2 Corinthians 10:3-4
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
On November 3rd, we had Lee Thomas, author of Praying Effectively for the Lost, as our guest speaker. This is some of my takeaways from what was shared with us:
When you love someone enough, you will do whatever it takes to keep them out of hell. As a matter of fact, love cannot fail. Love “Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…Love never fails” (1 Cor. 13:7-8). The primary purpose in praying for the lost is NOT to convince God to save them, for He is “not willing that any should perish” (2 Peter 3:9), having sent Christ to die for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2). But rather, it has to do with spiritual warfare – freeing them from demonic influences, or strongholds, so they can be saved. The weapons at our disposal in prayer are designed to pull down strongholds, cast down imaginations, and capture thoughts. Strongholds are mindsets that are against the word and will of God. So we can quickly see that the battlefield is a person’s mind. It is crucial that we understand this because whoever controls the mind controls the person. If Satan can continue to control the mind of an unsaved individual, he will be able to keep him from being saved. The only way for him to do this is to keep the person blinded to the gospel, for anyone in his “right” mind will choose Jesus over Satan and heaven over hell EVERY time!
The strongest of all strongholds is UNBELIEF. It is the major stronghold in every person – saved or lost. In a Christian, it is designed to keep him from really believing the truths in God’s word that will make him powerful and effective in God’s kingdom. But in the unsaved, it is designed to keep him from believing in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Since unbelief is the only sin that condemns one to hell, Satan guards it as priceless, guarding it with other strongholds. Any mindset that is against God’s will and word will do. So it is important that we identify the strongholds in our own lives and in the lives of those we are praying for.
There are only two reasons why any prayer for the salvation of souls will remain unanswered: either there is sin or unbelief in the one doing the praying, or else Satan is hindering the answer. So, if we get our life right by abiding in Christ and His word abiding in us (John 15:7), and keep on praying, the answer will come. Satan cannot continue to hold out against bold, fervent praying. So it is important that we not get discouraged and quit praying before the answer comes!
S.D. Gordon had some convicting things to say about prayer: “I cannot resist the conviction – I greatly dislike to say this, I would much rather not if I regarded either my own feelings or yours. But I cannot resist the conviction that there are people in the lower, lost world who are there because someone failed to put his life in touch with God, and pray.” I don’t know about you, but Gordon’s words brought great conviction and sorrow to my heart. It is just too painful to think that God has put individuals on my heart that I failed to pray for and to share Jesus with. But to dwell on that would accomplish nothing. So what I can do now is make a commitment to pray for the lost like never before.
God has called us – those who have been saved by the blood of Jesus - to be instruments through which He can exercise His authority. By faith, we can accept this position and stand firm regardless of the opposition. There is absolutely no reason for even one single soul to die and go to hell, because Christ has already paid their redemption price. And the only reason why anyone will go to hell is that we have not taken our place of authority and bound Satan, insisting on their salvation.
In Matthew 18:19, Jesus says, “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
Ask yourself, as I have asked myself, “Whose life is depending upon my prayers?” Then Let’s join together on our knees and pray in faith until victories are won!