Thursday, January 24, 2008

Pray for Salvation

Last night we continued with our discussion on prayer. Specifically we dealt with the concept of praying for the Salvation of people. Based on a Biblical model we encouraged each other to consider including praying for co-workers, family members, friends, and strangers that they may see the beauty of Christ turn from their sin, and call on the name of the Lord and be saved.

"… if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:9-10, NKJV)

God is sovereign in salvation. That is why Christians from most every theological position pray that God will open the heart of the unbeliever.

Acts 16:14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.

Consider the following facts:

· God does all things according to His will

Ephesians 1:11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,

· People are born again by the will of God.

John 1:13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

· God choose men to be adopted in the family of God at the beginning of time.

Ephesians 1:4-5 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will

If we affirm these facts then why should we bother praying? After all it appears that God has already made His decision.

Some have suggested that well even though God has already made His sovereign choice He wants us to pray because we are commanded to pray and prayer is good for us. While I would not dispute that we God commands us to pray and that prayer is good for us, I suggest that God in His providence actually uses prayer to accomplish His will.

God has chosen the means to accomplish His will. For example, faith is a gift of God (Ephesians 2:8-9) but the means by which that faith is distributed is through the proclamation of His Word.

"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17, NKJV)
I may not be able to explain how God accomplishes His will in this world, but He has invited us to be a vital part of the process. Our calling is to pray without ceasing and participate in our commission as ambassadors for Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

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