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Do you want your loved ones, your friends, and neighbors to come to Christ? Begin to claim them for God as you pray. Follow the example of our Lord, our High Priest, whose prayer is recorded in John 17:20: "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message."
Just as Jesus prayed that the Holy Spirit would work in the lives of His disciples, so we can pray that the Holy Spirit will convict non-believers and give them a strong desire to know God. Paul and other writers of the New Testament were frequently requesting prayer for others as well as for themselves.
Although God wants everyone to come to repentance, He chooses to wait for the prayers of a concerned believer to release the Holy Spirit in that person's heart. In our efforts to lead people to Christ, we must first talk to God about men, then talk to men about God. If we follow this divine order, we will see results.
Since it is God's will that none should perish, and since God promises to answer any prayer offered in accordance with His will (I John 5:14-15), we can know with assurance that God will answer our prayers for the salvation of souls for whom he has impressed us to pray (Philippians 2:13).
Prayer is really the place where people are won to Christ; sharing the Good News is just gathering in the fruit.
The aim of this lesson is to demonstrate that prayer played a major part in the witness of the early church.
Continue praying without ceasing, but instead of begging and pleading with God, thank and praise Him by faith that He is going to answer your prayer in His perfect timing.
Adapted from The 10 Basic Steps Toward Christian Maturity, by Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Cru. All rights reserved.
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