Pastor's Corner

Praying the unsaved to Christ

by Daniel Ausbun

A young pastor of a rural south Coweta county congregation stood to preach.

Unknown to him, his son had made a paper airplane during Sunday school. The preacher had no sooner given his first point than the little boy swung the plane through the air with a loud “vroom!” A few people chuckled, but his dad was embarrassed.

“Son,” the pastor exclaimed, “don’t do that again.”

The young preacher returned to his message, while his son returned to his imagination. Sure enough, the boy let his thoughts get away from him and went “vroom!” even louder.

A second time his father corrected him, obviously flustered.

After regaining his composure, he began to preach again. Then the boy did the same thing again, this time letting the plane go. It made a perfect circle, landing in Sister Glenda’s hair! All the people laughed, except the pastor and Sister Glenda. The preacher snatched up his son and headed out the back door. The entire congregation saw the little boy’s face peering over his dad’s shoulders screaming, “Pray! Pray! It’s gonna be bad! It’s gonna be bad!”

This little boy learned the urgency of prayer.

Billy Graham has attributed the millions of people who’ve been saved through his messages to prayer. Leading people to Christ has to be both a priority and intentional. When you backslide, the first thing to go is your prayer life. You cannot evangelize effectively on a consistent basis without prayer.

Jesus’ three-step process of evangelism was prayer, care and share. We pray for our friends and we pray with our friends.

One of the worst statements uttered in the church is, “There is nothing we can do but pray.” Can we do any better than pray? We can do more, but not better.

Christ gave us a Great Commission to reach our neighborhoods and nations for Him (Matthew 28:19). This is not a comfortable call inviting most Christians to come, be baptized and sit in one location. We may come to a worship service, participate in the life of the church, serve in the church and give regularly, all the while neglecting to make disciples.

The church is filled with people who have been Christians for five, 10, 15 or even 50 years, who have never led someone outside of their family to be a reproducing disciple. According to Jesus, from beginning to end, to be a disciple is to make disciples.

In the average prayer meeting, how many people are praying for the unsaved? Most are praying for the sick. Scripture indicates two ways that Satan attacks people. He blinds the minds of the unsaved, those who don’t believe (II Corinthians 4:4). He also corrupts the minds of the saved (II Corinthians 11:3). A passive mind is as dangerous as a perverted mind in the hands of Satan.

Here are four suggestions to pray for the unsaved:

First, ask God to open their spiritual eyes (II Corinthians 4:4). Are you prayerwalking through your neighborhood, office and school? Prayer evangelism begins by praying for those around us.

Second, ask God to give them ears to hear (Matthew 13:15), faith to believe (Acts 20:21), and a desire to respond to the Gospel (Romans 10:9).

Third, ask God to send people into our lives to witness to them (Matthew 9:38).

Fourth, ask God for opportunities to witness (Colossians 4:3).

If you’re not seeing people regularly transformed by the Gospel, it’s likely reflective of your prayer life. God’s purpose and plan for people all around is to trust Christ as Savior.

There is no time more valuable than time spent with God. Hopefully one day you’ll see people in heaven because you took the time to pray for their salvation.

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