Do your prayers really matter? You know, those prayers for unsaved people in your life that never seem to get answered.
Here’s why they do matter.
There are three parties involved in your prayer for lost souls: 1. You, 2. The person you’re praying for, and 3. God Himself.
Which one of these three is the “reluctant” party?
(1) Is God reluctant? No. The word says God isn’t willing for anyone to be lost and go to Satan’s hell (1st Timothy 2:3-4, 2nd Peter 3:9, and John 3:16).
(2) Is the person you’re praying for reluctant? Yes. Usually because they’re resisting God or just don’t know the truth. According to the Word, they’re trapped in darkness and a slave to Satan (2nd Peter 2:25-26 & 2nd Corinthians 4:4).
(3) Are you reluctant? I hope not. You’re the key.
As you pray, you’re taking their place. You’re now the “seeker” yourself, a “stand-in” placing yourself between the reluctant seeker and our loving God; by proxy, you’re inviting Him into the lost person’s heart.
So—keep on praying!
What does prayer for our political leaders have to do with winning lost people to Christ?
In his letter to the young missionary Timothy, Paul wrote, “ I urge that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made in behalf of all people, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.” (1st Tim. 2:1-2 NASB)
Notice he doesn’t say we should pray just for our “side” —for those politicians we agree with and support.
His emphasis is on the church experiencing “tranquil and quiet” lives, which pleases God, who “wants all people to be saved”.
Some people think a dangerous, chaotic world helps us win souls, yet the Bible teaches the opposite.
Praying for our leaders to encourage peace in America will open doors for the gospel.
Keep on praying!
We’ve all heard that faith is powerful, but what about unbelief?
Jesus said unbelief has enough power to stop miracles. When his disciples couldn’t cast out a demon, they asked Jesus why. He said it was because they were an “unbelieving generation” and a people of “little faith”. (Matthew 17:17-20)
Unbelief can stop God’s supernatural power and cut off your blessings—just like it did in Jesus’ own hometown. They didn’t experience his miracles because of unbelief: “And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith” (Matthew 13:58 NIV). (Mark’s gospel says he “could not do any miracles there…” in Mark 6:5-6 NIV).
So, since unbelief is such a powerful negative force, how can we avoid it?
1) Guard Your Heart. Solomon taught that a person’s interior thinking process influences and steers the whole life. “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (Prov. 4:23) Your spirit must be fed on faith-filled thoughts or you’ll fall into unbelief.
2) Fall In Love With God’s Voice. Believers know that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). So, faith gets energized and maintained by a close relationship with God’s words. That’s exactly how Jesus withstood Satan’s attack on his faith. (Read Matthew 4:1-11 and look for the “It is written” strategy of Jesus.)
3) Hang Out With Faith People. King Solomon said, “Walk with the wise and become wise” (Prov. 13:20), which is good advice for avoiding unbelief. If you spend time around scoffing, unbelieving people, you’ll fall into their habits. That’s one reason Jesus wants us to assemble with other believers, so we can build each other up in the faith (Heb. 10:24).
Remember – “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Heb. 11:6)