Prayer for the Salvation of Others
This is from Glenn Coon’s Youth Prays– God Answers.
One of the questions that is more often asked is this: May we pray with assurance for the conversion of our loved ones? No question sets more hearts in an audience to beating faster than does that. I remember speaking in the Boston noonday meeting, in the old Broomfield Street M E Church, on this subject one week. Perhaps I was speaking rather positively. And at the close of the meeting one day a keen, cultured Christian woman whom I knew came up for a word.
She said, “I do not think we can pray like that.” and I said, “Why not?”
She paused a moment and her well-controlled agitation revealed in eye and lip told me how deeply her thoughts were stirred. Then she said quietly, “I have a brother. He is not a Christian. The theatre the wine, the club the cards—that is his life. And he laughs at me. I would rather than anything else that my brother were a Christian. But,” she said, and here both her keenness and the training of her early teaching came in, “I do not think I can pray positively for his conversion, for he is a free agent, is he not? And God will not save a man against his will..”
Man is a free agent, to use the old phrase, so far as God is concerned; utterly, wholly free. And, he is the most enslaved agent on the earth, so far as sin, and selfishness and prejudice are concerned. The purpose of our praying is not to force or coerce his will; never that. It is to free his will of the warping influences that now twist it awry. It is to get the dust out of his eyes so his sight shall be clear. And once he is free, able to see aright, to balance things without prejudice, the whole probability is in favour of his using his will to choose the only right.
I want to suggest to you the ideal prayer for such a one. It is an adaptation of Jesus’ own words. It may be pleaded with much cariety of detail. It is this: deliver him from the evil one and work in him Thy will for him, by Thy power to Thy glory in Jesus, the Victors, name.
1 Timothy 2:3ASV ‘God our Saviour, who would have all men to be saved.’ This is God’s will for your loved one.