HOW TO PRAY FOR YOUR VIPs
Those who are Very Important People to you and to God
These simple ‘steps’ are based on the concept of a journey, recognising that those in our world, our VIPs, who don’t yet know Jesus, will be at different stages of spiritual receptivity. In Matthew 13, Jesus taught in the parable of the Sower about the different conditions of hearts towards the ‘seed’ of God’s Word; the path, the rocky ground, the thorny ground, and the good soil. Our consistent, faith-filled, specific prayers are something that the Lord will use to move people towards receiving Him and His salvation.
PRAY FOR SOFT HEARTS
For those who are far away or seem hard of heart.
Pray that God would work within unbelievers to change their hearts, ‘I [God] will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh’. Ezekiel 11:19. Pray that the Lord would work in their lives by the Holy Spirit, through angelic activity (see Hebrews 1:14), through circumstances and through positive Christian influences (including you!), to take away any obstacles or objections that they may have against God and His Church, ‘We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ’. 2 Corinthians 10:5
PRAY FOR OPEN HEARTS
For those who are more receptive to the message of the gospel.
Pray for an openness of heart such as happened to Lydia in ancient Philippi, ‘The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul’. Acts 16:14. At this point pray that the Lord would remove the blinding influence of the enemy, which stops them seeing ‘The Light of Christ, ‘The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Cor 4. Pray that the Lord would bring people into their path to share and demonstrate the goodness of God to them. Look for opportunities to be one of those people! ‘Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3:15. Prayerfully invite them to church or to explore faith at Alpha, ‘The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” …And he brought him to Jesus.’ John 1:41-42
PRAY FOR NEW HEARTS
For those who are ready to be born again.
Pray that they would receive Christ and be born again through the power of the Holy Spirit, ‘And I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean… I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you… And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees… Ezekiel 36:25-27. Pray that they would know the transforming power of God’s love, ‘…the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.’ Romans 5:5. Pray that God would liberate them from the bondage of sin by his gospel, and that they would become radical, baptised disciples of Jesus, ‘But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed.’ Romans 6:17