we’re in the second week of a little series called If Jesus Lived in My House. And I want to suggest that if Jesus physically lived with us in our house, one of the things we would notice is that He would pray. And He would pray specifically, and fervently, and continually, and faithfully and expectantly for spiritually confused people all over the village, all over town, all over the neighborhood. He would pray for the salvation of spiritually lost people.

James 5:16 says this: “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” And I’ve seen this for myself time after time how God answers prayer in totally unexpected ways. Now, I do understand when we’re praying for people who are spiritually confused and we’re praying that they’ll come to faith in Jesus Christ, that our prayers cannot force them against their will to bend their knee to Jesus. People have free will. They have the choice, each of us, to make whether or not we’re going to follow Christ or not. So, I don’t think our prayers can force someone to make that decision.

But I do believe James when he says, “The prayers of righteous person make a difference.” They make a difference. I like the way Mother Teresa put it. She said, “When I pray, coincidences happen. And when I stop, they don’t.” The prayers that we offer for spiritually confused people are powerful, and they’re incredible in their power.

I think of the story of a woman named Amelia in England in the year 1849. Her 17-year-old son was spiritually wandering. He kind of walked away from his Christian faith. Maybe you know someone, maybe you have a child or a grandchild who’s going through that experience. And so, she was, as a mom, obviously quite concerned about the eternity of her son. And she was, um – had to go out of town on a long trip. And so, she left on that trip. And while she was on that trip, she felt a great compulsion to pray for her son. And I don’t mean just throw a casual prayer up to Heaven. I mean she went off by herself, and she prayed and she prayed and she prayed for hours and hours and hours for the soul of her son until she felt God in her soul confirming He had heard the prayer, He was going to take action.

And at the same moment that she was praying, back there, miles away at their home, her son was reading a book. And in that book, it talked about how Jesus’ death on the cross paid the price for all of the sin of humanity. And the words that jumped out at him were Jesus words on the cross, where He says, “It is finished.” It is finished. The payment is made for the sins of the world.

And so, this young man said, “Well, okay. Well, if it is finished, then what’s there left to do?” And he realized the one thing left to do was for him to receive this forgiveness of Christ, for him to personally receive Jesus as his forgiver and as his leader.

He thought of John 1:12, “But as many as received Him, to them, He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” He had to receive. So he got on his knees, and in a prayer of repentance and faith, he received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. And so, a couple weeks later, his mother returns home, and she opens the front door of the home to come in. And he sees her, and he runs over to her, and he wants to tell her the good news. But she says to him, “Son, I already know. I already know.”

Well, that young man’s name was James Hudson Taylor. And James Hudson Taylor turned out to be one of history’s greatest missionaries. He spent 51 years in China. He learned the language. He learned the customs. He traveled all over China, founding schools, founding churches, bringing people to faith in Christ. One historian said this, “More than any other human being, he made the greatest contribution to the cause of world mission in the 19th century.” And people today in China and elsewhere are coming to faith because of the seeds planted through God in the life of Hudson Taylor.

And by the way, when Hudson Taylor was elderly and he could no longer get out of bed, he was bedridden, you know what he did? He had a map of China put on the wall next to his bed with pins stuck in it of the major population centers because he wanted to continue to pray specifically for those cities, even though he was too ill to get up and do anything else.

So, what I want to ask us is what supernatural chain of events might your prayers trigger? Just as a loving mother’s prayers for her son started a movement through Hudson Taylor that continues to echo today, what supernatural chain might your prayers initiate?

We need God’s help for this. This is a spiritual battle. C.S. Lewis said, “There is no neutral ground in the universe. Every square inch, every split second is claimed by God and counterclaimed by Satan.”

This is a spiritual battle. Ultimately, it’s not our clever Gospel illustrations. It’s not our apologetic answers or evidence that we offer. Ultimately, what brings people of faith in Jesus Christ is the Holy Spirit convicting people of their sin and drawing them into the kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit can and does use us in the process. And our prayers, I believe, make a difference in the process.

So, what I’d like to do – I want to take you through a little exercise. I want to think through, um, five areas of influence that you have. We all have a number of acquaintances and buddies and relationships and so forth. I’m going to walk you through five categories, and I want you to think in each of these categories of the people you know who you’re pretty sure are not followers of Christ. I want you to kind of bring their faces to your mind.

So, the first sphere of influence are your friends: people you play golf with, people you see at the club, people you play tennis with, maybe people you haven’t seen in a while from high school that you’re in contact through Facebook. Think of all the friends who you know. Bring the picture of them to your mind if you’re pretty sure that they’re spiritually confused, they don’t know Jesus.

