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Thread: How To Pray For Someone's Salvation?

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    How To Pray For Someone's Salvation?

    What are some examples in Scripture of praying for another person specifically for their standing with God?

    I have reached a point where I'm discouraged from praying because I don't see any change or progress that it's even a Biblical thing to pray for. Most of my prayers on this have become much shorter and repetitive compared to when I started, because I just don't know what more to say or enough ways of asking for the same thing. I'm beginning to think a lot of things are simply my own imagination or that I can't take them on without failing. And, I'm afraid that I will go down a path like my mother who prayed years for my earthly father's repentance without success.

    For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." ... So then, it does not depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. (Romans 9)

    All the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?” (Daniel 4)

    Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
    (Proverbs 19)

    There are times when God does not grant salvation, and it doesn't seem to be something that one sinner can intercede on behalf of another. Although I'm aware of Scripture, which teaches that we should live in a manner like Christ, and "perhaps" win a lost person:

    For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? (1 Cor. 7)

    Even if they refuse to believe the word, they will be won over without words by the behavior of their wives.
    (1 Peter 3)

    So then is it right to pray for God's intervention, or is it vain? It seems more beneficial to pray for continued sanctification for yourself to "maximize the chance" the lost person can be won over. But my failings become more apparent and unresolvable, that I cannot represent the gospel well enough, I feel as though my mission is futile. I thought this would be the treasure Jesus was speaking of:

    Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6)

    And that Paul achieved in the church of Thessalonica:

    For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy. (1 Thess. 2)

    How am I supposed to lay up this treasure?
    Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.
    The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
    And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Ph 4

  2. #2

    Re: How To Pray For Someone's Salvation?

    I can think of a few possibly relevant verses

    Luke 22:32: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (ESV)

    Jesus is praying that Peter's faith 'may not' fail. "May" implying that it could fail, I suppose? And apparently it did: Jesus says directly afterward, "And when you have turned again."... almost makes it sound like that we can pray for someone else, but perhaps the final choice is theirs. I don't think we can force our will on someone else.

    Perhaps comparable to the fact that God doesn't force us to become believers or not. As it's our choice, I think so it's their choice..

    Sounds like you are praying for someone close to you who is an unbeliever or who is living wrongly to become a believer or to walk in righteousness. Essentially, you want someone not saved to become saved.

    Also Luke 6:28 "pray for those who abuse you" and Mat 5:44 "pray for those who persecute you". Specifically, what? Obviously praying for them to repent and come to Christ would fall under that category, as well as for their welfare and to bless them (Luke 6:28 'bless those who curse you').

    Mark 11:23-24 says that faith can move mountains, and whatever we ask in faith we will receive, but this is qualified by 1 Jn 5:14-15, James 1:6 and James 4:3.

    In Acts 8:24 Simon the sorcerer wants Peter to pray for him so that nothing bad that he mentioned in vs 20-23 would happen to him. In those verses, though, Peter told him to repent of his wickedness and pray to God. It is not mentioned whether Peter actually prays for Simon, which seem to imply to me again that it is the specific person who can choose to repent and no one else can make the decision for them.

    I could give some personal advice which may or may not be helpful, and which is somewhat analogous. I had asked for a specific young lady to be my wife in the past. Days, weeks, months rolled by and nothing happened. I couldn't understand it. One time something did happen, we bumped into each other and I asked her to eat lunch with me. She agreed and we talked to each other but since then has not seemed interested. At all. In fact except for a few times in which nothing much happened, I have not seen her in weeks to months. I think what happens may be is that when you have faith that someone will turn to God, in your case (in my case faith that the person will marry me) you exert an influence proportional to your faith on them. Faith provides a motivation and a strong will to do something. This will may rub off on them and they may find their will being drawn to yours, which is in turn God's will, because it's faithful. But of course they can choose simply not to believe, in which case they are an unbeliever. In any case, the end result is still that it is their choice to make..


    Josh
    "The eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good."
    Prov 15:3

  3. #3
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    Re: How To Pray For Someone's Salvation?

    Thanks for the response; I completely forgot about "pray for those who persecute you."
    Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.
    The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
    And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Ph 4

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    Re: How To Pray For Someone's Salvation?

    Romans 10:1 (AV): Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.

    I think with that verse you are fine.

    Speaking as a Calvinist, praying for salvation makes total sense. As I understand depravity, no one can turn themselves toward Christ. God has ends (the saving of a person) but he also has means (gospel must be preached for example).

    God doesn’t save without the means. So it makes a lot of sense to pray for people who if left to themselves cannot turn to God. Prayers are needed and Romans 10:1 is a great example of none other than the apostle Paul praying for salvation of others.

    It’s not a promise. What happened with your mom praying for your dad is a possibility. But it is a completely justified course of action.

    And while it is a historical narrative 1 Samuel 12:23 might suggest not praying is a serious problem.

    1 Samuel 12:23 (AV): Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you: but I will teach you the good and the right way:

    Samuel doesn’t specifically say he was praying for salvation, but he may have. You can’t be wrong praying for salvation. You could be wrong in not praying for it.

    In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity. - Rupertus Meldenius

    Read your Bible and pray every single day. - Pastor Jon Courson

    If your grace ain't greasier than a bucket full of chitlin's and gravy, you might be a legalist - an internet friend.

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