Do You Pray for the Lost?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by Karen, May 26, 2002.

  1. Karen

    Karen
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    On another topic here, someone said that non-Calvinists pull on God's sleeve like spoiled children, begging for the salvation of others.

    I will go on record as saying that, though not spoiled, I pray often and fervently for those I come in contact with that are not saved.
    (As well in general for those I do not have personal contact with.)

    I pray for them to hear and respond to the Gospel, and I pray for God to use me in witnessing. I pray for new Christians.
    In missions meetings, I am encouraged to pray for specific missionaries and places.
    In my case, I often pray for Malawi and Arizona missions in general, two places that Oklahoma Southern Baptists have new missions work.

    I pray thus because I think it is a Scriptural command. Also, I believe that a true Christian, at SOME point in his or her walk, develops a concern for the lost. This concern is given by God.
    I think that I do not pray ENOUGH. As an SBC pastor often quoted has said, "God may elect, but I'm going to help nominate!" God in no way depends on me or others, but in His sovereignty, He has chosen graciously to use us.

    Do you pray for the lost? How and why?

    Karen
     
  2. Monergist

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    I know that when I pray for the lost that I am praying in accordance with God's will. Also, when I pray for the salvation of others my confidence is that God is ABLE to save, hence my prayer is not futile.

    For the non-calvinist, salvation is viewed as the sinner casting the tiebreaking vote between God and Satan. The calvinist believes that God alone has the right and power the grant salvation, and He does so according to His good pleasure. So we pray in faith, believing that our God is able to save.

    How does the non-calvinist pray for someone's salvation if they have the ultimate power to choose? Do they pray for God to overide the person's will? If so, how is then the freewill of man not violated, according to the non-calvinst position.

    I don't know where you saw the comment that you quoted, but all Christians are to pray for the salvation of others. I pray specifically, for certain people, and generally, for missions, groups of people, etc. There are "hyper-calvinists" here, who distort the meaning and purpose of the gospel and evangelism. Be wary of those. But when you pray for the salvation of others, have faith that God is able to save.

    [ May 26, 2002, 12:03 PM: Message edited by: TimothyW ]
     
  3. Helen

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    Absolutely, Karen -- especially those in my family whom I love so much.
     
  4. pinoybaptist

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    I am the one who said that, Karen.
    Let me state my position. I am not a Calvinist. I am an "electionist", if you will.
    The subject of this thread is "The Lost" so let's discuss that.
    Who are the lost ? Are there still lost souls in this world ? What was the purpose Jesus Christ hung on that cross 2000 years ago ? Why did He have to endure all that humiliation and pain ?
    Did He not cry it is finished ?
    What was finished. Was it just His suffering ? Was it just the pain ?
    Redemption is a finished fact. Eternal life is a finished fact for those whom it is intended for, and the proof that He is the Son of God indeed and gives life to whom He will, is His own resurrection. That is why the resurrection, not just the cross, makes the hope of those whom He came to redeem, and whom the Spirit quickened, sure and steadfast (1 Cor. 15:12-19).
    If there are still souls unredeemed and souls bound to hell among His people, then Jesus failed His Father.
    All that needed to be saved, past, present, and future, have been saved, just as we know that the sins of those who profess Christ as their Lord and Savior have been covered, past, present, and future.
    Do I pray for the "lost" ? No, I don't. Not because my heart is stone, but because all God's people whose names He had written in the book of Life from the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4;
    Rev. 17:8) have the fact of their redemption.
    It is finished.
    So what about the unelect ? I am sorry for them, but that is all that I can say.
    And what about the gospel ? It is, as some in this board have repeatedly said, a proclamation, news that must be disseminated to all nations, to reach those for whom this news was intended, that they may glorify God and honor their Savior.
    The Christian's mission is not to save souls, Jesus did that already.
    The Christian's mission is to gather together into a body those for whom Christ died, that God may be glorified in Spirit and in Truth, in the midst of this perverse and crooked world.
     
