In this seventh blog about prayer, I borrow insights from Ronald Dunn’s book, Don’t Just Stand There, Pray Something: The Incredible Power of Intercessory Prayer.
In order to pray effectively for lost people who don’t know Christ, we must know the condition of the sinner.
Condition of the Sinner
1. The lost person is bound by the god of this world (2 Timothy 2:25-26;
Ephesians 2:2; 1 John 5:19). As captives, they are slaves to satan’s will. Their
only hope is that God grants them repentance. The spirit of the devil energizes
the unsaved and he or she lies in the power of the evil one even though they’re not aware of this reality.
In Luke 11:21-22, Jesus answered the charge that He cast out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons. Jesus’ replied that men are satan’s property who stood guard lest they should escape. Before Jesus can free the captives, He must first deal with the captor, satan, and disarm him. When we pray for a lost person, we are freeing his will from satan’s bondage.
2. The lost person is blinded to the gospel by the god of this world
(2 Corinthians 4:3-4; 1 Corinthians 2:14). An unsaved person doesn’t
have the capacity to see his lostness or understand the gospel message
because of spiritual blindness by satan.
3. Before any person can be saved, we must overcome satan’s
binding and blinding through emancipation and enlightenment.
We will discuss the how in the next section.
Conquest of Satan
The devil is a defeated enemy (Hebrews 2:14-15; I John 3:8; Colossians 2:14-15). We saw in Luke 11 that Jesus bound the strong man. The language in the Colossian verses is taken from the victory march of the conquering Roman generals. “After defeating an enemy, the victorious commander would chain the officers of the defeated army to his chariot and drag them back to Rome. He would send a runner ahead to announce to the city that the victory had been won, and the people would line the streets awaiting the spectacle.”
The runner was preaching. “The herald wasn’t winning the victory, he was preaching and witnessing to a victory that already had been won.” The victor made a public spectacle of the defeated army. When Jesus died on the cross, He defeated satan and made a public spectacle of evil forces. Satan’s defeat is absolute!
Why does it seem that satan doesn’t know he’s defeated? We must appropriate satan’s defeat (Matthew 18:18; James 4:17). From heaven’s viewpoint, satan has been bound and slaves loosed. The death of Christ is the main pillar upon which intercession rests (1 John 2:1-2).
Men go to hell because they reject Christ’s death and don’t believe in what’s He’s done (John 3:17-18). “Our right to pray for the lost is based on the fact that Christ has already paid for their sin with His blood. We are claiming what is rightly His.”
Let’s say the gas company cut off your gas when it was 20 below zero because they thought you hadn’t paid your bill. You go to the office and show proof with a stub and gas company’s stamp that your bill had been paid in full. When Christ poured out his blood on the cross and rose from the dead on the third day, He stamped the bill PAID IN FULL.
By praying for the lost in Jesus’ name, we claim Jesus’ payment with His death and resurrection. “Without any doubt, we may assure the conversion of those laid on our hearts by such praying. The prayer in Jesus’ name drives the enemy off the battlefield of man’s will and leaves him free to choose right.”
Whose salvation does God want you to pray for?
Entry Point to Pray for Others: New time: pray weekly each Monday for lost people and making disciples, 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. CDT https://bit.ly/jitsi_mark
My Offer to Pray with You: Let me know days and times that you’re available to pray with me. I would love to pray with you by video chat. My email: firstname.lastname@example.org or mobile: 402) 617-4959