Last week I posted an article about the Monday Morning prayer. Today I would like to discuss the role of praying for the lost. There is great value in praying for those who do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. In a very real way, it is one of our most important duties. Peter stated in 1 Peter 2:9, “But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
When Peter said that we, the church, are a royal priesthood, he meant that we have a responsibility to serve as the mediators between God and man. Most people in the world do not have the relationship that Christ-followers have with God. While we are able to enter the presence of the Heavenly Father and share our concerns, most people in the world are barred from that access. They cannot call God their father. So we intercede on their behalf. We cry out to God to have mercy on them so that they will hear the good news of the gospel and respond in faith.
Not only do we intercede on behalf of sinful man, we proclaim God’s word to the world on behalf of our God. Or as Peter said, we “proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
A practical way to pray for the lost is to develop a prayer list of the people you know who you are not sure whether they are believers or not. We like to call this your Oikos List. Oikos is the Greek word for household. The way that we are using it is as your sphere of influence.
Begin by prayerfully considering the people in your life: your family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, acquaintances through hobbies, etc. If you are not 100% certain that they are Christ-followers (you’ll know them by their fruit), then put their name on your Oikos List. Try to come up with as many as you can.
Next, pray for them. As you pray, ask God for opportunities to share the gospel. As people on your list come to know Christ, replace their names with new people that you meet.
Here are seven things to pray for your Oikos:
- That God would open a door for the gospel to come into the lives of your OIKOS (Colossian 4:5,6).
- That God would open a door for you to share the gospel with members of your OIKOS (Colossians 4:5,6).
- That God would remove spiritual blinders that hinder your OIKOS from following Christ (2 Corinthians 4:3,4).
- That God would grant repentance and faith to your OIKOS (Romans 10:9,10).
- That the Holy Spirit would show your OIKOS that they are sinners, that Jesus is savior and Jesus is King (John 16:8-11).
- That God would show himself in power to your OIKOS (Acts 4:24-30, 1 Thess. 1:5)
- That God would give you boldness in faithfully sharing the gospel with your OIKOS (Acts 4:24- 30).