It is so important to keep the main thing the main thing. God always has eternity on His mind, and we must have the gospel of the kingdom on our minds and hearts at all times as well. We need an infusion of passion for souls! How else are we going to see the billion-soul harvest, especially of youth and beyond?
I remember an encounter I had when ministering at Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena, California, when the seer realm opened up before me. I saw these huge glowing letters right in front of me: "S. H. O. P." I wondered what it meant. Instantly the Holy Spirit said, "It's time for the Salvation House of Prayer."
Yes, it is time for passion for souls. It is time to pray to the Lord of the harvest for souls.
7 Practical Ways of Praying for Souls
I need very practical guidelines to help me in my prayer life. Here is a list of seven practical ways to pray for souls who are not yet saved or for those who need a particular kind of help at the moment.
- Ask God to soften their hearts. You can pray specifically for the condition of someone's heart to change. You can pray for God to remove the stones from a heart and to replace it with softness and receptivity. Prophetically, Ezekiel wrote:
"And I will give them one heart [a new heart] and I will put a new spirit within them; and I will take the stony [unnaturally hardened] heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh [sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God]" (Ezek. 11:19, AMP). Hearts can become hard for lots of reasons, but you can stand in God's presence and ask for a change.
- Ask God to send a spirit of conviction. You can pray for the Spirit of conviction to be released into the heart of the person for which you are praying. Remembering John 16:8, you can say, "I call this one before You, and I ask for a spirit of conviction of sin, righteousness and judgment to come. Let them know Your loving kindness and Your mercy. Convince them of eternity. Convince them concerning life and death and of the realities of heaven and hell. Convince them of the need of a Savior."
- Ask God to send a spirit of revelation. Ask God to send a spirit of wisdom and revelation upon these souls, to open their minds and hearts. It takes revelation to really know you need to be saved. It takes revelation to know who Jesus is. Some people begin to have their hearts awakened, and then they go out into the world trying to find God. They need revelation to understand that it's Jesus they seek. Pray for them "that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe" (Eph. 1:17–19, NASB). God may send a spirit of wisdom and revelation, whether through dreams in the night, visions or angelic visitations. Just pray for it.
- Ask God to bring His Word to remembrance. We learn in John 14 that the Holy Spirit is the Helper, and that He will bring God's truth to a person's remembrance:
"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you" (John 14:26).
God is looking for co-laborers, and this is could be today's assignment for you. A lot of the Word has gone forth without being watered. You can water it. You may not even know what words or messages the person has absorbed over the years, but you can water God's seeds with your prayers; you can call forth growth. It may also result in a breakthrough that could not have happened otherwise.
- Pray for laborers for the harvest. This is a prayer that the Lord Jesus Himself recommended. As recorded in Matthew 9:38 (NIV), "Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
When I pray this, I ask the Lord of the harvest to thrust forth laborers into the field. The phrase "send out" is a little too mild; it's really more like the word thrust forth, a somewhat violent action.
When we pray this way, we have no idea how we just helped the Holy Spirit to land on someone, to empower that person to release a word of kindness, perform an act of healing, speak a word of encouragement or even utter a word of confrontation. We release laborers into the ripe fields when we pray for laborers in the harvest.
- Pray for a revelation of God's love. Ask God to overwhelm these people with His love. It's the kindness of God that draws us to repentance (see Romans 2:4). Of course He will use difficult circumstances to make someone desperate, but don't pray for Him to send difficulties.
Don't partner with the devil's work.
Partner with God, who is good all the time, and pray for a revelation of God's love in the midst of whatever happens. If the person doesn't grasp the fact that God loves him or her—right in the middle of a grave situation—the person may simply walk away or otherwise not gain any eternal benefit from it.
Our job is to love. God's job is to straighten things out.
- Solicit the prayers of others. You can enroll others on your personal intercession team. They too can pray for those on your prayer list. You can help others pray for their loved ones as well. Paul did this all the time. Look at what he wrote to members of his church family:
"Pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak" (Eph. 6:19–20, NASB).
"He will yet deliver us, you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many" (2 Cor. 1:10–11, NASB).
If you can get other people praying with you, you will see progress. Now the gospel message will penetrate a hard heart and healing can occur.
Say Yes to God's Passion
Other people prayed for us, and now in turn, we want to pray for those who need more of God. We say "yes" to God's invitation to be ambassadors for His kingdom. We partner in fervent, effectual prayer with others who may not be part of our families, so that, with Paul, we can walk through doors that used to be closed. (See James 5:16 and 1 Cor. 16:9.)
Release your faith and believe the Lord for more of His presence to come into your family. Stand strong as a prophet and priest in your family and expect great things! As you pray, you can be sure that things are shifting in the heavenlies. Laborers are being sent. Revelation is on the way. Hearts are melting before the love of Jesus. Yes, you can pray for an open door for souls to come into God's family!
For the original article, visit godencounters.com.
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Dr. James Goll is the founder of Encounters Network, Prayer Storm and helps carry on the work of Compassion Acts. For information on his online school visit: geteschool.com. James continues to live in Tennessee and is a joyful father and grandfather today.
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