Praying for Salvation
The desire of God is for all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:3-4), including every member of your family and household (children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, nieces, nephews, cousins). God's heart extends beyond just you as an individual but also encompasses your loved ones.
The Bible provides examples of this truth, such as how Noah and his entire family were saved due to his righteousness (Genesis 7:1), and how Rahab and her household were saved because of her reverence for God (Joshua 6:25). Similarly, when Paul preached to the jailer and his household, they were saved, baptized, and filled with joy (Acts 16:31-34), and when Peter preached to Cornelius and his household, they were all saved and baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:2,27-44).
If any of your family members do not have a relationship with Jesus, pray for their salvation and take every opportunity to share your faith with them. Even if it seems like nothing is happening or it has been a long time, do not lose hope. God has placed you in your family to be a light and a witness to them. His mercy is available to everyone, regardless of their past or present circumstances.
John 16: 24 Until now you have not asked [the Father] for anything in My name; but now ask and keep on asking and you will receive, so that your joy may be full and complete.
Smith Wigglesworth told of going to work one day and his wife telling him that morning that the children were sick in bed. As Smith Wigglesworth was working, he prayed for the children to recover. For the rest of the day, he went about his work as a plumber, happily whistling away. He said he had asked the Lord to heal his children and the Lord will heal his children because the Lord knows his joy will not be complete if his children are sick. Sure enough, when he got home that night his wife told him the children had recovered not long after he left and had gone off to school. Smith Wigglesworth's unwavering faith is an inspiration.
David Yonggi Cho shared a testimony about his eldest son who suffered from severe food poisoning after eating at the school canteen and was admitted to the hospital in critical condition. The doctor gave little hope for the son's survival. Cho knelt by his son's bedside and prayed fervently throughout the night, and miraculously, the son recovered. According to the son, Jesus told him to return to earth because his father is a servant of the living God and had prayed for his son's recovery. This powerful testimony highlights the impact of a praying parent.
James 5: 16 The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. 18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
I am quite convinced that everyone that came to know the Lord is because somewhere, someone prayed for them. I accepted the Lord at a Christmas event and do not really know the friends who brought me to the event. But now that I know them, I knew they had prayed for salvation that night. Not only that, they visited me and began bible studies with me, though I was a reluctant disciple. The apostle Paul persecuted the church and had a radical transformation when he had an encounter with Jesus. Though it was not specifically mentioned in the Bible that the church was praying for his salvation, this very likely happened because the church had prayed earnestly while Peter was in prison. God sent an angel to release Peter, and the church was too busy praying they did not expect him to turn up at their doorstep so soon (Acts 12:5-17). We can be very certain that the church (and maybe even the same group of people) prayed for this young man Paul and he was so radically transformed that they found it hard to believe that “a leopard can change its spots”. All things are possible to them that believe (Mark 9:23). God moves in response to prayers.
1 John 5: 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
Be confident when you pray for lost souls, especially in your family, for God hear and He will answer, and you will be full of joy.
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in Jesus’s name.