“My sexual offenders’ journeys are not my own,” I wrote.
Stumbling upon an old journal, this is the prayer I found:
“The timing of my offenders’ repentance and growth in You is not my responsibility, but, oh!, that they would trust in Your Word. Use me Father as a spotlight–a pointer–a roadside sign along to way to point them to Jesus.
My heart pounds in my chest, and I envision being strong and dynamic like Peter in the Bible while addressing those who have abused me:
Repent! Turn from wickedness and believe in the blood of Jesus for restoration with Your Father in heaven.
Repent! No longer shame these women or children through gross sexual acts or satisfy your selfish indulgence.
Repent! of your idols! Throw them far from you. They are detestable–a mockery to the redeeming, freeing work of Christ on the cross for your sins and for your eternal salvation.
Repent! for your sexual perversions and immorality. Don’t you know that no immoral person will enter the kingdom of God?
And if you do believe, why do you act as if you don’t?
You’ve been given every provision through Christ Jesus and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the Light of His living Word to walk blamelessly!
Throw off everything that encumbers and entangles and entices you to betray the new heart you’ve been given in Christ!
Do you think your life is worthy of praise on Judgment Day?
Do you think you can stand before the throne of the Holy One Himself and testify, honestly, that your stewardship was honest, blameless, in love with His Spirit?
Do you think you will escape His fiery, jealous judgment?
Consider your ways! And repent! The days are evil. As surely as I breathe now, He will return to take account for His people.
But, oh! the grace and love and repair He will do upon your life if you will confess and seek the help and guidance that you need.
But, oh! how He, alone, can make all things new.
Even in the most vile sin.
First, you must confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life; died on the cross in payment for all of your sins–before you even committed them; and rose from the grave as unmistakable, infallible proof that He alone is God.
He can be your God.”
To say that this prayer stunned me would be an understatement.
I wrote this prayer over a decade ago. To this day, I still struggle with the words in my own prayer.
During the time of fasting and prayer in which I wrote this, I remember wrestling with the reality that God brings salvation to everyone who believes.
“Even my abusers?” I recall asking the Lord.
He answered me by reminding me, “It’s by My POWER by which they are saved. By which you are saved.”
Where you are in your healing journey, you might be at the place where this idea of salvation for your sexual offender sounds stupid, foolish, in vain.
If you rest in the saving grace of Christ, there will come a time when He will nudge your heart, gently, and say, “my grace appeared, offering salvation to all people. All people, including you. Including your offender.”
If He’s nudging you now, I encourage you to reach out to someone safe, someone trained and knowledgeable of the Word, someone who can speak truth and love into your life. We need the body of Christ to support us along this journey.
Again, our sexual offenders’ healing journeys are not ours to own. No responsibility for their life or salvation rests upon our shoulders.
It will only be through the power of the Holy Spirit that we would even begin to desire forgiving our offender. In His power will we ever begin to pray for their salvation.
As we should for all mankind.
The power of God unto salvation is more powerful than the damage done to us through sexual abuse.
What’s your next step?
One point to consider is whether God is asking you to pray or to speak boldly like Peter. Equally important is wrestling with the idea of praying for your offender’s salvation. Will you trust the Lord to make you brave enough through His Spirit to take the next steps, no matter what those steps may be?