DEALING PRIDE A DEATH BLOW Understanding this blinding ability of pride provides a tremendous clue to how to pray effectively for the lost. We must attack the root of pride!
Most rejection of Christ, whether from the works motivation of false religions or the simple fact that most people don't want to give lordship of their lives to another, is due to the veil of pride.
This satanically initiated stronghold is the ultimate enemy of Christ and will be dealt with in finality when every knee bows and every tongue confesses that Christ is Lord. Pride will be dealt its final blow!
How do we deal with the vision-altering force of pride inflicted upon us by the serpent himself, Satan? The Bible identifies a solution for the pride problem and gives us key strategies for effectively praying for unbelievers.
"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:3-5).
We will never win people to Christ on an intellectual basis or through innovative methods alone. Certainly, a continual barrage of nagging and harassing questions won't bring them to the Lord.
In How to Pray for Your Family and Friends (Servant Publications), author Quin Sherrer wrote: "I've talked with many women who believed it was their responsibility to do everything in their power to 'make' their husbands become Christians, but by their manipulative scheming, they only succeeded in turning their husbands away from any interest in spiritual matters. As many wives have learned the hard way, only the Holy Spirit can reveal to an individual the truth of who Jesus is" (see John 16:8-13).
Sometimes we can talk people into a salvation prayer without a true revelation (unveiling), but there is usually no real change because there is no true repentance, which comes only from biblical revelation.
When we approach people on a human basis, especially if they feel we are pressuring them, we generally make things worse. The root of pride in them rises up and defends itself. If we attack this pride on a human level, we will only strengthen it.
But we do have weapons that are "divinely powerful." These weapons, empowered by God, will work miracles.
GOD'S ARMORY FOR BREAKING HUMAN PRIDE Paul E. Billheimer, a 20th-century authority on prayer and author of Destined for the Throne (Christian Literature Crusade), said his salvation resulted from spiritual warfare waged on his behalf. He explains: "My mother used these weapons on me. I was as hostile to God as any sinner.
"I was fighting with all my might. But the time came when it was easier to lay down my arms of rebellion than to continue my resistance. The pressure exerted upon me by the Holy Spirit became so powerful that I voluntarily sought relief by yielding my rebellious will.
"The wooing of divine love was so strong that of my own free will I fell into the arms of redeeming grace. I became a willing 'captive.'"
What are these weapons we use in our warfare?
All forms of prayer. This would include supplication, agreement with other Christians, travail, praying in the Spirit, binding and loosing--any biblical form of prayer (see Eph. 6:18).