How I Learned To Pray For The Lost
By L. J. M.
Believers everywhere are burdened for unsaved or backsliding loved ones. However, many are praying in a spirit of fear and worry instead of in faith.
This has caused the writer to seek for definite light on how to pray, feeling the need of praying the right prayer, also the need for a definite promise or word upon which to base our faith when praying for the unsaved. Praise God, He never fails to give such needed help.
Perhaps because the salvation of some looked to us to be an impossibility, the first Scripture that was given us was Mark 10:27, "With God all things are possible."
The next Scripture had occupied our attention sometime before but with new emphasis now: "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations [margin – 'reasonings'] and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:4-5). This shows the mighty power of our spiritual weapons. We must pray that all this be accomplished in the ones for whom we pray, that is, that the works of the enemy be torn down.
Finally we were given the solid basis for our prayer – the ground of redemption. In reality redemption purchased all mankind, so that we may say that each one is actually God's purchased possession although still held by the enemy. We must, through the prayer of faith, claim and take for God in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that which is rightfully His. This can be done only on the ground of redemption. We do not mean to imply that because all persons have been purchased by God through redemption, they are thus automatically saved. They must believe and accept the Gospel for themselves; this our intercession enables them to do.
To pray in the name of the Lord Jesus is to ask for or claim the things which the blood of Christ has secured. Each individual for whom prayer is made should be claimed by name, as God's purchased possession, in the name of the Lord Jesus on the ground of His shed blood.
We should claim the tearing down of all the works of Satan, such as false doctrine, unbelief, hatred, etc., which the enemy may have built up in their thinking, and that their very thoughts shall be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
In the authority of the name of the Lord Jesus claim their deliverance from the power and persuasion of the evil one and from the love of the world and the lust of the flesh. We should pray also for the quickening of their conscience, and that God might grant them repentance and hearing ears and believing hearts as they hear or read the Word of God. Pray that God's will and purpose be accomplished in and through them.
Intercession must be persistent, not to persuade God, for redemption is of God, but because of the enemy. Our prayer and resistance are against the enemy, the awful powers and rulers of darkness. It is our duty before God to fight for the souls for whom Christ died. Just as some preach to them the good news of their redemption, just so others must fight back the powers of darkness on their behalf.
Satan yields only what and when he must, and he renews his attacks in subtle ways; therefore, prayer must be persisted in, even long after definite results are seen. We must hold what is taken for God against the enemy until such time as that soul is firmly established in the faith.
We will find as we pray the Holy Spirit will give new leads. Always follow His leads. We were interceding for a soul recently and felt that our prayers were not making contact. It seemed that there was nothing there. Then the Holy Spirit inspired us to begin to draw them up unto God in the name of the Lord Jesus. As we obeyed this leading, repeating, "I draw __________ unto God in the name of the Lord Jesus," we felt our prayers gradually take hold. It seemed that we were drawing that one from deep within the very camp of the enemy. Then we were able to proceed as usual, claiming every detail of that life for God, holding the blood against the enemy.
This is true warfare in the spirit realm. Thank God that our spiritual weapons are mighty and that our authority in Christ is far above all authority of the rulers, the principalities and powers of darkness, so that the enemy is obliged to yield. But it takes faith, patience and persistence.
Missionaries on foreign and home fields can resist the enemy in their district, communities and schools, by holding the blood of Jesus against the powers of darkness, sin and unbelief, in the authority of the name of Jesus. In the name of the Lord Jesus they can command that the enemy retreat.
By the Holy Spirit's Power
We would like to point out that "It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing" (John 6:63). "The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life" (2 Cor. 3:6). Therefore, we must constantly seek the quickening of the Holy Spirit in our own hearts, in our faith, in our prayer and testimony. It is most important also, that we keep ourselves and all that we have under the protection of the blood. The enemy will use every possible means to silence our intercession and block our advancement against him. We must not only understand our enemy, our authority in Christ, and how to use our spiritual weapons, but also how to wear the armor God has provided for our protection. Thus equipped and protected, we need have no fear. But let us always remember that we of ourselves have no power and no authority outside of Christ.
Satan has succeeded in keeping God's people in the dark about Christ's finished work on Calvary – and his defeat there. He has succeeded by deception in convincing the church that he is almost, if not quite, as powerful as God, when actually he has no power at all, that is he has no legal standing, no rights, no authority.
The devil knows that when the church fully realizes the utterness of his defeat, and how to use the authority which has been delegated to her, his evil reign is over.
Therefore, he seeks by every means possible to keep God's people in the dark, to prevent their knowing about and using the authority which is theirs.
"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony" (Rev. 12:11). For many years I thought this "word of their testimony" meant the testimony of others to the goodness of God such as is customary in prayer and praise services.
But the time came when the Spirit began to reveal that his testimony was a word spoken directly to Satan and his demon spirits, and in the name of Jesus, and upon the basis of His shed blood, to command them in the first person. I was hesitant to accept this position since I had absolutely no precedent to follow.
I never heard, so far as I can remember, anyone else so interpret this Scripture as speaking the word of command directly to Satan and his emissaries. Satan sought to frighten me to keep from attempting such a thing. He tried to tell me that something terrible would happen to me if I became so presumptuous as to speak directly to him – even in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, and upon the basis of the shed blood of the Son of God.
When, at last, in hesitation and trembling, I ventured to speak directly to him, calling him by name and commanding him and his demons of depression, oppression, affliction and bondage, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and upon the basis of His shed blood, to leave me and release me, I discovered immediate relief and release.
It was as though the demons of doubt and fear and bondage instantly melted away at the name of Jesus and the blood of the Lamb when the word of command was spoken directly to Satan and the demons he was causing to oppress and blind.
"Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ" (2 Cor. 2:14). "Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4).