|Step 7... Pray For Lost Souls
Praying for the salvation of the unsaved around us should really beone of our greatest efforts in prayer. After all life is short andall that really matters when all is said and done is whether or notthey received Jesus Christ as Savior.
Perhaps we subconsciously struggle with needing to pray for the lost atall, or maybe we struggle with the Sovereignty of God and ourprayers. Isn't God the one who saves? Is not He more concerned withthe lost than we? Can not He do this work with out our praying forHim to do it? There are some things that we do not know nor will weever know. God sovereignly saves whom he chooses, but he also tellsus that he is not willing that any should perish, and that we shouldpray for the salvation of souls.
The same God who sovereignly chooses to save, chooses also the MEANSby which he will do so. He chooses NOT to do it without us. We mustPREACH and we must PRAY!
How do we pray for the salvation of someone? Typically we hear:
"Dear Lord, please save John Doe, Jane Doe, Joe Shmoe, and Tom Moe. In Jesus name, Amen."
Is there more to praying for the lost than this? I think so! We willpray better and more wisely when we remember the PROCESS by whichanyone comes to Christ and his CONDITION before he is born again.
PRAY FOR HIS CONDITION: A MAN BEFORE SALVATION
- He has a sin nature I Corinthians 2:14 "The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolish to him"
- He has rejected, ignored, or neglected God's presence. Romans 1:18-20
- He is dead is sins and trespasses. Ephesians 2:1
- He willfully walks in disobedience, according to the course of this world, obeying the prince of darkness. Ephesians 2:2
- He serves his own desires of the mind and body. Ephesians 2:3
- He is separated from God, alienated by sin. Ephesians 2:12
- He is blinded to the Gospel by Satan. II Corinthians 4:4-4
- He is a slave to sin. John 8:34
- He has no faith. Ephesians 2:8-9
- He needs the grace of God to lead him to repentance John 6:44
- He does not see his sin as very sinful. John 16:8-11
- He chokes out the Word with other interests. Luke 8:12-14
PRAY FOR GODíS WORK IN HIM ...
As we pray for lost people it is good to remember that it is Godís passion to seek and to save that which is lost. He is more concerned about them than we are. Seek then to pray His heart and His plan for them.
- CONVICTION - John 16:8-11
"He (Spirit) shall convict the world of sin...righteousness and judgement"
- QUICKENING - John 6:63
"It is the Spirit that quickens the flesh profits nothing."
- FAITH - Eph. 2:8
"It (faith) is a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast."
- EYES TO OPEN - II Cor. 4:4-6
"In whom the god of this world has blinded the eyes...God who commands light to shine in the darkness has shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God..."
- EARS TO HEAR - Rev. 3:20
"Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in."
- WORD TO PENETRATE - Hebrews 4:12
"The Word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two edged sword.."
- WORD TO MELT & BREAK - Jeremiah 23:29
"Is not my Word like a fire. It is like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces."
- WILL TO BE BROKEN - John 7:17
"If any man wills to do his will he shall know of the doctrine..."
- BONDAGE TO SIN BROKEN - John 8:36
"If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed."
- FATHER TO DRAW HIM - John 6:44
"No man can come to me, except the Father...draw him"
- FATHER TO CALL HIM - John 6:37
"All that the Father gives me shall come to me..."
- FATHER TO SHOW MERCY - Romans 9:16
"It is not of him that wills nor of him that runs but God, which shows mercy."
PRAY SCRIPTURES FOR HIM
It is not an easy task to remain faithful in prayer for a lost soul. Though wemay know the need, feel the burden, and even have some indication of what Godmust do in order for them to come to Christ, it still is a difficult task tokeep at it and not grow weary, or bored in the task. After perhaps a week ofprayer we all begin to wonder "What more can we pray for?"
The following is a helpful guide for praying for a lost soul by reading, reviewing, and reusing Scriptures in your prayer for the one on your Most Wanted List. It is in the format of a daily devotional to help direct your thinking. There are eight points. You may want to choose seven, one for each day of the week to keep you focused and intense in your prevailing prayers for the lost. Pray for your most wanted people daily using this to guide your praying.
