For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Even as a child, I looked forward to Thanksgiving Day with great anticipation. I was a child who loved traditions, and our Thanksgiving tradition was to load up in the car and head to my mom’s side of the family for a day of food and fun with all of my aunts and uncles, lots of cousins, and of course, Grandma and Grandpa.
Do you ever look around and say, “wow, life is really hard sometimes?”
Psalm 139:13-14 You alone created my inner being. You knitted me together inside my mother. I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this.
...and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room in the inn. Luke 2:7
"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard." -Winnie the Pooh
See how very much our Father loves us, for He calls us His children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know Him. 1 John 3:1
Psalm 9:9 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
24 Ways to PRAY for the Lost
(This is not written by me, Misty Cramer. It is a prayer guide we have used in our ministry, and I am sharing it.)
Praying for our unsaved young people is the best way to begin reaching them for Christ. The following verses give us a biblical outline for these prayers:
Thank you God that you are not willing that any should perish
He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9) and would have all men to be saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4).
Thank You that all things are possible with You
Then who can be saved? Jesus glanced around at them and said, With men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God (Mark 10:27). What is impossible with men is possible with God (Matthew 19:26).
For God to draw them to Himself in true faith and repentance
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him…” (John 6:44).
For God to destroy any false ideas about salvation through Jesus Christ
There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death (Proverbs 14:12).
For God to quicken unbelievers to their sins and trespasses
…you were dead in your transgressions and sins (Ephesians 2:1).
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
For God to dull unbelievers to the allurement to this world pleasures and the all-consuming worries of life so that the Word of God not be choked
7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.
22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful (Matthew 13:7, 22).
For God to grant genuine faith to believe
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:8-10).
For God to give them a new heart
And the Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your being, that you may live (Deuteronomy 30:6).
That God would undo the work of Satan and open the minds of the unbelievers to the truth of the Gospel
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 (2 Corinthians 4:4).
That God would deliver them from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son
For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves (Colossians 1:13).
That God would grant genuine repentance
But unless you repent, you too will all perish (Luke 13:1-3).
That God would apply His mercy
Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah (Ephesians 2:1-6, The Message).
That God would thrust out laborers
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? (Romans 10:14).
So pray to the Lord of the harvest to force out and thrust laborers into His harvest (Matthew 9:38).That God would stir them out of their complacency and indifference
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).
That God’s Spirit and power rest on the laborers
And my language and my message were not set forth in persuasive (enticing and plausible) words of wisdom, but they were in demonstration of the (Holy) Spirit and power (a proof by the Spirit and power of God, operating on me and stirring in the minds of my hearers the most holy emotions and thus persuading them), so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men (human philosophy), but in the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:4-5).
For our (preaching of the) glad tidings (the Gospel) came to you not only in word, but also in (its own inherent) power and in the Holy Spirit and with great conviction and absolute certainty (on our part) (1 Thessalonians 1:5)
That God’s Spirit reveal to them their sinful condition and quicken their conscience, plow up their heart, and ring conviction in their soul
He (the Spirit) will convict and convince the world and bring demonstration to it about sin and about righteousness (uprightness of heart and right standing with God) and about judgement (John 16:8)
That God would stir them out of their complacency and indifference
I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2)
That God would awaken them
Because they seeing, see not, and hearing, they hear not, neither do they understand. For this people’s heart is become gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have closed (Matthew 13:13)
That God’s love would be understood and embraced
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
That God would open a door to proclaim the Gospel
And at the same time pray for us also, that God may open a door to us for the Word (the Gospel), to proclaim the mystery concerning Christ (the Messiah) on account of which I am in prison (Colossians 4:3).
That God would minister to their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the (physical and spiritual) captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound (Isaiah 61:1)
To grant (consolation and joy) to those who mourn in Zion – to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment (expressive) of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit – that they may be called oaks of righteousness (lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God), the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified (Isaiah 61:3)
That they might escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will
…and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will (2 Timothy 2:26)
That they would see God in creation
For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So are without excuse (Romans 1:20 AMP).
That their conscience bear witness
They show that the essential requirements of the Law are written in their hearts and are operating there, with which their consciences (sense of right and wrong) also bear witness; and their decisions (their arguments of reason, their condemning or approving thoughts) will accuse or perhaps defend and excuse (Romans 2:15 AMP). For the Law is to make men recognize and be conscious of sin [not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works toward repentance, faith, and holy character] (Romans 3:20, AMP).
That they would come to recognize sin and its penalty
Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. God has levied a death penalty for sinning and it’s eternal separation from Him. For the wages which sin pays is death (Romans 6:23).
That they would seek to know God
But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul (Deuteronomy 4:29).
For the Holy Spirit to work in them
When he comes, he’ll expose the error of the godless world’s view of sin, righteousness, and judgment: He’ll show them that their refusal to believe in me is their basic sin; that righteousness comes from above, where I am with the Father, out of their sight and control; that judgment takes place as the ruler of this godless world is brought to trial and convicted (John 16:7-11, The Message).
That they would turn from sin
Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out… (Acts 3:19).
That they would confess Christ as Lord
That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved (Romans 10:9, 10).
…the righteousness of God which comes by believing with personal trust and confident reliance on Jesus Christ (the Messiah). for all who believe (Romans 3:22 AMP).
That they would take root and grow in Christ
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness (Colossians 2:6,7).
That their life be transformed by the Gospel
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17)
A PRAYER USING SCRIPTURES
Father, hear us as we ask You to rescue the lost from the domain of darkness and bring them into the kingdom of Your Son. You alone can draw and enable them. You alone can send Your Holy Spirit with power to convict them of the sin in their life and their need to repent and believe in Your truth–that Jesus is the only way to You, that He alone is the way, the truth and the life.
Father, we ask you to forgive the sins of the lost. We come in Jesus’ name to demolish the strongholds in their minds that those sins have allowed. We come in the authority of Jesus’ name to overcome the power of the enemy in their lives, to ask You to bind evil spirits away from them in the name of Jesus and the blood of the Lamb through the word of our testimony.
We come against the blinding of their minds and ask that You send someone to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light; help us to be willing to go. Father, don’t let their hearts be hardened, but open their hearts to receive Your truth. Rip away any veil that covers their hearts, any false teaching that confuses their minds. Help them to hear your Word with power and conviction as the Word of God and not the word of man. Give them understanding, so that Satan will not be able to steal Your Word from their hearts.
Father, help them see their need for a Savior, to know they must confess their sins, repent and believe–or they perish. Help them choose Your mercy and Your gift of faith, to believe with their hearts and confess with their mouths, Jesus is Lord. We ask in Your will, that not any should perish. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.