FENTON, MI – During a time of personal study recently, I ran across a quote from C.H. Spurgeon that captivated my thoughts. The eloquent preacher wrote: “If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.”
Every phrase of this picturesque quote has much for reflection, but I was particularly challenged by the words, “…let not one go there… unprayed for.” It dawned on me some people have no one praying for them. I wondered what it would be like to live an unprayed for life. I’m glad I don't know because there are people praying for me, but some people have no one lifting their name before God. No one asking the Father to use them, protect them, guide them, comfort them, or strengthen them through trials. And, the greatest tragedy of all, no one is praying for their salvation!
I asked myself, “Is there someone in my life who has no one praying for them?” There’s no way to know for certain, but several names came to mind as I thought about that question. I decided to pray for those people - and specifically ask God to show them their need for Christ.
Salvation is the work of God. We are totally dependent on Him to draw people to Himself. At the same time, we can earnestly pray for our loved ones knowing that God is "...not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). Intentional prayer for people to be saved needs to be a part of our prayers as we bow in God’s presence. Let it not be said that someone in our lives perished that had no one praying for them.
The people of Michigan need someone praying for their salvation. It is estimated that four out of every five people here do not have a personal relationship with Jesus. Many of them have never heard a clear presentation of the Gospel. They hear bits and pieces about Jesus, but not enough to understand His saving work. Often, the "information" they have is "misinformation" and not a Biblically faithful presentation of Jesus.
The Apostle Paul is a vivid example of someone misinformed about Jesus. The information he had moved him to reject Jesus. It wasn’t until his encounter with the resurrected Christ on the Road to Damascus that Paul experienced Jesus personally. It was this encounter with Jesus that totally transformed his life. From that moment forward, Paul dedicated his life to Jesus.
Paul’s transformation by Jesus is so complete that he desperately wants all people to know the Christ he once rejected. You can feel his passion as he writes, "Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God concerning them is for their salvation!" (Romans 10:1). Paul wants all people to know Christ, but in this passage, he is praying specifically for his nation. He wants his people to know Jesus more than anything, and this burden moves him to earnestly pray for their salvation.
You and I need that same burden for those who do not know Jesus - especially for those who are closest to us. Like Paul, we need to make it our "...heart's desire and prayer to God concerning them is for their salvation!" Could there be someone in your life no one is praying for? You can change that.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Durbin is the State Evangelism Director for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before joining the state convention staff, Mike served as Church Planting Catalyst and Director of Missions in Metro Detroit since 2007. He also has served as a pastor and bi-vocational pastor in Michigan, as well as International Missionary to Brazil.