Second, our family. Who in your extended family are you pretty sure is not safely in the kingdom of God? Bring their face to your mind.

And then our workplace, whether it’s an office or a job site or whatever – think of your co-workers. Think of your colleagues. Who among them are you pretty sure is not a believer?

And then your neighborhood. Who among your neighbors do you know that you’re pretty sure are not spiritually saved?

And then your school. You know, some of you are getting a graduate degree, you go to school part time or you’re in college or high school or whatever. Think of your classmates. Think of the administrators. Think of the principals and so. Who are you pretty sure does not know Christ? Picture all of those people. Then let me ask you this question. If Jesus physically lived in your house, and tonight, He knocked on the door of your bedroom, and He walks in, and He says, “You know what? I am going to answer every single prayer that you prayed last week.” If He were to say that to you tonight, would there be anybody new in the kingdom of God tomorrow? Would any of those faces that came into your mind be in God’s kingdom tomorrow? Are we praying?

There’re half a dozen reasons – I’m going to give you five reasons why we pray for other people. No. 1, because Jesus modeled it. Jesus modeled it. You know, many translations – I don’t know which translation you have in your Bible – um, many translations, when they talk about the crucifixion of Jesus and Luke 23:34 translate the verse this way. “But Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they’re doing.” But the imperfect tense of the Greek there, I think, is a little more nuanced than that. And I think the New American Standard Bible does the best of capturing that imperfect tense of the Greek when it translates a verse this way. Again, Jesus, hanging on the cross, atoning for the sins of the world, being tortured to death and He says – and the verse says, “But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them for, they do not know what they are doing.” He was saying it. He was continuing to repeat it. He was saying it over and over again, not just once. It was a practice – over and over again he is praying, “Father, forgive them. Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” all through the torture of the crucifixion while the nails were being driven through His hands, while the nails were being driven through His feet, He kept repeating that prayer for people, so spiritually depraved they were, torturing to death the Son of God. And British Pastor John Stott says, “In light of that, how can we justify not praying consistently and fervently, continually, expectantly?”

Jesus modeled prayers for spiritually lost people, and then the Apostle Paul followed suit. Romans 10:1, Paul says, “Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.” So, Paul picks up the baton and Paul is praying for a group of people that don’t know Jesus personally. And we need to pick up that baton, and we need to pray for others as well.

Second reason we pray for others is because it is a pure expression of love, a pure expression of love. Richard Foster said this – this is an incredible quote – he said, “If we truly love people, we will desire for them far more than it is within our power to give them and this will lead us to prayer.”

I mean, is there someone you love, but you’ve kind of given up on? Is there someone you love whose eternity that you are desperately concerned about but you’re not – you’re not following that up with prayer?

John: Lee Strobel on today’s episode of Focus on the Family. And this reminder, that you can get Lee’s book on this topic. It’s called The Unexpected Adventure: Taking Everyday Risks to Talk with People about Jesus. And we’ll send that out to you when you make a gift of any amount to Focus on the Family today. Call 800-A-FAMILY. 800-232-6459. Or donate and request the book at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Let’s go ahead return now to this message from Lee Strobel.

Lee: I know a man who came to faith at one of the first Billy Graham rallies ever. I think 1948 or something like that, and the evangelist Billy Graham did a rally. This guy came to faith. And his first thought is, “I want to reach my brother with the Gospel.” His brother was a very hardhearted guy. He was a graduate of Harvard Law School, and he was a very successful patent attorney in Los Angeles. And so, his brother approached him with the Gospel. The attorney was not interested, kind of shut him down. And so, what – what could his brother do? Well, he could pray. And so, he began praying for his brother. Well, he told me, “Lee, I prayed for my brother – I counted – for 48 years and 348 days.” Forty-eight years and 348 days, and saw no response, until one day he thought, “Well, gosh, this guy Strobel is law background. He wrote a book about kind of the legal evidence for Christianity. Maybe my lawyer brother – might help him.” So, he gave him a copy of my book. His brother at the time had contracted cancer. He read the book, but he was dying. And in the hospital, even with the respirator in where he could no longer speak, his brother said, “You’ve heard the evidence. You’ve seen the evidence. You’ve heard the Gospel. Have you received Jesus?” And he couldn’t speak, but he nodded yes, he had. And then, short time later, he died. And I said to this guy – I said, “Well, 48 years and 348 days, you ever want to give up on him?” And he looked at me like, “That’s the stupidest question I’ve ever heard.” He said, “Of course not. He’s my brother.” But how many of us have given up on a brother? How many – how many of us have given up on someone we love? I think this guy would say, “Don’t give up. Don’t give up. Keep reaching out. Keep praying.”

