Pray for Souls Matt. 9:35-38 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
We have seen, concerning the work of witnessing to the lost, that there is a great necessity for the work to be done and to be done properly. Thus, we see that this great work requires prayer for souls. This is one work we can all do no matter who we are, how much we know, or how long we have been saved. As someone said, “Satan trembles when he sees, the weakest saint upon his knees.” So, what should we include in our prayer for souls?
Pray for laborers [each other] – Matt 9:37-38 that’s how Jesus responded to the sight of the multitude. Pray for the Lord to send them from among us. A man promised Martin Luther that he would pray for him every day and he did. One night he had a dream of a man reaping alone in a huge corn field and as he discerned the face of the lone reaper, he saw that it was Luther. The man concluded that he must not only pray for him but join him in the work. Prayer is such a vital component of evangelism, but not only does it aid in getting more workers more fruitfully involved, it also strengthens your resolve to join the effort. In Matt 10:1-6, Jesus sent 12 disciples to labor in the harvest. In Lk 10:1-2 he sent 70 more to labor in the harvest and told them to pray the same prayer as Matt 9:38. Look at Rom 10:4-5. We still need to be sent.
Pray for the word of God to have free course – 2 Thes 3:1 – the word of God needs to be magnified [Ps 138:2]. Look what happened in Rom 10:17-18. The word went into all the earth. A Georgia evangelist tells of a pastor who had gone at night when the people were sleeping and prayed before every home in his town where there was an unsaved soul. When revival came it swept his town like a prairie fire.
Pray for an open door – Col 4:2-3 pray for an open door of utterance. Notice that God opened a door for Paul in 2 Cor 2:12, “at Troas a door was opened of the Lord.” But remember that the opening of doors is not without adversity [1 Cor 16:9]. And that’s why we really need to pray.
Pray for wisdom – Matt 10:16 says that the disciples needed to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. You get wisdom like that from the Lord [Jas 1:5]. In Acts 7:10 Stephen had a wisdom that they couldn’t resist. In 1Cor 2:6-7 Paul said that we speak wisdom of God.
Pray for boldness – Eph 6:18-20 – Paul asked for it. And if he asked for it, you can be sure that we need to ask for it. Boldness is essential to effective witnessing. And it is evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit [Acts 4:31-33]. The apostles preached with boldness and great power, which leads us to the next point.
Pray for power – 2 Thes 1:11 Paul mentions the work of faith with power. That’s the power of the Spirit of God. We need to speak with the power of the Holy Ghost [1 Cor 2:4-5] so that he will reprove the hearts of men and bring them to Jesus. Our gospel is not only reasonable but it is powerful. Rom 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” 1 Cor 1:18 says, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God”
When a young man was called to the field, he told his friend that he did not think he would be much of a missionary because he was not much of a preacher. The friend told him that God needed men who could pray. So while on the field, he would wrestle with God in prevailing prayer and routinely men would knock on his door to be saved. That’s a strange twist to “door knocking.”
Conclusion: So, include these things in your prayer for souls. Prayer is the ingredient that accomplishes with the word of God and the Spirit of God something that you could never do on your own. Newman Hall stood early one morning on the summit of Snowden, in Wales, with a hundred and twenty others who had been attracted hither by the prospect of an unusually grand sunrise. They were not disappointed. As they stood watching the sun tinge the mountain peaks with glory, and sparkle in the lakes, Dr. Hall was invited to preach. He was so overpowered with emotion that he could not preach, but felt moved to pour out his soul in prayer. As he prayed, the tears rolled down the faces of the people. A superhuman stillness possessed them. Quietly, with solemn awe, they descended the mountain and scattered. Afterward, visiting this region, the doctor was informed that forty people were converted that morning and had joined the church in that neighborhood. “But,” said he, “I did not say a word to them; I only prayed.” “Yes, and more wonderful still, they did not know a word you said, for none of them could speak English, only Welsh.” The men in this region were miners. They had been taught from their youth the truths of the Bible. Some had many and various teachers. So, it was on that day, under the powerful influence of the Holy Spirit that many were born again after Hall prayed.