FIRST-PERSON: Praying for others
SPRINGDALE, Ark. (BP) -- If prayer and the desire for evangelism are genuine, they happen simultaneously.
Are local churches, denominations, ministries and the prayer movement in America praying for others to come to Jesus Christ? Are you praying for others? Do you call out specific names to God each day?
America needs Jesus Christ more now than ever before. Our hearts should be broken over the lostness of America and the world. Mocking it helps no one. Ignoring it does not make it go away.
Every Christian needs to pray for others to come to faith in Jesus Christ. Consider these specific ways:
1. Pray for the scales to fall away from their blinded eyes.
We cannot deny the reality of what the apostle Paul stated in 2 Corinthians 4:4, "In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God" (CSB).
When people do not know Jesus Christ, they are blinded to the truth of their great need for salvation. Intercessory prayer that is intentional and continuous can see God remove the scales of blindness and help them to see themselves as God sees them: lost and in need of a relationship with Jesus.
If we believe God can do anything with anyone at any time, then we can offer up prayers for the lost perpetually. I have seen God answer these prayers in my own life and through the life of my church. Only through God opening their eyes and minds will the unsaved see and hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. We need to pray for them and appeal to God for this to happen.
2. Pray for God to engineer their circumstances to convince them they need Jesus.
Our God is sovereign and desires for all persons to come to Jesus Christ. He can engineer circumstances to help convince them that their number one need is spiritual, and the answer is found in Jesus Christ alone.
I believe we can pray like this because God wants all people to turn from living their own way, doing their own thing, and come to Him. 2 Peter 3:9 says, "The Lord does not delay his promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance."
Therefore, I pray that our great sovereign God will engineer circumstances in their life that will show them their deep and desperate need for Jesus Christ.
3. Pray for God to send someone to tell them about Jesus Christ.
As you pray for them to hear about Jesus Christ, be willing to tell them yourself. In fact, ask God for the open door to share the Good News. You might be the "someone" that others are praying for to tell their friend or family member about Christ. Be faithful to ask God to use you to share Jesus with others.
I do not know all that God is saying to America and to the world today, but one thing I am confident He is doing: He is calling every American and every person in this world into a personal relationship with Jesus.
May we be faithful to pray for all people to see their need for Jesus Christ and come to a personal relationship with Him.