December 18, 2017

Praying for the Closed-Minded (2)

George Stiekes

See Part One.

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:9-10

While listening to Christian radio, a program came on the air put out by Moody Bible Institute called, “Stories of Great Christians.” What is it that makes up a “great Christian?” In relationship to prayer, we all know the names of people who accomplished so much through prayer. Examples would include men like Robert Murray McCheyne, Martin Luther, George Muller, David Brainard, John Knox, J. Hudson Taylor and so many others.

Thinking further, we do not understand how these “great Christians” prayed. They did so with an intensity on their knees for hours over a period of months. Nehemiah would be a biblical example as to how these men prayed (Nehemiah 1:4-11). We need to be honest here: We do not pray like that today and yet, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man” is still in the Bible and still avails much (James 5:16). I Thessalonians 5:17 instructs us to pray without ceasing.

Here are a few helpful hints when it comes to praying for the salvation of closed-minded unsaved.

1. Pray believing God: Remember that All things are possible to him that believeth (Mark 9:23). And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive (Matthew 21:22).

Always ask with faith and honesty. Seek His wisdom as to how you should prayer. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord (James 1:5-7).

2. Pray according to the will of God. You already know:

A. It is not God’s will that any perish, but that all should come to repentance (II Peter 3:9).

B. That we are to pray for all people since it is God’s will that all be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (I Timothy 2:1-4).

3. Pray the Lord will send others to share their faith with your loved ones, friends and others regardless if they live far from you or live nearby. Your testimony and witness may not be enough. You can do this based on Matthew 9:38: Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth laborers into His harvest

4. Pray in the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 6:18). True prayer is associated with the ministry of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26). He prays in us, through us and for us (Jude 20). There are times when praying for loved ones that we find it difficult because of love for them and our great desire to see them saved. We may even get to the place where we do not know how to pray at which time the Spirit of God prays with us with groanings far beyond the intensity with which we can pray.

5. Prayer and sharing your faith is definitely related to fruit-bearing (John 15:5). A major part of successful fruit-bearing is accomplished on our knees. Pray for the Spirit of God to convict of sin and cause the individual to recognize his/her need of a Savior. Spend a lot of time in prayer with intensity and compassion …that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you (John 15:16).

6. Pray when your relationship with God is what it should be. In other words, draw yourself close to Him and He will draw near to you (James 4:8; John 15:7). Is the pattern of your life pleasing to God (Proverbs 15:8)? The prayer of the upright is His delight.

7. Always pray with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6, 7). You will be rewarded with a special peace in relationship to your requests.

8. By all means, when you pray recognize that prayer is associated with confidence in God. And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us (John 5:14).

Tomorrow we will feature a post adapted from a handout entitled “Praying for the lost” which I did several years ago. Perhaps it might be helpful to you in the endeavor of praying for the lost.

Previous posts in this series:

George Stiekes held successful pastorates in churches in Michigan and Washington among other places. He currently resides in North Carolina and blogs at Reverent Reflections. We recommend his ministry and republish his material by permission.

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