- Monday - His WHEREABOUTS led by God
- Tuesday - His CIRCUMSTANCES controlled by God
- Wednesday - His INNER EMPTINESS amplified by God
- Thursday - A FAITHFUL WITNESS to encounter him daily
- Friday - The HOLY SPIRIT to influence his heart
- Saturday - The WORD OF GOD to affect him dramatically
- Sunday - An ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS
Monday - "Lord control his WHEREABOUTS"
We know that the Lord is able to influence time and space and move people intothe right place at the right time as illustrated and taught in these Scriptures:
- Acts 8:26- Phillip and the Ethiopian Eunuch
- Acts 16:13-14 Lydia down by the river side
- John 4:5-8 The woman at the well
- Psalm 139:5-11 No hiding place down here
- Luke 19:1-10 Zacchaeus up a tree
- Luke 15:9-6,10 Lost sheep he will pursue!
Tuesday - His CIRCUMSTANCES controlled by God
God is able to stop time, turn the sun back 10 degrees, send a storm, calmthe sea, or prepare a whale, or whatever else is necessary to bring a manto himself.
- Acts 9:1-6 Paul met on the Road to Damascus
- Luke 15:11-32 The Prodigal son met in a pig pen
- Hosea 2:6 Hosea's prostitute wife hindered from finding lovers
- Psalm 107:23-30 God even brings ship in storms to haven of rest
Wednesday - His INNER EMPTINESS amplified by God
God has created man with a God consciousness. Man seeks to fill the emptinesswith other garbage, but only the Lord can satisfy that desire.Augustine said, "Our souls are restless 'til they rest in thee."
- Psalm 42:1-2 Heart pants thirsty after God.
- Psalm 42:3 Tears are daily and nightly evidenced
- Psalm 42:5 Fears accompany this loneliness without God
- Hebrews 2:14-15 The fear of death binds them
- Ecclesiastes 2:1-11 Money, fame, and success cannot satisfy
- Ecclesiastes 5:10 Silver and gold will bring no happiness
Thursday - A FAITHFUL WITNESS to encounter him daily
God has an immense plan of the ages to use people like you and me, hisservants which he places in points of opportunity, as with Esther "Forsuch a time as this..."
- Esther 4:14 Esther placed in the palace
- Acts 8:26-39 Phillip was the preacher in the desert
- Acts 16:25-33 Paul and Silas were in prison to lead a jailer to Christ
- Ephesians 6:17-18 Pray for boldness in those special witnesses
- Isaiah 50:4 Pray for wisdom of speech for Gods special agents
- Romans 10:14-15 Be the preacher in the place God puts you for someone.
Friday - The HOLY SPIRIT to influence his heart
There is a process at work in the heart of everyone who comes to Christ.Sometimes that process begins in childhood with the Word sown in a VBSprogram or on a mother's lap. The Holy Spirit is present in the lifeof the unbeliever to bring about the conversion at the appointed time.That work of the Holy Spirit takes place WITHOUT our help, but we areinvolve in resisting the Resistor, Satan who opposes all that God willsto do. He seeks to QUENCH the Holy Spirit, GRIEVE the Spirit, HINDERthe Spirit's work, and to snatch away the life of the unbeliever beforehis is converted. Pray for the Spirit's work to be accomplished.
- John 16:8-14 He convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgement to come
- John 15:26-27 He shows the things of Christ, witnessing to the truth
- John 4:10,13-14 He creates thirst for things of God
- John 6:35 He creates spiritual hunger for the Bread of Life
- John 6:44 He draws men to Christ (Says "COME" Revelation 22:17)
- John 6:63 He quickens (makes alive) the Words of Jesus
- John 8:12 He opens eyes to the LIGHT that gives life (2Cor.4:4)
- John 8:12 He breaks the bondage to sin
Saturday - The WORD OF GOD to affect him dramatically
Peter emphasizes that we are born again BY THE WORD of God which livesand abides forever. We cannot over emphasize the importance of the Wordof God in the process of the sinner being saved.
- 1 Peter 1:23 Born again by Word
- Hebrews 4:12 Heart thoughts penetrated and revealed by Word
- Jeremiah 23:29 The heart is melted and broken by the Word
- 2 Thessalonians 3:1 Pray for the Word to have FREE COURSE
- 2 Timothy 2:9 The Word of God is not bound
- 1 Corinthians 3:6-7 Word is sown, watered but God gives the increase!
- Romans 10:17 The Word brings Faith
Sunday - An ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS
Jesus in the first, center, and last of the Gospel. Without him no onecan be saved. HE ALONE is the way, the truth and the life, no man comesto the father BUT by HIM."
- John 14:6 No other way
- Acts 4:12 No other name
- John 12:32 When his is LIFTED UP he will draw men to himself
- John 20:31-32 Doubting Thomas believed when he saw Jesus
- John 12:20-22 The unsaved requested the essential thing --to see Jesus
- Acts 9:1-6 Paul believed when he saw Jesus on the Damascus Road
- John 18:6 His would-be assailants fell backward upon seeing him.