  5. connieman

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    Thank you, pinoybaptist, I could not have said it any better myself. :cool:

    KAREN...Your problem is a false gospel. I pray for those who believe in a Jesus who only wants, or tries, to save, but cannot always, because sinful men will not allow Him to save, but He is still trying.

    I pray for those deceived ones who in the last day will cry, "Lord, Lord", but will hear the true Jesus say to them, "Depart from me, ye that work iniquity, I never knew you."

    I pray for those deceived souls who refuse to acknowledge that God in Christ has saved all of His elect people from their sins. The rest are Reprobate, the Wicked, and shall NOT be saved. I may not know who they are, but they are out there. So I pray, "Thy will be done, O Righteous and Merciful Father.

    Better a hyper-calvinist than a hypo-calvinist, Hot for truth, better than only lukewarm,

    connieman [​IMG]

    [ May 26, 2002, 01:12 PM: Message edited by: connieman ]
     
  6. Pastor Larry

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    Why?
     
  7. Monergist

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    That's a far cry from Paul:

    Romans 9:3 (ESV)
    For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.

    Romans 10:1 (ESV)
    Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.
     
  8. pinoybaptist

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    That's a far cry from Paul:

    Romans 9:3 (ESV)
    For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.

    Romans 10:1 (ESV)
    Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Maybe, but I'm not Paul. Besides, if you read these verses carefully, Paul in the end states it is God who has mercy on whom he has mercy.
    Hey, don't get me wrong. Nobody wants to see his father or mother or children in hell, but these are things not within anybody's control.
     
  9. Naomi

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    Just a thought....
    If we are born-again, and the Holy Spirit dwells within us...and we are saved......and we are not supposed to pray for the lost....What are we supposed to do? If we are not supposed to go into all the world and preach the gospel..what are we supposed to do? Why are we here? What is our purpose? I, for one, am sick and tired of the "Christian Country Clubs". The elitism that is so prevalent in todays church world is ridiculous. I am hearing so many of my friends say that we need to get back to our roots. Let's get back to the commandment that Jesus left us with. Love our neighbor as ourself.
    Why do we go to church? What is happening? We are getting fed. Why? People are asking what does this (the Bible) have to do with this (The Church)? Has the salt lost it's flavour? If we can stop playing church, and start living out what the scriptures say, more people will see our lives and want to know more about this "Jesus" we worship.
    When the Bible becomes your idol, you have strayed from what the "truth" is.
    We are the Living Word. The Holy Spirit dwells within us, as believers. This is the message that Jesus tried to convey to people when He walked this earth. The Pharisee's knew the scriptures well. Unfortunately, that in itself became their god. Jesus said to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. May we also take heed.
    Naomi
     
  10. Chris Temple

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    So you have no qualms about being outside the teaching of the inspired apostle?
    Correct. And God has commanded us to preach the gospel uncompromisingly to all the creatures of the earth. Your hypo-electionist postion is as much, if not more so, in error as the Arminian. God has decreed both the conclusion and the means of redemption. Your position completely erases the responsibility of man. Yours is a horrendous, pseudo-Christian Islam, presenting theology as fatalism. The Bible knows nothing of sitting back and watching it "happen".

    Philip. 3:12-15 (ESV)
    Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. [13] Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, [14] I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. [15] Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.
    Yet one get's the feeling you really don't mind.
     
  11. Helen

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    Thank you Naomi, and (wow!) thank you Chris!

    Now, to answer Pastor Larry: why do I pray for those who are not yet believers?

    Why does one pray for anything? The Psalmist wrote "morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; morning by morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation."

    It seems that God, for reasons of His own, has chosen to allow our prayers to act like open doors for Him to act. Not that He couldn't act anyway, but He is training us to know His character and to communicate with Him and, as such, will often act in response to our requests.

