“Christ’s power to save, and save completely, depends on His unceasing intercession. The apostles’ withdrawal of themselves from other work to give themselves continually to prayer was followed by the number of the disciples multiplying exceedingly. As we, in our day, give ourselves to intercession, we will have more and mightier conversions. Let us plead for this. Christ is exalted to give repentance. The church exists with the divine purpose and promise of having conversions. Let us not be ashamed to confess our sin and feebleness and cry to God for more conversions in Christian and heathen lands, of those whom you know and love. Plead for the salvation of sinners.”
How can we as intercessors prepare for the harvest? The reality is that the intercession of the saints will lead to a great harvest of souls at the end of the age. I encourage you to anticipate it, cry out for it, and seek God for this great ingathering of souls into God’s Kingdom. Individuals are beginning to turn to Christ as never before all over the world. All the turmoil that is presently happening with terrorism, natural disasters (earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, etc.), is only showing people that there must be more than this life; there must be something else than the uncertainties all around us. One of our great responsibilities and joys as intercessors is to pray in this worldwide harvest.
We are not only called to pray, but we also must love and reach out to the lost. Although intercession is the chief element in preparing the harvest, we must not avoid reaching out to the lost ourselves. Most of us have failed to be the light that God desires us to be. I admit that I miss opportunities to be God’s light. But God wants to change that for each one of us. I am including a prayer of repentance written by my husband, Norm. Perhaps this is the first step in being a strong intercessor for the lost and the harvest. We need to admit where we have been as the body of Christ. We need to pray and take action. When we intercede and also reach out to the lost with God’s light, our prayers will become even more intense and passionate.
A Prayer of Repentance
Lord, you were a shining light to the generation of people who lived two thousand years ago. They flocked to you because you loved them enough to be with them and to show them the true way to the Father. You have commissioned us to shine with that same love and message, yet we have not.
Even in light of the fact that you have given so much to us and have enriched our lives in every way, we have neglected to give proper attention to the function that was highest on your list, “to seek and to save the lost”. We confess, Lord, that we have been too busy with life. We have loved our lives in this world to the exclusion of the task for which you keep us in the world. Our concern has not been great enough. Our love has not been hot enough. Our vision of eternity has not been clear enough. We have not believed, we have been cowards, we have turned away busying ourselves with temporal pursuits while our neighbors pass, one by one, into a living and dying hell. We haven’t cared enough to intentionally love and pray for them.
Lord, we confess what we are, jars of clay. But you are the potter. We ask that you remold our hearts after your own heart. Give us a love that will lead the way, a passion hot as fire, and a faith that no disappointment will tire. Give us love for the lost and a life of power that will convince them of eternity and the claims of Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
How to Pray as you Reach out to the Lost
You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you – I have appointed you, I have planted you – that you might go and bear fruit and keep on bearing; that your fruit may be lasting (that it may remain, abide); so that whatever you ask the Father in My name (as presenting all that I AM) he may give it to you. This is what I command you, that you love one another.” John 15:16-17 (Amplified)
- Pray that God would minister to their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs. Pray that he would use you to touch their real needs and demonstrate His love and care. “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners… to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” (Isaiah 61:1, 3)
- Pray for God to open the spiritual eyes of the lost and set them free from spiritual captivity. Pray that they might have ears to hear the truth and understand it. “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of god.” (II Corinthians 4:3-4)
- Pray for opportunities to get to know the lost in the area where you live and work. Ask God to help you build relationships and identify with them. Pray that you might be a fragrance of Christ. “To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” (I Corinthians 9:22-23)
- Pray for opportunities to witness with boldness at the right time. Pray that God will send others into their life to witness as well. “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly as I should. Be wise in the way you act towards outsiders; making the most of every opportunity.” (Colossians 4:2-5)
A Prayer for God’s Presence
“Father, we confess that we want to see change in our lives. Give us such a heart and passion after you that we may begin to see your glory flow out of us to convict and save the lost. Release your presence through us as you did through Charles Finney when he walked through factories and saw workers drop to their knees under your glory and cried out for forgiveness although not one word had been spoken or preached. May the faintest shadow of your presence in our lives heal the sick and restore the lame we meet in the streets. Let your presence so saturate us that unsaved guests can’t step into our homes or be around us with unrepentant hearts. May your glory bring conviction in their lives that lead to salvation, not because of the words we say but because of your presence and power in our hearts. May we be filled with the glory of God where your presence resides in every neighborhood and where every person passing through is touched by the power of God.”
Let us pray that we become more passionate in praying for the harvest. Let us also pray that each one of us will reach out with a new commitment to love and be a light to those who are lost. I know that I want to make a decision to pray more intensely for souls. I also want to make a commitment to reach out with the Good News of Jesus to those who are living without hope. Moses experienced God’s presence wherever he went. When we pray and reach out to the lost, we shall experience God’s presence wherever we go as well. As a partner with Jesus Christ, I want to experience this in an ever-increasing measure. I want to see the miraculous, and I am sure that you do too.
“The Lord replied, ‘My Presence will go with you…'” (Exodus 33:14)
“The Lord Jesus has united us in partnership with Himself in carrying out the great work of intercession. He in heaven and we on earth must be of one mind. We must have only one aim in life. That aim is that we should love the Father and the lost by consecrating our lives to intercession for God’s blessing. The burning desire of Father and Son for the salvation of souls must be the burning desire of our hearts, too.” Quotes by Andrew Murray
For additional training on evangelistic prayer; how to let your light shine and how compassion is the pathway to divine power, read the book called Ascending the Heights in Prayer: Touching Heaven – Changing Earth by Debbie Przybylski.