“Jesus replied, ‘Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer’” (Matthew 21: 21-22).
Older writers use the term “importunity” to refer to the importance of persisting in prayer. Praying for the lost involves serious spiritual warfare and must include patience. Sometimes it may take years to see the fruit of one’s labor in prayer for lost friends and family.
Pastor Charles Sullivan tells of a time when he gave the invitation and a man in his seventies came forward to give his life to Christ. His wife came down the aisle behind him with the glow of God on her face. After Sullivan counseled the man and prayed with him, he reached for a membership card to fill out, but the wife stopped him. She told Sullivan that he wouldn’t need a card. She reached in her Bible and pulled out an old, yellow, tattered card. “Forty years ago, I made a commitment to pray for my husband’s salvation daily,” she explained. “As a sign of my commitment, I filled out a membership card with my husband’s name, and checked ‘profession of faith’ and ‘baptism.’ The only thing we need to complete is the date.” God had answered her prayer.
Lord, You call me to a life of persistent, unrelenting prayer, and I have often grown weary and let people You love slip away from my heart. Give me a renewed sense of purpose to fight for the salvation of those whom You have given me a specific assignment to intercede for! Help me to continue to ask so that at just the right moment You can remove whatever is keeping them from receiving Your promise of everlasting life!
–Adapted from Chapter 63 of Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Prayer and Evangelism) by Alvin L. Reid. This resource is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.
Praise God, for his mercy endures to all generations. Thank him for receiving you without hesitation. Confess thoughts which prevent you from exploring God’s mercy. Commit yourself to listening to his still, small voice. Jesus whispers, “Come unto me.” Ask God to help you see the many ways he shows you his mercy.
Pray that God will create tender hearts in his people, the church. Pray for renewed passion to share Christ and his mercy.
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