One morning I asked Stan, “Do you ever think about what might be the most important thing to pray about?”
“That’s a tough question,” he replied. “There are a lot of important things to pray about, but if I had to pick one as the most important, I would follow the apostle Paul’s lead.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
In his letter to the church in Rome, a copy of which he sent to me,” Stan replied, “he wrote that he prayed for the salvation of others.”
“Was he writing about any particular people?”
“Seems like he was talking about his prayers for the people of Israel, but I think what he wrote has the broader application that I am to pray for the salvation of everyone.”
“Do you do that?” I asked.
“Definitely,” Stan responded. “I have a list of people I pray for each day, that God will draw them to Him and open them to want to know Him. That they will want all that He has for them on both sides of eternity.”
“Both sides?” I said. “But isn’t salvation just for eternal purposes?”
“Well,” Stan replied, “while salvation and redemption are certainly about the assurance that I am going to spend eternity in God’s presence, I think it’s also important to remember that Jesus said that eternal life is about knowing Him and God the Father. Seems to me that such knowledge is to occur on this side of eternity.”
“However,” he continued, “to get back to the point, there are a number of people whose salvation I pray about every day. I believe that my personal salvation came about because people prayed for me. They couldn’t pray me into heaven, but they prayed to God for me, and He answered by drawing me to Him. I responded and the rest is history!”
“So,” I said, “you think praying for a person’s salvation can make a difference?”
“I do,” Stan replied. “The apostle Paul thought so, and I’m going to go with him!”
“After all,” he concluded, “is there anything more important than a person’s salvation? I don’t think so. That’s why it’s at the top of my prayer list!”
Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. Romans 10:1.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your gracious and free gift of salvation so that I can look forward to spending eternity with you when my time here is done. Thank you, too, for all of the time I have on this side of eternity to know and to draw ever closer to you. Thank you for those who prayed for my salvation. I confess that too often I do not pray for the salvation of others as I should. Please help me follow your lead in praying for the salvation of each person you bring to my mind. I ask that you will draw them to you and open them to want to know you. I pray, too, that they will want all you have for them on both sides of eternity. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Do you have the assurance of salvation? If no, why? If you do know you will spend eternity with God when it’s time, do you believe that your salvation may be the result of another person’s prayer for you? Why or why not? Do you pray for the salvation of others? If no, is it because you don’t think it will make a difference, that it is up to each individual to make his or her own choice? If that is the case, you may want to talk with God about that?