The women sat around the table, Bibles open, devotion books at hand. We were taking prayer requests, and an older woman with grown grandchildren asked for prayer for a wayward grandson.
“I just want him to see the truth,” she said. It obviously upset her that faith in God was not a part of his life.
A younger woman to her left piped up, “You know, I don’t really think of praying for people like that.”
“Why do you think that is?” I asked her.
“There just seems to be so many things to pray for, and I forget,” she honestly replied.
I directed our table to stop right then and think of at least one person we would like to see come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Then we prayed.
Just like any part of our walk with God, learning new and better ways to pray is a journey. The young woman had simply not thought to pray for it. Neither would I except that we had been talking about evangelistic prayer at Stonecroft’s Home Office for weeks. I was very aware that my prayer life needed some adjusting.
Many of Stonecroft’s prayer resources, such as Connecting with God and Loving Your Neighbors, show us how to do this. First, pray for yourself to simply remember to pray for the nonbelievers in your life.
“Please fill me with Your love and compassion for individuals around me. Open my eyes to see with Your mercy and Your vision – to see the potential in the people You bring across my path,” reads one of the prayers in Aware, a popular Stonecroft resource.
Becoming open-eyed and ready is the perfect step toward evangelistic prayer. Put it toward the top of your prayer li`st and write down specific names. Don’t let yourself be discouraged if it takes time – sometimes a lot of it. Be persistent in your prayers, turning back to Scripture for inspiration and encouragement.
But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.
– 2 Peter 3:8-9
I know I am going to ask for both remembering and patience in my prayers for nonbelievers. It’s my step forward into evangelistic prayer, and I can’t wait to see God answer those prayers.