(Unsplash/Jeremy Yap)

There are three things to remember when praying for our world, our neighbors, our friends and our family members. We must employ penitent, persistent and persuasive prayer. The Bible gives us an example of an effective intercessor in Abraham's intercession for Sodom (see Gen. 18:16-33).

Penitent Prayer: Abraham did not come to God demanding. He didn't say, "God, please do this. It's very important for You to do this." He did not come to God enumerating all his righteous deeds, all his righteous acts. In fact, he said, "I am nothing but dust and ashes" (Gen. 18:27b. NIV).

Persistent Prayer: When Abraham interceded for Sodom, he persisted in his prayer. He didn't pray flippantly once or twice then give up. He continually petitioned for Sodom and his family. Six times Abraham would make his request of the Lord. Each time he saw the grace of God extended, and he became emboldened to ask for more.

Persuasive Prayer: How should our prayers be persuasive? By twisting God's arm? No. Persuasive prayer is pleading the character of God. When we plead with God on the basis of who He is and what He promises, we are praying a persuasive prayer.

To impact our nation—and beyond—we must continue interceding with penitent, persistent and persuasive prayer. Pray for those who deny the very power of the Gospel. Are you willing to intercede on behalf of others and stand in the gap for those who need Him?

Prayer: God, help me to be penitent, persistent and persuasive in my prayers for others. Help me to be faithful to intercede, especially for those who don't know You. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

"Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer" (Rom. 12:12).

Michael Youssef, Ph.D., is the founder and president of Leading the Way with Dr. Michael Youssef, a worldwide ministry that leads the way for people living in spiritual darkness to discover the light of Christ through the creative use of media and on-the-ground ministry teams. Youssef was born in Egypt.

This article originally appeared at ltw.org.

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