Friends, love does not give up on people. Love perseveres. Love is patient. Love does not write people off, even when they seem on the surface to be unlikely candidates for conversion.

Third reason we pray for other people is because as we pray for others, God inevitably does something in us. He does something in us. Romans 5 verses 2-5 say this. “Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they will help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character. And character sharpens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment, for we know how dearly God loves us because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.”

In other words, as we endure through the years in praying for people who are spiritually confused, something is happening supernaturally, but it’s happening also in us.

Our lives are changing. Our characters are changing. Our patience, our perseverance are being developed. We are becoming a different person because of this prayer exercise of devoting our lives to praying for other people.

And God will take you through a period, and it may be hard as you pour out your prayers for someone you love. It may be frustrating at the time. But God is going to use it, and you will emerge different, stronger, your character different in ways you never could have become without that experience. God changes us for the good when we pray for the good of others.

Fourth reason we pray for other people is because God can, transform our attitude and maybe even our relationships. In other words, God doesn’t say, “Just pray for people you love.” Jesus said in Matthew 5:44, “But I tell you, pray for your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” So, are we praying for our, quote, unquote, “enemies”? Are we praying for that former spouse? Are we praying for that business competitor who’s trying to drive you into bankruptcy? Are we praying for the father that disappointed you? Are we praying for that reckless driver on the freeway that cuts you off?

Friends, you can’t pray for another person’s salvation for very long and still maintain a bitter or hateful attitude toward them. It’s like if you’re in a tug-of-war with somebody else, and you’re pulling and tugging and so forth, it’s as if you just drop your end of the rope. You just drop your end of the rope. Why? Because you cannot fold your hands in prayer if your hands are gripped on a rope that you’re pulling back and forth in competition with someone else. And when we drop that rope and we begin to pray for other people, our bitterness drains away.

And then finally, the fifth reason we pray for other people is because God is still in the salvation business. God is still in the salvation business. Look at 2 Corinthians 6, the first two verses, says, “As God’s co-worker, we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For He says, ‘In the time of my favor, I heard you. And the day of salvation, I helped you.’ I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.”

Friends, we pray for other people because God is still in the business of changing their life and rewriting their eternal destinations, even among those people who we look at, those faces that we reviewed earlier, and some of them, we go, “That’s an unlikely candidate.”

That’s what people probably said about me when I was an atheist.

I was talking recently with a guy who was one of my colleagues at The Chicago Tribune back when I was an atheist. And he said, “Yeah,” – he said, “Lee, I always thought you’d become the editor of The Chicago Tribune. You were the last guy I thought would chuck it all and go around telling people about Jesus.”

I was a hard case. Maybe you were a hard case. Maybe you were an unlikely candidate. I think of my father-in-law. You talk about unlikely candidates, Al was an unlikely candidate. Al was tough as leather. And Al was an atheist, and his daughter was not a Christian. And I was an atheist. So, everything was great until his daughter became a Christian and then I became a Christian. And the first thing I said is, “Hey, we got to go tell Al! Let’s go tell Al about Jesus. Oh, this will be great!” So, we go in to tell Al. Al listens to me tell the story. And then he says, “Lee, hey. Look, good for you. If that helps you, fine. But here’s the deal. Don’t ever talk to me again about Jesus, okay?” Okay, yeah, thanks, Al. So, the next day Leslie said, “Did you pray for Al today?” I said, “Well, I prayed for him yesterday.” She said, “Well, I know but he won’t talk to us, what else are we going to do? Let’s pray for him.” Okay, we prayed for Al. Next day – “You pray for Al?” I said, “You know I did that” – what else are we – Okay, pray for Al. A week later – “Are you still pray….” – “Yes, I’m still praying for Al. What else am I going to do?”

