Summary: Paul knew that his prayers would reflect how much he really cared for the Jewish people. It is always true that people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. Why is Prayer the Thermometer That Gauges The Desires Of Our Heart? (Ro
Why is Prayer the Thermometer That Gauges The Desires Of Our Heart? (Rom. 10:1)
Have you ever had the privilege of being around someone who prays with infectious fervency for the lost?
Example: Mr. Grimes is an example of a man who prayed with such fervency that he wept for the lost. His prayers and example encouraged more people to be involved with evangelism than hundreds of sermons that were forgotten when they could not get Mr. Grimes passion out of their minds.
In similar ways, Paul’s prayer for the unsaved Jews indicated such a burden that he ignited thousands to do everything they could to see that the Jews were given the gospel. Perhaps the most important, yet most neglected aspect of evangelism is prayer. When we ask God for opportunities, He always answers in marvelous ways. Let us look at several guidelines for fervent prayer that Paul the apostle supplies.
1. Paul knew that without a personal Savior, his brethren were headed for a Christless eternity in hell. Those who know Christ intimately are given a greater passion for the lost since we know the horror that awaits those 93% of the world’s population who are yet to trust Christ as their Savior and Lord.
Perhaps, we need to consider more seriously the awful consequences that await those who are yet to find Christ Jesus as their personal Savior. Perhaps, some of us could do more to support a local gospel radio program in our area or a evangelistic outreach ministry in our community to demonstrate our concern for those who are headed for eternal destruction.
2. Paul believed that the Jews were committing sins out of their traditional-historical perspective that needed to be corrected. The great apostle was not content to just let his countrymen go to hell in a hand basket because they had abused him and threatened his life.
Paul’s prayer demonstrates the depth of his love and compelling concern for the Jews. When you pray do you demonstrate this fervent passion for people who might have hurt you in the past. If not perhaps you need to learn a lesson from Paul who let the love of Christ overcome evil with good rather than becoming sullen and bitter and resentful.
3. Paul had a loyal sense of concern for those of his own ethnicity. There are special privilege allegiances and concerns that we have for people who share a similar heritage and background.
Example: I witnessed this hundreds of time when I worked as mobilizer of church planters in Nigeria. The greatest motivation came from our students who wanted to take the gospel to their own people who they had a special affection for.
Insiders always have the greatest credibility. No wonder Jesus told the disciples, "You shall be my witnesses, first in Jerusalem." (Acts 1:8)
Ask the Lord to give you more opportunities and a burden to share the gospel with those who are your neighbors, friends and family members.
4. Paul knew that the Jews came from a distinguished past. When Americans consider their privileged history they should be especially diligent not to surrender their heritage to anything less than the best found in Jesus Christ.
People are often much more motivated to do something when they know they are about ready to lose something of great value to them.
Ask the Lord to help you pray more fervently and motivate others to pray with greater passion knowing the pain involved with seeing people lose their greatest riches in fellowships that are fervently entreating God for the souls of the lost.
5. Paul the apostle knew the outstanding potential of reaching his own people. When we get a vision for how much more effective America could be in evangelizing the rest of the world if more were won to Christ, we would pray with greater fervency.
When we are able to see how God multiplies and maximizes our feeble prayers we will be encouraged to pray with greater passion as Paul did.
Quote: Success always tends to breed more success.
Ask the Lord to help you see fruit from your prayers so that you can motivate others to pray with greater faith.
6. Paul demonstrated that his prayer were a measure of his heart’s passion for Christ and kingdom priorities. You can always tell a lot about a person’s passions by how they pray and for what they pray.
Example: I learned in Nigeria that if I had hundreds of people praying for me everyday I would experience greater power, passion and effectiveness in every aspect of my ministries. Just as Moses needed the people of Israel to raise up his when he got tired so we need to enjoin the help of others in praying for the lost. There are hundreds of outstanding prayer request services over the internet and through the telephone banks where you can submit your most important prayer requests. I learned that when I submitted my prayer requests to many of these services and sent them to my prayer supporters that God always gave special grace, mercy and victory.