Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
It has been wisely said that it is God's purpose to give us in answer to prayer that which otherwise He would not, could not, give. In other words, prayer can become critically important.
Think of it in relation to someone being saved at last, or lost. John says clearly that "if we ask anything according to [God's] will, He hears us." Let's say that's (A). Now (B) follows: "And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him" (1 John 5:14, 15). Thank the Lord!
But now (C) comes into focus: "If anyone sees his brother [or sister] sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He [God] will give him [the one praying] life for those who commit sin not leading to death" (vs. 16).
But there's a (D) also: "There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death" (vss. 16, 17). Apparently some people are simply determined to be lost; they have made up their minds; and you waste your time and effort to pray for them.
But wait: how can you be sure? Apparently the answer comes in the Lord's giving you "life" for that person you are praying for. You are praying for so-and-so; the Lord purposes to answer your prayer THROUGH YOU. He will give YOU "life" for that person! Someone's asleep in the snow freezing; you give him YOUR warmth. Or he's starving; YOU give him food. Or he needs a drink, YOU give it to him--you don't wait for some distant angel.
The point is: God takes your cooperation very seriously! And if that's true, then you need to take your part very seriously! Prayer is not mindless child's play. It's pulling in tandem with the Holy Spirit.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: June 21, 2004.
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