We all struggle sometimes to stop our minds from drifting when we pray. One useful practical tip is to pray out loud. This can keep your mind engaged, and it can also help you to be more “real” and honest. Saying things out loud to God somehow gives them more weight.
As we begin today, revise Isaiah 6:3, yesterday’s verse for Adoration. (It begins “Holy, …”) Then spend time in the first three steps of ACTS. Try speaking out loud to God, if it’s appropriate where you are.
Yesterday we thought about interceding in prayer for our Christian brothers and sisters. But we can also intercede for our world and for those who have not turned to Jesus. And the Bible’s most urgent concern is that people hear about Jesus, believe, and are saved from the coming judgment.
There are several good reasons to work hard at praying for people who do not know Christ. The most obvious one is love for those who are “without hope and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12).
But there is one reason to pray for world mission which may surprise you. It’s that when the task is finished, Jesus will return! Jesus said:
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matt. 24:14)
What a great motivation to pray for the gospel to reach all nations, and to pray regularly for the mission partners our church supports!
There are a number of specific ways the New Testament encourages us to pray for the salvation of the lost, both close to us and around the world. First, we should pray for those who are dedicated to preaching Christ:
And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ. (Col. 4:3)
Secondly, Jesus tells us to ask God to raise and send more missionaries:
“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matt. 9:37-38)
Thirdly, all of us need help with our own witness for Christ. Peter says:
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. (1 Pet. 3:15)
Decide on two or three ways you will commit to pray regularly for those who don’t know Christ: for names of people who aren’t saved, or gospel workers, or your own witness. Add them to the system you have set up for daily prayer. (If you haven’t set it up yet, don’t put it off further!)
Finally, bring these people to your Father.