Should we pray for the lost? Many have asked me that question down through the years. I believe so and let me tell you why.
There are at least two primary reasons why I believe that we should regularly pray for those who don’t know Christ.
1) Prayer is Important to “Prepare The Soil.”
“A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” (Luke 8:5-8)
We know from scripture that this parable describes the four conditions of men’s souls. Some men’s souls are like hardened soil along a pathway. Whenever the Word of God is sown, such hardness often prohibits any type of penetration. Other men’s souls are like fertile soil. Whenever the Word of God is sown, their souls quickly receive the Word and they are saved.
Numerous things can harden some-one’s soul. Time, adversity, disillusionment, and even stubbornness can make someone seem unreachable. Yet as long as there is still hope, we must never give up trying. Like the four friends who carried their crippled friend to Jesus, we must through persistent prayer barge our way through all obstacles and continually lay our needy friends before the Healer.
2) Prayer is Important to Prepare the Sower
Too often we take it upon ourselves to seal some-one’s destiny long before their death. “They’re too hard. They will never be saved”, we tell ourselves and others. Yet when did that become our call? I’ll never forget what a professor said many years ago while I was at Tennessee Temple. “Many of us quickly condemn those who preach predestination; yet we predestine someone to hell every-time we neglect to tell them about Jesus.”
What are the fields God has given you to sow: work, school, family, friends? Are you willing to do the hard work of plowing the fields with your prayers and watering them with your tears?
He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him. (Psalms 126:6)