January 22

Ask, seek, knock…

One of the most famous men of faith was George Mueller. Mueller is well-known for praying continually and relying on God to supply the needs of the orphanages he ran in England back in the 19thcentury. He would never tell people what food or money he was lacking, but gave it all to God in countless hours of prayer. And, God always supplied his need. But, what is also remarkable is that he had a persistent, tenacious prayer life for his lost friends. In fact, he had five friends he particularly prayed for and towards the end of his life, Mueller stated:

  • “I have been praying every day for fifty-two years for two men, sons of a friend of my youth. They are not converted yet, but they will be! How can it be otherwise?”

His belief was that each would be saved. His premise was based on these 5 principles which he adhered to:

  1. I have not the least doubt because I am assured that it is the Lord’s will to save them, for he willeth that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (see 1 Tim. 2.4); and we have the assurance ‘that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us’ (1 John 5.14).
  2. I have never pleaded for their salvation in my own name, but in the blessed name of my precious Lord Jesus, and on his merits alone (see John 14.14).
  3. I always firmly believed in the willingness of God to hear my prayers (Mark 11:24).
  4. I am not conscious of having yielded to any sin, for ‘if I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me’ when I call (Ps. 66:18).
  5. I have persevered in believing prayer for more than fifty-two years for some, and shall continue till the answer comes: ‘Shall not God avenge his own elect which cry day and night unto him?’ (Luke 18.7).

Sunday night I provided some background insights into who I am and what God has done in my life to prepare me for Waikoloa Baptist. I mentioned my well-stocked library, most of which God provided for me for free. I read a lot of books. But, while you and I may read our 30 chapters of the Bible each week and may read scores of solid Christian books which all contribute to our knowledge which deepens our affections for our Lord, the thing that I think most of us are weak in (at least I know I am) is prayer. Reading tons of books on prayer is fine and dandy, but prayer requires participation. I must be spending my time talking to the Lord. I must be worshiping Him, confessing to Him, interceding for others to Him. It won’t happen just by showing up. No amount of discussion about prayer will ever replace prayer.

So, how’s your prayer life? Do you struggle to really talk with God? Do you feel like He’s distant or not listening? If so, then start small. Small five-minute prayers will turn into ten-minute prayers, and so on. And soon we will be like Moses wherein everyone knew he had spent time with the Lord. He came down from the mountain with his face glowing. We will come away from prayer with our lives glowing and overflowing with praise, faith, and grace.

Back to George Mueller, it wasn’t too long after he died that the last person on his list was saved. God answers the prayers of saints that seek His will and what’s precious to His heart. And trust me, the salvation of people is near and dear to His heart!

  • Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.
  1. Christianity is about aligning ourselves up with Scripture—not making Scripture line up with us!
    1. Do you pray for lost people in your life, specifically by name, begging God to save them? _____________________________
    2. As a suggested tool, have you signed up for BlessEveryHome.com and receive daily prayer reminders of your lost neighbors so that you can pray for their salvation? _________________________
    3. Are you passionate about seeing souls saved, or apathetic? ___________________________________________________
      1. Luke 15:10 and 17 tells us that angels rejoice when a sinner repents. If you or I treat someone’s salvation in a “ho hum” manner, then we are in sin! The whole Bible is God’s redemptive story.
    4. Have you prayed long and hard for people to get saved and have seen them come to the Lord? _____________________________________
      1. Remember how we discussed that God is sovereign in salvation, but that we have a responsibility to obey Him in praying for lost people. This is a great mystery, but should bring you crying to the Lord for the people in your life, and then immense joy when they get saved.
  • Corinthians 2:14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
  1. Have you ever noticed that the Word of God makes virtually no sense to lost people? I. Corinthians 1:23 tells us that Christ is a stublingblock to the Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.
    1. When you pray for the lost, ask God to make the truth of His Word clear to them, to understand that they are sinners on their way to Hell, to understand Christ’s work on the cross for their redemption, and to be convicted unto repentant salvation.
    2. Continual resistance to the Word of God is clear evidence that a person is not saved, because only a saved person (who has the Spirit of God in him) can understand it, will love it, and will desire it. Have you ever noticed resistance to the Bible among those you’ve witnessed to? ________________________________________
      1. In Ephesians 6:19 Paul asks for prayer to have boldness to speak the Gospel. Pray now for that boldness in your own life as well as in the lives of your fellow church members, that we never back down from preaching the Good News.
  • Corinthians 4:3-4 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
    1. While out of sight/out of mind, Satan is a real and active adversary. This earth is his kingdom and all lost people are citizens of his kingdom. All lost people hate God and want nothing to do with the God of the Bible.
      1. Pray now for God to remove the deceptions of Satan, and to open the eyes of the lost that are on your prayer list.
      2. Read Ephesians 6 and the Armor of God so that you can be protected from Satan as he attacks you for standing on God’s Word and spreading His message of salvation.
        1. And trust me, the more you stand for Christ, the more Satan will oppose you!
  • Pray for your fellow church members to not be deceived, discouraged, or persecuted by Satan. Further, pray that they endure when his persecutions come, because while not everyone will face the full strength of his evil, many around the world do face it each and every day (such as at the hands of ISIS).
  • John 17:1-2 Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.