PRESS ON IN YOUR PRAYERS FOR THE UNSAVED!
     By Rich Carmicheal

      The Herald office is privileged to receive many requests from readers asking us to join with them in praying for the salvation of their family and friends.  We are eager to pray in this regard because we know that prayer does indeed make a difference!  In order to encourage you in your prayers, we want to invite you to consider five reasons why you can press on and pray confidently for the salvation of others.

 1. The Lord’s Will Is That Everyone Receive Salvation.

     “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

     “…God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3-4).

     God’s Word makes it clear that He wants everyone to be saved.  We can pray with great confidence when we pray for the salvation of others because we know that we are praying according to the will of God.  As the Apostle John writes, “This is the assurance we have in approaching God:  that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15).

 2. The Lord Can Do The Impossible.

     “When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, ‘Who then can be saved?’  Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible’” (Matthew 19:25-26).

     Are you praying for someone for whom salvation may seem impossible?  Keep in mind that with God all things are possible!  He is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).

 3. The Lord Sends Salvation In Response to Prayer.

     The conversion of Cornelius, the first Gentile to become a Christian, illustrates the impact that prayer can make in connection with salvation.  According to Acts 10:4, Cornelius’ prayers and gifts to the poor had come up as a memorial before God.  In response to these prayers and gifts, the Lord sent an angel who instructed Cornelius to send for Peter.  The next day, Peter, in a time of prayer, had a vision which the Lord used to prepare him for the salvation of Gentiles.  Peter then accompanied messengers sent by Cornelius and went to Cornelius’ house to share the Gospel message.  The end result was that Cornelius, his relatives and his close friends received salvation.  Prayer does make a difference!

 4. The Lord Can Open Doors and Hearts for Salvation.

     The Apostle Paul asked the Colossians to pray “that God may open a door for our message” (Colossians 4:3) and he asked the Thessalonians to pray that “the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored…” (2 Thessalonians 3:1).  In response to prayer, the Lord does open doors for His message to spread and be accepted.

     The Lord can also open hearts.  For example, as Paul shared the gospel with some women who had gathered at a place of prayer at Philippi, the Lord opened Lydia’s heart and she responded to the salvation message (Acts 16:13-15).

     Keep praying—the Lord can open doors and hearts!

 5. The Lord Can Empower Messengers to Share the Gospel.

     “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words will be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:19).

     “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Matthew 9:37-38).

     One of the ways that the Lord answers prayer is by empowering and sending messengers to share His message with the lost.  As we pray for the salvation of others, we can ask the Lord to send the most effective workers to share with them.  Of course, we also want to ask the Lord to use us as He sees best.

     Friends, I want to encourage you to pray with great faith as you pray for the lost.  The Lord is certainly willing and able to save!