Almost everyone has prayed for the salvation of someone he knows. Sometimes the answer would come swiftly. Other times, not so quick. But regardless, you could see God working in that person’s life and you knew that someday he or she would accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. There are still other times, however, when you have seen no change at all and there’s no clue as to whether the person will ever believe. These are the frustrating times.
Thank God we have the assurance that the day will come when every one we pray for will have a last chance and will invite Jesus into their hearts.
As believers, our job is to be obedient to pray for those the Holy Spirit places on our hearts. We know that God already knows who will eventually accept His Son but nonetheless we play an important role in the process. God tells us in Ezekiel chapter 3 that we must warn others to turn away from their iniquities. If we obey and still they do not heed the warning, we are not held accountable. If, however, we don’t warn and they die in their sins without having heard, we are accountable for their lost soul. Obviously then, we need to be about the Father’s business witnessing to and praying for the lost.
In the scriptures, God gives us assurance as to the role prayer plays in the salvation of others. Second Peter 3:9 tells us, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” It couldn’t be more obvious that He desires all to be saved. Couple this with the truth in I John 5:14 that reads, “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” Clearly, we see how effective and necessary prayer is for the salvation of others.
So, be encouraged to continue praying when it seems all hope is lost. Do not become weary, but praise God for the work you see Him doing in the lives of those you have been praying for. Know always that God wants us to partner with Him. We are to motivate others by witnessing to them and leading them in their walk towards the Son.
There will be some that—after hearing our witness—may choose not to follow. That’s where the power of prayer takes over. It is God’s will that none perish but all come to repentance and if we pray according to His will we know that He hears us and will answer that prayer.