One of the tendencies many of us have is to try and make things happen on our own. This is true of me; it is easier for me to try and fix something than to pray about it even though I know that I am petitioning the Holy One of the universe who loves me and loves the one I want to help.
This morning I was listening to a sermon by Francis Chan, the Christian pastor who wrote Crazy Love. He confessed to the same sort of tendency, and he then went on to point out how powerless we are to make things happen in the lives of people we care about and even in our own lives. His sermon is a reminder of the tremendous love Jesus has for each of us and His ability to act on the behalf of those we love when we petition Him in prayer.
I read somewhere that God may call us to do something after we have prayed, but there is no point in doing anything until we have prayed. I don't know who said it and I may be misquoting it, but the thought, I think, is true. So as we are concerned and grieving over loved ones who are not walking with the Lord, let us bend our knee and petition our loving God for their deliverance.
Here is the link to Francis Chan's sermon.