12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.
13 Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency.
14 For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.
15 If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children.
16 When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me;
17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.
18 Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.
19 How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors.
Prayer is vital to the success of any Christian endeavor and that includes evangelism. Prayer does not save people, unless it is their own prayer (Roman 10:9, 10) and that shows you how powerful it is. It takes the preaching of the Gospel (Romans 1:16, 17) but prayer opens the doors to an honest sharing of the Gospel. God works in people’s lives in answer to prayer and prayer moves the Hand that moves the world. Most Believers would say they want to see souls saved and church growth through evangelism and not transfer growth but how many are willing to pray?
A believer was honest enough to tell me that they had no desire to share the Gospel and really felt no real burden for lost people on their way to a devil’s hell. I asked them if they ever prayed for lost people and as you can guess they said no. I said, that is where I would start. The Psalmist in Psalm 73 showed the same void of passion for the eternal destiny of people and even was envious of the wicked who seemed to have it all going for them while the righteous seem to suffer. The ungodly seem to prosper in the world and increase in riches (v. 12) and this plagued and pained his mind until in (v.17) he says “Until I went into the sanctuary of God: then understood I their end.” In God’s presence, in the sanctuary, the place of prayer, he sees what will ultimately be their end. The presence of God through prayer can change anyone’s perspective and passion.
Here’s some things we can pray for lost people:
- PRAY FOR OUR INHERITANCE OF LOST SOULS Psalm 2:8.
We need to ask for souls to be saved even though we know it is God’s will – He still said to ask. Every believer has an inheritance of lost souls. Many things that are God’s will never happen until we pray. Ask and it shall be given us Matthew 7:7.
- PRAY TO BIND THE STRONG MAN Isaiah 14:12, 16, 17; Matthew 12:29.
There are spiritual forces that will not let people go. We deal with the spiritual forces operating in their lives. No man spoils a strong man’s house until he first binds him. We have keys to bind/loose Matthew 16:18, 19. We bind the devil and demon forces. We need to exercise our authority in the realm where we have dominion, which is the spirit realm. Our authority can be unleashed against the adversary in prayer Exodus 17:8-13.
- PRAY FOR LIGHT TO OPEN THEIR EYES FROM THE BLINDNESS, DARKNESS, AND DECEPTION Isaiah 42:16; Ephesians 1:17, 18.
The reason men rebel against God is their mind has been blinded 2 Corinthians 4:4, understanding darkened Ephesians 4:18, and heart deceived Titus 3:3. God gives us His promise Isaiah 42:16 to turn on the light.
- PRAY TO TURN THEM TO RECEIVE Acts 26:18; Philippians 1:19.
A person is saved or not because of receiving Jesus or not John 1:12. This is the bottom line of are they saved is, “Have they received Jesus?” People come to the Lord like turning a light bulb into a light socket; it is one turn at a time until the light comes on. We have a supply of the spirit and power of God through prayer to turn them so they can receive.
- PRAY FOR OPEN DOORS TO SPEAK TO THEM Colossians 4:3, 4; Ephesians 6:19, 20.
Prayer sets up appointments – doors of opportunity. Doors in scripture represent an entering into any spiritual experience. Remember Lydia in Acts 16:14 is an example of someone whose heart the Lord opened.
- PRAY FOR LABORERS TO BE SENT INTO THE HARVEST Matthew 9:38.
God knows the perfect person to send to everybody. God knows how to position laborers in the lives of people. God knows where the people are because it’s His harvest.
- PRAY THAT YOUR MINISTRY EFFORTS WILL BE ACCEPTED Romans 15:30, 31.
We pray so they will not be able to resist the wisdom and spirit by which we speak Acts 6:10. Acceptance means an approving reception; to receive favorably; to believe in, assent to, or agree to. Paul said Christ coming into the world to save sinners is worthy of all acceptation 1 Timothy 1:15.