Opinion

Kneel for the Lost

In recent days, Sharon and I went to a prayer meeting at the Jerusalem Prayer Center in Israel. The place was a large house on Embassy Row that was formerly the consulate for a European country. Now, it has been converted into a beautiful location for prayer. The staff was very grateful for the Missouri Baptists that volunteered and assisted with the construction of a garden at the facility.

Those who supervised the place reminded our group that we needed to be quiet because some people were listening—listening for the voice of our great God.

The upper floor was an “L” shaped room about 16 feet wide by 24 feet long. Around the outside walls were special stations for prayer. There was one for confession of sin, another for praise, another for intercession for leaders of the nations. There was a station to pray for our International Mission Board personnel and another station for healing.

We were in the room with about two dozen other Christ-followers. Within minutes, I could hear the deep sobs of a friend, and I looked around the room through my own tearful eyes at tears rolling off the cheeks of others. The presence of the Lord was thick in the room and we all knew He was listening to the intercessions of His children crying, “Abba Father.”

As I made my way around the room I came to a station that captured my heart. The station was identified as Pray for the Lost. Here is what the parchment instruction sign stated:

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“Kneel before the Father and intercede for the lost that they will be reached with the Gospel:

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• Pray that our motives to reach the un-reached will be pure, renouncing secret and shameful ways. That we do not resort to deception, or distort the word of God.

• Pray that we set forth the truth plainly, commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

• Pray for the perishing, those whom the god of this age has blinded so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

• Pray for faith in the God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb’ (Revelation 7:9-10).”

After reading this, I was quickened in my own heart and cried out to God for the two men I want to see come to faith in Christ. Who is it the Lord has placed in your sphere of influence that needs you to intercede?

I think sometimes as Western believers we forget that we were not redeemed to enjoy the benefits of salvation as much as we were born again so that we obey the Lord Jesus in all things. Saved to obey Him. “The one who has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. And the one who loves me will be loved by my Father. I will also love him and reveal myself to him” (John 14:21 CSB).

In the prayer room, there was a small basket of rocks. They have lots of rocks in Israel. As we prayed for lost people, we were given instructions to write their names on a rock with a Sharpie pen. By the time I made my way around the prayer stations and to the Pray for the Lost station, the basket was full of “prayed for” people represented by the rocks with names on them.

As we launch a new decade, we know we cannot do what we have been doing and expect different results. I fear too many a prayer meeting is more of a session of announced needs on a “prayer list” and very little intercession for lost people. The result is fewer and fewer people coming to Christ. We must understand that the life-transforming work of God through salvation is huge. The destiny of entire clans is determined by people coming to faith in Christ.

Missouri Baptists, what would God do with a people who found their knees once again and interceded for those who are lost and separated from God? Kneel for the lost. ν



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