PRAY THANKFULLY FOR THE LOST (Believing Prayer)
"I thank you Lord that...
- You are able to do exceeding abundantly above all I ask or think. Eph 3:20
- You are able to save to the uttermost. Heb. 7:25
- You are not willing that any should perish. 2 Peter 3:9
- You open the eyes of the blind, and deaf ears. Is. 35:5
- You have mercy on the sinner. Titus 3:5/ Lam 3:22
- You are still the Savior! Is. 43:3/ Acts 4:12
- You draw men to yourself. John 6:44/ 12:32
- You melt the heart of stone. Jer. 23:29
- You call men by your grace. Eph. 2:8-9
- You have chosen those that are yours. Eph. 1:4
- You convict of sin, righteousness, and judgement. John 16:8-11
- You spare men in your mercy. Malachi 3:17
- You pull men out of the fire. Jude 1:23
- You transform lives. 2 Cor. 5:17
- You reveal yourself. John 15:26-27
- You reveal the thoughts and intents of hearts. Heb. 4:12
- You loose the captive sinner. John 8:34,36
- You make sin appear exceeding sinful. Romans 7:13
- You reconcile men to yourself. 2 Cor. 5:18
- You deliver men from the power of darkness. Col. 1:13
- Your Word is not bound! 2 Tim. 2:9
- Your arm is not shortened that it can not save. Is. 59:1
- All that the Father gives you WILL come to you. John 6:37
TARGET A SOUL FOR CHRIST
Make a "10 Most Wanted List"
There are literally millions and billions of people in the world thatdo not know Christ. There are 100s and 1000s within yourneighborhoods cities, schools, and malls. There are dozens that youcome in contact with every day, or every week. How then do you targeta few people that God wants you to reach?
- They must be within your reach.
That means, they must be within your target area, places you go. It is your Jerusalem first then the rest of the world.
- You should have a burden for them. A burden is ...
a) A VISION of their need.
b) A DEEP CONCERN for their soul
c) A WILLINGNESS to do whatever necessary to bring them to Christ.
- You must have contact with them during the week.
Don't target someone who you don't even know, or don't rub shoulderswith, or don't relate to, or don't have anything in common with, ordon't speak to.
- Make a list of all people who fit this category.
It may be 3, 5, 10, 20 or more, but make the list of people you areconcerned about.
- Pray about which 3 people to target with
a) INTENSE INTERCESSION
b) EAGER ENTHUSIASM,
c) AGGRESSIVE ARRANGEMENTS.
BUILD BRIDGES TO YOUR MOST WANTED PERSON
Jesus approached the woman at the well with a natural bride forconversation -- the water and a need for a drink. Andrew went anddragged his brothers to hear Christ for themselves. Paul went to thehighways and hedges...he went after them in business places, in marketplaces, in social settings, and in recreational areas. All haddefinite strategies and plans for reaching out to unreached people.What is your plan?
- List all the ways you can think of to . . .make contact, have conversations, build friendships, socialize, getalone with your target person.
- Pray for clear direction . . .From the Lord on what tactics to use. Adopt a strategy by a certaindate. Write it down in your personal diary or journal. Calendar theactivities that will be bridge builders.
- Start with just one person.Give yourself one month, at least four weeks, to start implementingyour plan. If you find it is not working or the person is notresponding to you friendship, then move on to the next person on yourlist.
- Pray every day for your target person.Pray for 2 areas of the Holy Spirit's work each day for six days aweek. Use the prayer guide to pray for Conviction, Faith, Eyes opened,etc.
- Praise and Thank the Lord for His work . . .already begun in these target people. The Lord is not slack in hisconcern or his promises concerning them. Give it time. Give itbelieving prayer! Just as the Lord was at work in you long beforeyour salvation so he is at work in them -- to will and to do His goodpleasure.
- A picture is worth a thousand words. Keep that personís picture in your wallet or purse. For your prayer closet make up a photo album of 10 photos of each of your 10 Most Wanted. Cycle through each one as you pray.
- Many people find it difficult to pray for ten people with passion. If that is your case then make your list of ten, then prioritize the list placing them in order of your heartís desperation. I did this last year only to find that my top 3 were saved in the same year!
- Refrigerator magnets are wonderful things. Since we approach the refrigerator far more often than we do the throne of grace, place a small photo of your top three Most Wanted. It is a solemn reminder to seek their salvation as one who hungers for food that perishes.