We prayed for Al for 20 years, and I don’t think we missed many days. And then he had a stroke, and the doctor told us he’s gonna die. He’s gonna have another stroke, may come tomorrow, next week, next month, gonna be soon, and this one’s gonna kill him. So, we took him home. And he was in a La-Z-Boy chair in the living room. And I sent out – his wife was a Christian and my wife – I said, “Go shopping for a while. Give me one last shot at Al.” And they left. And I said, “Al, do realize you’re dying? I don’t want to be in heaven without you. Your wife and your daughter and your grandchildren, Al, we do not want to be in heaven without you. Please.” And I cajoled him, and I reasoned with him, and I shared the Gospel with him. And I tried – and nothing seemed to penetrate this wall that was there. And finally, under my breath – because he was near death, he couldn’t hear very well – so he couldn’t hear me, but I said out loud, I said, “Satan, unhand him,” ’cause I felt like Satan had his claws wrapped around his ankle, was gonna pull him off. Then I reached out to him, talked to him, took about 45 minutes. And then finally, I sensed some softening. I sensed some receptivity. And finally, I said, “Al, you want to receive Jesus right now, don’t you?” And with tears pooling in his eyes, he nodded. He said, “Yes, I do.” And so Al Hurdler, one of the most unlikely candidates for conversion I’ve ever met, after 89 years of atheism, opened his heart, received forgiveness through Jesus Christ. And we will be with him for eternity in heaven. And I almost wanted to give up on him a thousand times.

(APPLAUSE)

Lee: Do you have somebody like that in your life, an unlikely candidate? I mean, if Al were here, he would say, “Don’t give up.”

You know, right after Al received Christ, his wife and my wife came home, and I told them the news, and we started the celebration. Figured, if celebrations go on in heaven, we ought to have our own celebration. We’re cooking a meal to celebrate, and then we notice something’s wrong with Al. His right side was sagging. He’s having another stroke. So, we called 911, and an ambulance came. And they put Al in the ambulance. And Leslie got in the ambulance with them, and I got in the car with his wife and trailed behind. The ambulance got to the hospital. They put Al on a gurney, and they’re wheeling him into the emergency room. And he looked up, and he said to Leslie, “Tell Lee thanks.” And he went into that emergency room, and that stroke ended up destroying his mind. And he lingered for a while, and then he died. Al came to faith in the last cogent conversation of his life.

But you know what? It’s never too late in this world. It’s never too late for your friend, for your grandfather, for your brother, for your neighbor, for your buddy at work. It’s not too late for them. So, we ought to be praying consistently, fervently, expectantly, faithfully for people we love who don’t know Christ, even the unlikely candidates.

John: And with that encouragement, that prompt, we’re going to have to close off today’s episode of Focus on the Family. But on our website, you’re going to be able to hear how Lee wrapped up this message by giving some additional ideas on how to pray for those unsaved loved ones in your life. And he’ll also offer some follow-up steps that you can take. You’ll find all of that and more at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: John, I love that idea of praying for unlikely candidates, like Lee’s father-in-law, Al, because only God knows a person’s heart. No one is beyond His love. So, let me challenge you, start praying for your unlikely candidate today. And if you would like to talk about some of the challenges you’re facing in this area, give us a call. We have a very friendly group of men and women on the phones, and they would be honored to listen to your concerns and pray with you. And if your situation warrants it, they’ll schedule a free callback from one of our caring, Christian counselors. Please allow us to serve you in that way. And consider donating to Focus on the Family, to help us minister to families just like yours. When you make a donation of any amount, I’d like to send you Lee Strobel’s book called The Unexpected Adventure: Taking Everyday Risks to Talk with People about Jesus. If you enjoyed this broadcast, you’ll love the book. Get your copy today.

John: Yeah, and that book is set up in a devotional format, so it’s really easy to read in small segments every day. And Lee and his co-author Mark Mittelberg, who’s been on this broadcast as well, share a lot of great stories to inspire you. Get your copy of the book when you call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. That’s 800-232-6459. Or donate online and request The Unexpected Adventure at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And when you’re online with us, check out our brand new, improved Focus on the Family broadcast app. It is a terrific way to access not just this broadcast and our archives, but a lot of great content across the ministry. It’s all available to you through the new app. Next time, Jerrad Lopes encourages dads to step up and become the spiritual leader in their homes.

Teaser:

Mr. Jerrad Lopes: In my mind for years thought I was going to be the best dad in the world and then I became married and I became a husband and I became a father and I’m like, “Oh, man. I’m not nearly as good at this as I pictured that I would be.”

Today's Guests

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Hear real life stories of parents who have made the decision to choose life even though the circumstances were overwhelming. You’ll see why “ALL” life is precious to God and why choosing life is always the right decision!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

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Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

Have you ever wondered what a baby looked like in the womb? With today’s technology, Moms and Dads can see the baby’s heartbeat, facial expressions, and movements! You’ll find out why more women choose life once they hear their baby’s heartbeat and realize it’s a real living human!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 5: It’s Going to be Amazing!