    So my prayers are sometimes "Lord, please set up circumstances in my mother's life so she has nowhere to turn but you." or "Father, I know you love my daughter more than I do, but the decisions she is making right now she will regret for years to come. Please stop her. Please put something in the way of her planned course of action -- especially something that reminds her of what she learned about You growing up. I miss her so much!"

    And many others. So I open my heart to my Lord and ask Him to intervene to prevent so many that I love who are not believers from damaging themselves any further. And I ask Him to make them notice Him, and I ask Him, sometimes, to plow up their lives enough so that the seed will grow and not get choked out.

    And I pray in the complete confidence that God does indeed love each of these people more than I possibly could. There is NO WAY I could love someone more than God does! That, for me, is a very telling thing against the 'electionist' or Reformed doctrine. As a born again believer, I could not possibly love someone God does not love, for He indwells me. And so I sometimes feel pressured by the Holy Spirit to pray for this or that person in particular. And I know that whatever door my prayer opened up was a door God wanted opened. Why He uses us this way, I don't know. He certainly doesn't need us. But He has chosen to operate in this fashion, and I know one of the results in me is loving Him more and turning to Him more -- and perhaps that is the reason after all. Or part of it.
     
  12. Chris Temple

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    Helen:

    Your welcome. Sometimes it takes horrendous error to bring Christians together. The Calvinist position has never been one of fatalism. Rather it is that God is supremely sovereign, and man is morally responsible. God has ordained all things so as to bring redemptive history to a final close at the right moment in time (which only He knows and determines) yet he uses "free-creatures" (yet slaves to their natures - either to sin or free in Christ) to accomplish His will. How he does this while allowing creatures to "choose" is a divine mystery, but true nonetheless.
     
  13. pinoybaptist

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    Well, we are supposed to go into the world and preach the gospel. Now, some "ultra-electionists"
    hold to the view that you don't have to do that.
    All you have to do is for your church to preach the gospel, and let the Holy Spirit do the adding into the church.
    Far as I'm concerned, that's balderdash.
    There is a command that has to be obeyed until the Savior comes for His own. It is the purpose of the preaching that is at question. Why do you preach ? To save souls ? That also is balderdash
    because there are no more souls to save, Christ already did the saving.
    You preach the gospel as a proclamation and if wherever the Spirit led you to preach He has plenty of people there, count on a church being started.
    Praying for the "lost" is just about as effective as Catholics saying mass for the dead in purgatory
    because we know there is no such thing as purgatory and if one is in hell, then he is lost forever.
    Besides, I didn't impose on anyone not to pray for the lost.
    Just spoke my mind on it. This is, after all, a discussion board. Not a conversion chat.

    If you think you ought to do that, then do it.
    It's a free country.

    We can pray for our loved ones, and our countrymen, if perchance God will also grant them repentance like Paul stated in his first or second letter to the Corinthian church.
    I used to be an atheist, and that sure sounds familiar.
    Don't let me or others get in your way, man, just do it.
    Last I read the Bible, it said we are in church to give all glory to the God who loved us and gave Himself for us.
    Also, last I read the Bible, it instructed pastors to feed the flock of God, and take the oversight thereof, not for filthy lucre.
    Playing church.
    That's funny. Last time somebody used that term in my country, he switched from pianos and organs and choirs to drums and cymbals and bands, and abolished testimony-giving and special numbers, and all because he said the same thing.
    He's tired of "playing church'.
    Like, he could close his eyes, and just listen, and knew what was coming up next, and when all the routines are done, up comes the pulpit-pounding, hellfire-and-brimstone, preacher and then he knew that next came the "come forward and receive Jesus Christ as your personal savior" which would go on for probably ten or fifteen minutes while the choir or the trumpet played "Just As I Am" or "I Surrender All" or "Jesus I Come" and then next would be the "goodbyes" and everybody shaking hands with everybody and saying "see y'all this Wednesday, or
    next Sunday".
    So, he went and did what he thought was right and was not "playing church" and ended up doing the routine again.
    Only this time, they started off with music that was slow, and songs like "Majesty" and "I Love You, Lord" and worked up to a higher and higher beat and next came the prayer and the tongues and then the music went down again to slower, and slower beats, then those who were "slain by the Spirit" were brought back to life, and then the preaching which was mostly rebuking the members for not doing more "soul-winning" for Jesus, and then the music started again, and then the invitation and the handshaking and the "bye now, see you next time".
    Man, same dog. Different collar.
    The only way to stop playing church is to do it the New Testament Way: singing, praying, preaching, and fellowship.
    Beg your pardon. Jesus is the Living Word, not us.
    Believers are letters which the world can read.

