How to Strategically Pray for Salvation for Your Friends and Family

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woman praying

Praise. God uses our praise of Him as a weapon. Always praise God for the salvation of the one(s) for whom you are praying (see Ps. 149:5-9).

The Word of God. Speaking Scriptures that apply to your situation releases great power against the enemy (see Matt. 4; Luke 4; Eph. 6:17).

The name of Jesus. Though praying in the name of Jesus is our access to the Father, it is also a powerful weapon against demonic powers and strongholds (see Mark 16:17).

These weapons will help produce enlightenment in the unbeliever and reveal a true picture of Christ. We must ask God to lift the veil from unbelievers' spiritual eyes.

As Paul prayed for the Ephesian church, ask God for revelation and enlightenment to come to the one for whom you are praying (see Eph. 1:17-18).

INFORMATION VERSUS REVELATION We need to understand the difference between information and revelation. Information is of the mind; biblical revelation originates from the heart.

Spiritual power is released only through revelation knowledge. The written Word must become the living word. Even as believers, we must not just read but abide in the Word (see Ps. 119:18).

Information can come immediately, but revelation is normally a process. As the parable of the sower demonstrates, all biblical truth comes in seed form (see Matt. 13:1-9).

Knowledge or information alone, which is what humans have glorified since the fall, does not produce salvation. It does not necessarily lead to a true knowledge of God.

The Pharisees knew the Scriptures, but they did not know God (see John 5:39; 8:37). Information from the Word had not progressed to revelation.

Many theologians today know the Scriptures thoroughly but don't know God well. They have much information but little or no revelation.

Revelation makes the Scriptures "spirit" and "life" (John 6:63). It makes them live.

This is so important because we are forever short-circuiting God's process and, in so doing, short-circuiting the results.

Only revelation leads to biblical faith and true change. Without it we are simply appealing to a fallen, selfish, humanistic mind that is always asking, "What's in it for me?"

When we appeal to this mentality through human wisdom and intellect alone, we often preach a humanistic "What's in it for them?" gospel, and we produce humanistic, self-centered converts.

If, on the other hand, we preach a pure gospel, including repentance and the laying down of a person's own life (lordship of Christ), unbelievers are sure to reject it unless they receive a biblical revelation. In fact, our gospel often sounds ridiculous to them (see 1 Cor. 2:14).

What is the solution? We must allow the Holy Spirit time to birth true repentance in unbelievers through God-given revelation.

THE FIRE POWER OF PRAYER We must ask God to bring revelation to the unbeliever. Prayer must accompany the hearing of the gospel. I suggest that the following be included:

Pray that the person's heart be prepared, so that it will be "good soil" for the seed (see Mark 4:8).

Pray that Satan will not be able to steal the seeds of truth (see Mark 4:15) and that nothing else will be able to destroy the seeds (see Mark 4:16-19).
Pray that the Word becomes revelation through the lifting of the veil (see 2 Cor. 4:3-4; Eph. 1:17).
Pray that the root of pride be broken (see 2 Cor. 10:3-5).
Pray that the person comes to true repentance (see 2 Pet. 3:9; 2 Tim. 2:25-26).

Repentance does not mean to "turn and go another way." That change of direction is the result of repentance. Repentance--metanoia--means to have "a new knowledge or understanding"--a change of mind (Spiros Zodhiates, Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible, AMG Publishers).

In biblical contexts, repentance is a new understanding that comes from God through an unveiling (revelation) and results in a new direction or lifestyle. Biblical repentance will produce God-centered Christians, not self-centered ones. It reverses the effects of the fall through Adam.

Humanity chose their own wisdom, their own knowledge of good and evil, right and wrong. Humanity now needs "a new knowledge" from God.

Paul said in Acts 26:18 that he was called "to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light." We help to create this "new knowledge" (repentance) through intercession. Our prayers play a role in the lifting of the veil (revelation), which allows for the heart to be enlightened.

I want to encourage you and see your faith lifted to a new level. God really does want to save those dear to you.

We must be persuaded that God will save the people we love, the ones for whom we pray. We should be so convinced that we would be shocked if they didn't get saved.

Serving our generation demands faith that doesn't quit. We need a motivational faith that truly believes God is hearing us and will answer.

Read a companion devotional.

Dutch Sheets serves as senior pastor of Springs Harvest Fellowship in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and is the best-selling author of Intercessory Prayer (Regal Books).

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