Summary: This message talks about the importance of praying for the lost.
Just a reminder - next week is father’s day. If you haven’t bought your father’s day gifts, you need to get busy... And, if you are needing a father to celebrate and buy for - all of our staff are now fathers!
Last week I had the chance to baptize two of my children. It’s always a pretty special moment when you get to baptize anyone - but your own kids - that’s pretty cool! I was talking about it later in the day with Aaron. I was sharing how proud I was of him, and how cool I thought it was - and he looks up at me and says, “You know Dad, we need to get Christian baptized.” Aaron’s best friend in all the world is a kid named Christian. They go to school together and they have sleep-overs - Aaron evaluates a lot of things in his life by the “would Christian do this scale” ...and here he is - just after being baptized - saying I know someone else who needs to be baptized - My friend Christian...
One of the greatest things about seeing a person come to Christ is to see the heart of evangelism begin to beat. New Christians are far more likely to win someone to Christ than older, more seasoned Christians.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately... We all say that evangelism - that seeing new people come to faith is important, but how important do we make it in our lives? When was the last time that you shared your faith? When was the last time you took a bold step and had a spiritual conversation with someone new?
Allow me to really open up and share with you from my heart: What if we as saved people are missing the thing that matters most to God?
John 3:16 - says “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
Romans 5:8 says “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
In Luke 19:10, Jesus said his mission was this “to seek and save those who are lost.”
In John 10:10, Jesus says, “A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”
If God values lost people so much, How do I show that I value the same thing?
One way is to love... We are called to love our neighbor. First we love God and then we learn to love those around us...
And certainly we want to share - It’s important for us to share our faith. Its important for us to learn to share the love of God with those around us...
But - I have become convinced that there’s a step we’ve been ignoring. One of the steps in the evangelism process that often we ignore is prayer. When was the last time you prayed for a lost person to come to faith in Christ?
In this story, Jesus is teaching on prayer - and he is teaching the importance of being persistent. You know what you are persistent about? You are persistent about what matters to you most.
When I was without a job and began to run out of money - I started praying about getting a job. When I left Bastrop I was given a four month severance - I prayed from day one - but by month three, I was praying every day - several times a day...
When our son Caleb was in the hospital after he was born, I prayed constantly for him to get well...
What you are serious about - you pray about. Now let me ask you this: if God takes lost people so seriously, why don’t we pray more for the lost around us?
Maybe its because we don’t see them... One of the things that we do with Phoenix Church is to try and get people meeting in small discipleship groups. I am in one and meet each week with a guy - and one of the things we do is to pray for lost friends - I remember when we first made our lists of who to pray for... I struggled with who to put on my list. I began to ask God to give me names... Soon I began to see some guys in my life that I coach soccer with that don’t know Jesus, and I stated to pray for them.