    Will reserve comment on that, for now.
    Cheers. [​IMG]
     
  14. Pastor Larry

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    My point was going to the heart of why pray when God has done all he could do? It would be unfair for God to respond to your prayers to intervene in someone's free will. I pray because I believe God does that. But why do you? Do you really want God to contravene someone's free will? Is not that the basis of your theology? And what about those for whom no one prays? Are they not at an inherent disadvantage? So isn't it an advantage to know believers who are pray-ers? It seems that so many weaknesses enter in when you mix prayer with your theology.
     
  15. Eric B

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    It's may be true that prayer seems futile if God has placed it in the hands of the one prayed for to repent. But the same exact problem is faced if God has already determined who shall be saved. Either way, we are praying for people who may or may not get saved, and we have no power to change that person. This once again shows us that it is ultimately a mystery why we pray should pray for, or how it affects a person's salvation. God just tells us to do it, and it seems to be for more than just some spiritual exercise to make us grow, though it definitely is that. But neither side of this debate can claim to be proven or disproven by it.
     
  16. tyndale1946

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    I also pray for the lost that they might find the truth as it is in Christ Jesus! Did God lose one of his tokens of grace the scriptures say he never will!... All the Father giveth me shall come to me and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. Someone is in error God has never and never will displace one of his children. Did not Jesus leave the 99 sheep and go after the one that was lost. The one that was lost was still a sheep and never turned into a goat. Sheep are sheep and goats are goats and the Lord knoweth them that are his. I may think they are lost but they are not lost to the Lord. Prayer is one of the greatest gifts the Lord has given us but watch out because there are somethings we are not suppose to pray for!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  17. pinoybaptist

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    I went and consulted the Bible, which is really what we should do, to see if there were any commands given to believers to pray for lost souls.
    The word pray had 16 references to it beginning at Matthew 5:13 and the last at 1 Jn. 5:16 and in each instance it was praying in reference to believers.
    The closest one I found was 1 Tim 2:15 which had reference to God's will that all men be saved.
    In this chapter, Paul was also saying pray for kings and rulers, etc., but I take it he means pray that God gives them wisdom in their government.
    But, again, that verse on God's will for all men to be saved has constantly been under discussion and remains debatable in the minds of some as to whether it meant all as in all men, elect or otherwise.
    There are those who maintain that this means all men, elect or otherwise, and there are those who maintain that this is only in reference to God's will that all His elect be saved.
    Of course, in my search, I could have missed some verses.
     
  18. Kiffin

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    Yes, We are to pray for the lost. John Knox prayed "give me Scotland or I die" In David Branerd's diary I read of him praying in anguish for the lost Indians he was a missionary to. I also read that in the early years of their ministry that Whitefield (Calvinist) and Wesley (Arminian) praying in their sleeping quarters for lost souls. Let us, be Calvinist or Arminian pray for the conversion of those outside of Christ. Amen

    [ May 26, 2002, 08:14 PM: Message edited by: Kiffin ]
     
  19. pinoybaptist

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    Well, like I said, it's a free country. That's exactly what our Baptist forefathers left England for, to be able to worship God according to the dictates of their conscience.
     
  20. Kiffin

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    Didn't understand the reply but Paul prayed for the lost and so are we,

     

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