After a couple has chosen life, hear the heartwarming stories of children that culture would have cast aside, yet are making tremendous impacts in their communities. Whether the diagnosis was adverse or the circumstances were difficult, these stories will inspire you to come along side of families who have chosen life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

So, after all you’ve seen through the SeeLife ‘21 Episodic journey; what can you do now? We’ll share how you can partner with some amazing organizations that are making significant impacts in the pro-life movement! You want to Celebrate Life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 2

Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. She’s been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

Effective Habits to Embrace in Parenting

To be an effective parent, you must be a leader in your child’s life, guiding with a gentle hand and setting a solid example. Dr. Randy Schroeder provides the insight you need to be a leader-parent. As he explores the foundational Rs—relationship, routines, responsibilities, and rules—you’ll better understand the role you play in your child’s life. You’ll learn great phrases to employ such as “Either/Or/You Decide” and “When You/Then You”. While there is no perfect parent, this nuts-and-bolts material will equip you to lead your child in a loving, confident manner.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. Randy Schroeder

Dr. Randy Schroeder

Dr. Randy Schroeder has spent more than four decades writing, counseling, speaking, and teaching. For nearly 25 years, he was Vice President of Student Personnel Services, Dean of Students, and a professor of pastoral counseling at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind. He’s also led a successful counseling practice helping individuals, couples, and families to thrive in their lives and relationships.

Cover image of Dr. Randall Schroeder's book "Simple Habits for Effective Parenting"

Simple Habits for Effective Parenting

Effective parenting is now within your grasp! With this inspiring how-to comprehensive book, achieve extraordinary results in raising a child to be self-assured, self-reliant, and responsible! You will be able to successfully lead and lovingly encourage your child toward a Godly life!

The Spiritual Battle for Your Marriage

God designed marriage to reflect His love to the world; and because of this, the enemy wants to destroy God’s beautiful design. Based on his book, Defending Your Marriage, Dr. Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff share about the reality of spiritual warfare against marriages, and how to combat the enemy’s lies with the truth of God. Couples will be encouraged that they’re not alone in the fight for a godly marriage and better equipped to be a shining example for the world around them.

Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff Cropped

Dr. Tim and Mrs. Noreen Muehlhoff

Dr. Tim Muehlhoff is a professor of communication at Biola University in La Mirada, California where he teaches classes in family communication, interpersonal communication, apologetics, gender, and conflict resolution.  Tim and his wife, Noreen, are both on staff with Biola’s Center for Marriage and Relationships  where he is a co-host of The Art of Relationship podcast. 

Defending Your Marriage

Is your marriage under attack? Sometimes it can feel like the world is trying to tear your marriage apart. Internal conflicts or external pressures might make you wonder if something sinister is going on. How can you tell if you’re facing spiritual opposition? And what can you do about it? Tim Muehlhoff provides a straightforward resource for protecting your marriage from the threats of the evil one. He looks at what Scripture says about spiritual warfare and how our everyday struggles have deeper spiritual realities. And he provides practical steps for guarding our marriages with the whole armor of God.

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 1

For those of faith whose passion has waned over time, Kim Meeder will reinspire you in your relationship with Jesus Christ as she tells powerful, true stories about God that will spark renewed joy in your heart and encourage you to share the Gospel with others.

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder and her husband, Troy, are the co-founders of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization in Bend, Oregon, that rescues abused horses and pairs them with hurting kids for mutual healing. Kim is a popular motivational speaker and the author of a half dozen books including Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope, which feature inspirational stories from her ranch.

Revival Rising

With enthusiasm that will set ablaze your passion to reach the hurting, Kim Meeder encourages you to let the holy fire of God’s presence fill your heart, soul, mind and strength. As your fear and pride melt away, those around you who are losing their battle for hope will be transformed by encountering His redeeming love in you. This–this is revival rising.

Reigniting Your Passion for Jesus - Part 2

For those of faith whose passion has waned over time, Kim Meeder will reinspire you in your relationship with Jesus Christ as she tells powerful, true stories about God that will spark renewed joy in your heart and encourage you to share the Gospel with others.

Headshot photo of author Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder

Kim Meeder and her husband, Troy, are the co-founders of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, a non-profit organization in Bend, Oregon, that rescues abused horses and pairs them with hurting kids for mutual healing. Kim is a popular motivational speaker and the author of a half dozen books including Hope Rising and Bridge Called Hope, which feature inspirational stories from her ranch.

