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PRAYING FOR THE LOST


Lee Thomas is a great teacher on praying for the lost. Here’s part of a testimony from his book:


When we begin to pray for someone’s salvation, God seems to draw a circle around that individual and then gets in the circle with him. That is what happened to Ricky Gresham when his wife Helen and her pastor Mickey Hudnall began to pray for him.


Ricky explained, "It was during the months of February and March of 1990 that I spent some of the most miserable days and nights of my life. Though I did not understand at that time, I was under the conviction of the Holy Spirit of God. Everywhere I turned during those two months, I saw or heard something that pertained to God. It was as though every day when I awoke -- there was God. People I had known for years were now telling me about the Lord. I just could not seem to hide anywhere!"


Ricky told about riding in the truck of his best friend, when a friend of that man pulled them over and started talking about Jesus. Ricky said it seemed like he talked for an hour. Then in parentheses he wrote, "It was five minutes."


And Ricky said, "At that time I was self-employed in a machine shop. There was a black gentleman that would come by and talk with me from time to time. In my pride I wasn’t going to ask someone I knew about the Lord. Finally, I got up the courage to ask him about the Lord.


"Though I wasn’t ready for his answer – He was! He said, ’Just a minute,’ and went to this truck coming back with a Bible that looked to be a hundred years old. He began to turn the pages of that Bible, reading the scriptures to me. I didn’t really understand what he was sharing, but there is one thing with me today that I have never forgotten: ’Ye must be born again!’ He repeated that statement over and over and over – it never left my mind!


"During this time, something was drawing me to God’s word. I was too proud to ask someone for a Bible, so I looked up ’Christ’ in the encyclopedia. And there was a picture of Christ hanging on the cross. Something just kept drawing me to that picture of the Lord. Night after night, I would sneak around looking at that picture.


"During the next few weeks, I began to try to change myself. I had come to a point in my life that I could not stop cursing – every other word was a curse word. I desperately wanted to stop, but it seemed as though I could not control it. It controlled me. Finally, one day at work, when I was by myself, I just spoke out to God, ’Lord, I can’t take this anymore, help me God. I don’t understand all of what Jesus did for me on that cross, but just show me and I will follow you.’


"And from that day, something in me changed. I not only quit cussing, I even lost the desire – it was as if the language had never been there. I had to tell someone what was happening to me, so I asked the pastor if I could say something to the church. All I knew to say was that God had brought me to the place of loving the Lord Jesus and being willing to follow Him for the rest of my life.


"What I did not know during those two months of conviction was that my wife and her pastor had committed themselves to pray every day for my salvation. What I was experiencing was God answering those prayers. I am now the pastor of a church, and I am continually experiencing more and more of God’s grace."


(Source: Adapted from “Praying Effectively for the Lost” by Lee E. Thomas - p. 40-41 - www.pelministries.org)

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