Summary: Amazingly, the Scripture speaks little of praying for individuals to place their faith in Jesus Christ! Why is this? What exactly are we to pray for?
Outline for CBF Nov. 1, 2009
I. No where in the Bible are we specifically commanded to pray for the salvation of individuals!
II. We are told and shown that we ought to be praying for evangelism and outreach.
- Paul both asked for prayer for himself and others sharing the gospel.
TS. Let’s look at two texts which show us that for which Paul asked prayer:
A. Colossians 4:2-4 (opportunity & ability to present the gospel)
B. Ephesians 6:18-20 (ability to proclaim it effectively and boldness in doing so)
1. We ought to pray for these very things for ourselves.
2. We ought to pray for these things for others.
3. What sincere child of God wouldn’t want to share the faith with others?
4. Who would love to have opportunity drop in his lap?!
5. Which one of us never senses the need for God’s grace in how to effectively present the gospel to others?
6. Is there anyone who is never nervous about this?
a. We ought to be praying for opportunity to share Christ.
b. We ought to be praying for ability to do so.
c.We ought to be praying for boldness in presenting Christ to others.
TS. At one point...
III. Jesus told His disciples to pray that the Lord would send for laborers into His harvest. Luke 10:2
TS. This is a good thing. But, again, have you ever noticed that this was at a very different time and point in His ministry?
A. This command is never repeated. Why?
TS. I believe this is because
B. He Himself Has sent for laborers into the harvest! (That’d be us!)
TS. Let’s think back to our first point: “ Nowhere in the Bible are we specifically commanded to pray for the salvation of individuals!” Can you believe it?! I only found two texts which mention praying for the lost!
“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.” Romans 10:1
“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,” 1 Timothy 2:1
These aren’t even a prayers for a specific person!
TS. Before we get into the “whys” for this lack of a command, let’s make it clear that...
There is nothing in the Bible which says not to pray for the salvation of individuals!
1. Ephesians 6:18 “praying always with all prayer and supplication” certainly leaves room for it.
2. Philippians 4:6 states:“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;”
IV. Reasons we’re not commanded to pray for lost individuals
A. We have Jesus’ promises. Once given one doesn’t ask for a promise, one depends on it!
1. Jesus’ Promises:
a. John 12:32 - Here is a promise of Jesus, that if He would go to the cross, He would draw all peoples to Himself.
b. We have Jesus’ promises in John 14:12-16
1) We can now do greater works than did He in His earthly ministry.
2) He said He would give us another comforter/helper (and He did)
c. In John 16:7-11 Jesus promised us that the Holy Spirit would convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.
2. Don’t just pray! Go & share!
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen. Mt 28:18-20
B. If we love as Jesus loves, our hearts will break for the lost and we will pray!
1.By all means pray for the lost!
2.However, more importantly believe Jesus’ promises and go!
3.Pray for opportunity, ability and boldness.