Revival Rising

With enthusiasm that will set ablaze your passion to reach the hurting, Kim Meeder encourages you to let the holy fire of God’s presence fill your heart, soul, mind and strength. As your fear and pride melt away, those around you who are losing their battle for hope will be transformed by encountering His redeeming love in you. This–this is revival rising.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 2

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage - Part 2

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 2

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Embracing Your Role as a Spouse

As a spouse, you have three roles to play—a friend, a partner, and a lover. On this one-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Pastor Kevin A. Thompson explores those different roles and challenges you to live them out by investing emotionally, physically, and mentally in your relationship. As friends, he suggests we learn to play and laugh together. As partners, he equips us with solid ways to handle conflict and communication. As lovers, he offers some thoughts on how to bring back the sizzle. He shares five keys to saving your marriage: humility, respect, mercy, communication, and resilience. You’ll be encouraged to intentionally invest in your marriage.

Headshot of Kevin Thompson

Pastor Kevin Thompson

Kevin A. Thompson (MDiv, Beeson Divinity School) is lead pastor at Community Bible Church, a growing multi-site church with four locations in western Arkansas. Every year he meets with nearly one hundred couples with a range of needs, from pre-marital counseling to navigating the most serious betrayals. A marriage and parenting conference speaker, he and his wife, Jenny, have two children and live in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He blogs at kevinathompson.com.

Cover image of Kevin Thompson's book "Friends, Partners & Lovers"

Friends, Partners, and Lovers: What It Takes to Make Your Marriage Work

With engaging stories and clear, simple language, pastor Kevin Thompson shows how to live out three distinct roles in marraige. Using solid biblical principles, he helps you and your spouse grow your friendship, be supportive partners through the good times and the bad, and develop a healthy and satisfying sex life.

Sharing Your Faith with Grace and Purpose

You can confidently and lovingly share your faith—you just need to learn some new tactics to do so! In this Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast, apologist Greg Koukl outlines the “Columbo” tactic of asking questions, the “self-defeating argument” tactic to find holes in your opponent’s arguments, and other specific methods for engaging in faith-building conversations with others. Greg pulls from his over 30 years of experience debating atheists and agnostics to help you share your faith with grace and truth.

Mr. Greg Koukl

Greg Koukl is a writer, public speaker and talk show host who’s spent 30 years advocating for and defending the Christian worldview. Greg has written or contributed to 15 books, including The Story of RealityTactics, and Precious Unborn Human Persons. Greg has published nearly 230 articles and has spoken on 80 college and university campuses in the U.S. and abroad.

Tactics front cover

Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions

In a world increasingly indifferent to Christian truth, followers of Christ need to be equipped to communicate with those who do not speak their language or accept their source of authority. In Tactics, 10th Anniversary Edition, Gregory Koukl demonstrates how to artfully regain control of conversations, keeping them moving forward in constructive ways through thoughtful diplomacy. You’ll learn how to stop challengers in their tracks and how to turn the tables on questions or provocative statements. Most important, you’ll learn how to get people thinking about Jesus.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 1

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Giving up Sugar, Tasting God's Goodness

As a latchkey kid, Wendy Speake turned to sugar for comfort. Every Friday, she would pedal to the candy show and use her allowance to fill her bag with candy. And one day, when she was older and a mom of three young boys, she came to realize that she was still “pedaling” away from her stress and using sugar as comfort, instead of turning to Jesus. She was joyless, worn out, tired, and in need of a change. In this interview, Wendy will challenge Christians to take 40 days to focus on fasting from something they turn to instead of Jesus for comfort. She invited people to break free from a dependence on sugar and taste the goodness of God.

Author Wendy Speake smiling as she holds up her book "The 40-Day Social Media Fast"

Mrs. Wendy Speake

With a background in Hollywood as a trained actress, Wendy Speake ministers to women as a bible teacher by applying the power of drama, poetry and comedy to the study of Scripture and real-life application of biblical truths. She has co-authored two books with Amber Lia titled Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and their latest, Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, Say Something New. Wendy is also the co-author (with Kelli Stuart) of Life Creative: Inspiration for Today’s Renaissance Mom.

Cover image of the book "The 40-Day Sugar Fast"

The 40-Day Sugar Fast: Where Physical Detox Meets Spiritual Transformation

Welcome to the 40-Day Sugar Fast, a fast that begins with us giving Jesus our sugar and ends with Jesus giving us himself–the only thing that can ever truly satisfy our soul’s deep hunger. On this 40-day journey you’ll learn how to stop fixating on food and other things you use to fill the voids in life and instead fix your eyes on Christ. Anyone who runs to sugar for comfort or a reward, who eats mindlessly or out of boredom, who feels physically and spiritually lethargic, or who struggles with self-control will discover here not only freedom from their cravings but an entirely new appetite for the good things God has for us.

