Praying for the Lost by Name

The Bible consistently speaks of two groups of people, those who know Christ and those who have rejected Christ (Matthew 25:31-41; Romans 1:16). To know Christ is to experience His love and mercy by acknowledging your sin and placing your faith in Jesus Christ’s death on the cross (Romans 5:1-2). Jesus died for sinners to experience God’s grace rather than suffer the torment of hell itself (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). This is foundational to the gospel message. Evangelical believers everywhere believe that God has commanded them to share the good news that Jesus died for sinners so each person can have the opportunity to love God and to experience His mercy (Matthew 28:18-20). We cannot rest until everyone knows the life-changing message of the gospel.

Because it is so urgent that everyone would know Christ and His mercy, I am leading our church to pray for three friends, co-workers, neighbor, or family members by name. There is maintenance praying where we pray for the physical needs of Christians and the church. But there is also frontline praying, where we pray for a zeal to spread God’s grace to the unchurched. I am calling on our church for frontline praying, where God stirs our heart and soul to see a revival His grace among people who have yet to call on Christ as Lord and Savior.

So, I am asking each person in our church family to join me in praying for three unchurched persons. Specifically, these are three people who have yet to place their faith in Jesus Christ. This time of prayer can by done as a family, with a prayer partner, or even as you walk through your street, business area, school, or neighborhood. You can pray at home or join together during Sunday morning Bible study groups. In essence, this is a quiet time when you push away from the world to seek the Lord on behalf of your friends.

Our time in prayer is designed to invite God’s Spirit to move against Satan who desires to deceive and distort people to the truth of the gospel (2 Corinthians 4:4). This time is also designed for you to pray for your sensitivity to others. Yes, we are asking the Lord to draw our unchurched friends to Himself but we are also asking the Lord to grant us a renewed sense of compassion and boldness to share God’s love. I encourage you to ask the Lord to give you wisdom to know what to say when opportunities present itself (Philemon 6).

IMG_0812

The Cross at NRHBC

As you enter our building, you will see a cross with names on the top of it. These names were placed on the cross during a special Sunday evening prayer time on September 8. This time was devoted to praying for our unchurched friends and love ones. The names are just some of the people we are praying for in the next few months.

I invite and challenge you to add the names of your friends from school, co-workers, family members, and neighbors to the cross as well in the coming days. I want to see this cross completely filled in the coming days. Place the names of children who have yet to know Christ. Write down the names of people through our bus ministry who have yet to profess Christ. Or, jot down the names of Spanish-speaking friends who are near to you that God may add to our Spanish-speaking service at 10:45.

So take a few minutes before or after worship in the new few Sundays and quietly place the names of people you are praying for on the cross. Write the names down on business card and place this in a prominent place to remind you to pray for them regularly. Join me in asking God to draw much of the mid-cities of Dallas/Fort Worth to Jesus Christ in the days to come (John 6:44). Examine carefully the cross as you pass by it and consider it a holy place, dedicated to God. Pray with me for the names found there and pray that we would experience a revival of God’s spreading God’s rich grace toward sinners (Matthew 9:35-37).

Let’s saturate our community, streets, businesses, schools, and family in prayer. Let’s ask the Lord to give us a compassion and zeal to reach the lost in the DFW metroplex. Let’s see an awakening where multitudes of people experience the grace of God in the coming days.

Related Posts: What Motivates People to Share the Gospel?

 A Defense of Evangelism: Five Steps Toward Faith

The Day of Doom

Truth be known, most Christians today are embarrassed of the Bible’s teachings on hell. We’d rather the outside world know us by our kindness or even our morality.

But it hasn’t always been this way. I offer a brief quote from George Marsden’s biography on Jonathan Edwards. His words point us to a different era within American culture:

Much of Puritan upbringing was designed to teach children to recognize how insecure their lives were. Every child knew of brothers, sisters, cousins, or friends who had suddenly died. [Pastor] Cotton Mather … eventually lost thirteen of his fifteen children. Parents nightly reminded their children that sleep was a type of death and taught them such prayers as “This day is past; but tell me who can say/ That I shall surely live another day.” The New England Primer illustrated the letter “T” with “Time cuts down all, both great and small” and a woodcut of the grim reaper…. One of [Jonathan] Edwards children’s surviving writing exercises reads, “Nothing is more certain than death. Take no delay in the great work of preparing for death.”

Colonial life was uncertain for parents who lost children in infancy. Colonial America knew little concerning medical science’s modern technological advances. Death was thought of as a practical necessity than perverse fascination. Consequently, death seemed to sober their thoughts more clearly about the next world. God’s judgment reoriented their thoughts away from the causal pursuits of the day.

Christianity needs to recapture the Bible’s emphasis upon eternity. Too much of the Jesus we offer today is to assist Americans with their ongoing pursuits of material success and perfecting their lives in this world. We think more about the Dallas Cowboys than our mortality. We need to redouble our efforts to ponder the implications of eternity and God’s ultimate evaluation of our lives.