Praying for Those Yet to Believe
P. Douglas Small
God’s Word for Today
Read Daniel 3:34-36; 4:22-30; Acts 9:10-19; 12:1-4, 21.
Thoughts for Today
Nestled between the great dreams and visions of Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel that reveal the sweep of history and the coming kingdom of God, are stories or persecution of the faithful – the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace and Daniel in the Lion’s den. They encourage faithfulness in the midst of a pagan world: “Don’t bow to an idol; and don’t stop praying.” And there are two other amazing stories, often overlooked. The first is the conversion of Nebuchadnezzar. The pagan king gets saved. And there is the judgment on Belshazzar, whose heart is hard. It is a message on the sovereignty of God, when the world seems out of control. It is a reminder that the heart of the king is in the hand of God. Prayer may not affect the king, but it mysteriously moves the hand of God.
In Acts, there is a reflection of this narrative. Saul, leading the cause of the oppression of the church, is struck down, blinded, and gloriously saved. Herod, who perceives himself as God is judged. God is sovereign – and so the church, told not to speak in the name of Jesus, is reminded, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge…we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” This is not a time for silence. The disciples, when threatened prayed, “Lord, look on their threats, and grant…boldness [to] speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”
Who knows what persecutor of the faith God might save. What leader of the opposition he might draw to faith. This is a time to pray fervently, and witness humbly, but boldly.
It’s Time to Pray
- Add a high profile non-believer to your VIP list, and began to ask God to speak to them.
- Ask God for boldness. Ask him to work around the lives of these unbelievers to cause them ‘to wonder.’
Go to a seat of power – a courthouse, city-hall, a federal building. Pray that Christians will have influence there. Watch and listen in a courtroom. Sit and intercede. Send a prayer-gram to a judge. Tell him you are praying for God to give him wisdom, for justice and righteousness in the land.
Pray for an Unreached People Group: Ansari of Bangladesh
Pray for an openness to scripture, a desire for hearing the story & reading the scriptures will be created in the Ansari hearts and minds.