Understanding the Root of Your Child's Misbehavior - Part 2

Often, children act out because they are used to getting attention through bad behavior. Dr. Kevin Leman offers advice to help parents transform their child’s behavior. He discusses the benefits of allowing your kids to learn from real-life consequences and describes the importance of understanding your child’s temperament based on his birth order.

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman

Dr. Kevin Leman is an internationally known family psychologist and an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author. He is also a popular public speaker and media personality who has made countless guest appearances on numerous radio and TV programs. Dr. Leman has written more than 50 books including The Birth Order BookHave a New Kid by Friday and Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours.

Bundle of Why Your Kids Misbehave

Why Your Kids Misbehave and What to Do about It

Tantrums. Talking back. Throwing toys or food. Meltdowns. Slamming doors. Kids know just how to push your buttons. You’ve tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seems to work. In this book, Dr. Kevin Leman reveals exactly why kids misbehave and how you can turn that behavior around with practical, no-nonsense strategies that really work . . . and are a long-term win for both of you.

Loving Your Spouse Through the Seasons of Marriage - Part 2

Debra Fileta has identified the four seasons of marriage that correspond with our natural seasons – spring (new life and new love), summer (things get hot!), fall (showing our true colors), and winter (long days ahead). In this interview, she will help couples better understand the four seasons of healthy relationships, what to expect during each one, and how to carefully navigate them for a stronger marriage.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage.

Love in Every Season: Understanding the Four Stages of a Healthy Relationship

Every relationship goes through four life-changing seasons: Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Each season plays an important role in taking your relationship to the next level. And depending on how you navigate each season, your relationship will either flourish and grow, or it will slowly die. Whether you’re single, dating, engaged or married, join licensed professional counselor and relationship expert, Debra Fileta as she takes you on an eye-opening psychological and spiritual journey through the four seasons that she has observed in every healthy relationship.

Reconciling Faith and Science in a Medical Crisis

Dr. Lee Warren is a neurosurgeon who has faced many heavy challenges in his life – from serving in the Iraq War to removing deadly brain tumors to experiencing the loss of a teenage son. He’ll share about his difficult quest to find answers to some of life’s toughest questions, while holding onto his faith in God and the sure hope of heaven

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Dr. W. Lee Warren

Dr. Lee Warren

W. Lee Warren, M.D., is a brain surgeon , inventor, Iraq War veteran, and author of I’ve Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon’s Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know, winner of the Christian Book Award®. His previous book, No Place to Hide, was included on the 2015 U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff’s Recommended Reading List. Dr. Warren has appeared on The 700 Club and the CBS Evening News, and his writings have been featured in Guideposts magazine. His Dr. Lee Warren Podcast, which is heard in more than 60 countries, helps listeners use the power of neuroscience, faith, and common sense to change their lives.

Cover image of Dr. Lee Warren's book "I've Seen the End of You"

I've Seen the End of You: A Neurosurgeon's Look at Faith, Doubt, and the Things We Think We Know

This gripping inspirational memoir grapples with the tension between faith and science—and between death and hope—as a seasoned neurosurgeon faces insurmountable odds and grief both in the office and at home.

Praying Scripture Over Your Child’s Life - Part 1

Jodie Berndt loves to pray for her children. She’s been doing that for the past thirty years. Now she helps other parents to talk to God, asking for the salvation of their kids, and for wisdom, self-discipline, purpose, a future and much more. She offers fun and practical encouragement that moms and dads can put to work immediately in their daily lives as they prepare their children for a life in Christ.

Headshot of Focus on the Family broadcast guest Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt

Jodie Berndt is a public speaker, a Bible teacher, and the the author of 10 books. Find out more about Jodie and get some free resources (including printable prayer cards and calendars) at her website, jodieberndt.com.

Cover image of Jodie Berndt's book "Praying the Scriptures for Your Children"

Praying the Scriptures Over Your Children

You will discover how using the Bible to shape your desires and requests opens the door to God’s provision—and frees us from things like worry and fear in our parenting! This expanded edition of the bestseller features updated content on issues like technology and identity, and comes with new material designed to invite children into the family prayer circle. Purchase now and receive 10% off your product.

Mothers and Sons: Being a Godly Influence - Part 1

Rhonda Stoppe describes her early motherhood challenges of raising a son, which was intimidating to her. She found help through group of older women mentors. She urges moms to see their role as ministry in shaping sons to be good and godly men. Rhonda outlines several practical suggestions to moms about spiritual training, how to communicate with boys, and supporting the father-son relationship as a wife.

