Praying for the Lost
I have a salvation prayer list. Do you? “Operation Andrew” suggests you make a list of 4 or 5 people who need salvation and pray for them daily. I might suggest that before you do this you ask God to bring certain people to your mind. Then, when He lays them upon your heart, pray for them at least once a day.
Remember: no case is impossible. In New Testament times the Gospel even penetrated the household of the Emperor himself (Phil. 4:22). God may well have a few surprises up His sleeve for you – just as He did for me when Mohammed became a new creation in an Alaba prison. Some people on your prayer list will, of course, be more ready than others. In a tiny village in Northern Ethiopia lives a woman who 3 years ago had no believer in her family. Now she is surrounded by a son and daughter who follow Jesus. I think she is not far from the kingdom. It’s good to remember that God has no favorites. He “does not show favoritism, but accepts men from every nation” (Acts 10:34).
Must you use a certain technique when praying for the lost? By no means! Simply spread your requests out before God without suggesting what He ought to do about it. Leave the means and the timing to Him. “Ask and you will receive,” said Jesus, and when we ask through Him we can be assured that our prayers will be heard and answered as the Father deems best.
I suppose that a burden for the lost is the most crucial mark of any church when we are considering the matter of evangelism. If you have really experienced the Good News of salvation you will want others to share that experience. My limited experience in foreign missions goes to support the assertion that once a church begins to pray for the lost, before long they will begin to give generously to support those in their midst who seek to go out. Such churches begin to look beyond themselves. They will be willing to neglect their own needs (our “needs” are often only our “wants,” aren’t they?) and look to far needier places to support. The fellowship in a church that genuinely loves the lost has got to be sweeter than anywhere else in town.
My friend, I cannot tell you how important it is for you to visualize the harvest field to which God has called you. Remember: the fields are white, and you’ve been drafted for the harvest. One day you and I will step out into eternity. In the meantime, what can we do for the lost?
Pray for them!
March 16, 2007
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com.