Headshot of Rhonda Stoppe

Rhonda Stoppe

Drawing upon 35 years of experience as a mentor, pastor’s wife, and homeschool mom, Rhonda Stoppe offers encouragement and guidance to women as an author and public speaker. She is popularly known as the “No Regrets Woman,” as she is especially passionate about helping women live life without regrets. Rhonda’s books include Moms Raising Sons to Be MenReal Life Romance, and The Marriage Mentor, which she co-authored with her husband, Steve.

Cover image of Rhonda Stoppe's book "Moms Raising Sons to be Men"

Moms Raising Sons to Be Men

Mothers of boys have the special calling to shape future men of God. Popular speaker Rhonda Stoppe, mom to two sons, knows this opportunity is a challenge, a joy, and probably the most important work of a woman’s life. Drawing from years of experience, this inspirational resource will revive the faithfulness and fortitude a woman needs to partner with God as they shape the character and heart of a future godly man.

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage Part 1

They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lia’s story, you’ll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!

Headshot of Guy and Amber Lia

Mr. and Mrs. Guy and Amber Lia and Mrs. Jean Daly

Amber Lia is a work-at-home mom, blogger, public speaker, and co-author of two best-selling books. Her husband, Guy, is a former TV, feature film, and VFX development and production executive who has worked on popular TV shows and films. Guy and Amber own Storehouse Media Group, a faith- and family-friendly TV and film production company based in Los Angeles,

Cover image of the book "Marriage Triggers" by Guy and Amber Lia

Marriage Triggers: How You and Your Spouse Can Exchange Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses

A husband-wife team offers practical advice for married couples to end the cycle of reactionary arguments by examining the most common issues that trigger disagreements and apply God’s Word to radically transform relationships.

What to Do When You're Not Okay - Part 1

Life can be pretty stressful. Between work, relationships, and other obligations, the pressure builds, and we lose sight of who we are. Counselor Debra Fileta helps you better understand your emotions, assess your mental, physical, and spiritual health, and intentionally pursue a path to wellbeing. In dealing with anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, Debra understands the importance of self-examination as well as the benefits of seeking professional help. She offers biblically-based advice, tools, and encouragement to help you get on a path toward healing and wholeness.

Author Debra Fileta in the Focus on the Family broadcast studio

Mrs. Debra Fileta

Debra Fileta is a licensed professional counselor specializing in relationship and marital issues. She is also a public speaker and the author of multiple books, including Married SexChoosing Marriage: Why It Has to Start With We > Me, Love in Every Season, and Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are, How You’re Doing, and Why It Matters. Debra’s popular relationship advice blog, TrueLoveDates.com, and her Love + Relationships podcast reach millions of people each year offering guidance on topics including love, sex, and marriage. Debra resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, John, and their four children.

Are You Really Okay?

Are You Really OK: Getting Real About Who You Are

In Are You Really OK? author and licensed counselor Debra Fileta challenges you to get real with who you are and how you’re doing spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically so you can recognize where you need growth and healing.

Navigating a Toxic Culture with Your Daughter - Part 1

As a pediatrician, Dr. Meg Meeker has seen thousands of girls come through her office through the years. They struggle with eating issues, sexual identity, social media…and many other challenges in this toxic culture. Dr. Meeker will encourage parents to invest love and time in their daughters and develop their character to give them the best opportunity for a bright future, all rooted in a spiritual foundation. The discussion also includes healthy feminism vs. toxic feminism

Mrs. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker is a pediatrician who is widely recognized as one of the country’s leading authorities on parenting, teens and children’s health. With appearances on numerous nationally syndicated radio and TV programs, her popularity as a an expert on key issues confronting families has created a strong following across America. Her work with countless families over the years served as the inspiration behind her best-selling books which include Strong Fathers, Strong DaughtersStrong Mothers, Strong Sons and The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers

Cover image of Dr. Meg Meeker's book "Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture"

Raising a Strong Daughter in a Toxic Culture: 11 Steps to Keep Her Happy, Healthy, and Safe

Meg Meeker has been a pediatrician for more than thirty years, is a mother and a grandmother, and has seen it all. She knows what makes for strong, happy, healthy young women–and what puts our daughters at risk. Combining that experience with her famous common sense, she explains the eleven steps that will help your daughter–whether she’s a toddler or a troubled teen–to achieve her full human potential.

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!