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Question 176

Q: How do I pray for strangers and family members?

I want to ask God to save everyone. I’m overwhelmed because I feel I’m leaving people out, and I feel guilty when I pray for my daughter and husband first. I shouldn’t pray for someone’s salvation in order, should I? Thank you, Pastor Lutzer, for caring for us. I pray God continues to bless you and yours.

Asked by: Jennifer

A: Well Jennifer, first of all I want to say that I am very touched by your sensitivity.

The fact that you want to see people saved is not only commendable, but it is indeed the evidence of a Christian spirit and I’m glad that you are praying for those who don’t know Christ as Savior. But my dear friend, you don’t have to feel guilty because you pray for your husband and your child first. God understands that our first responsibility is to our family.

Secondly you ask, “How do I know that I’m praying for everyone?” Well, you really don’t have to pray for everyone. As a matter of fact, I think that we’re much more biblical when we pray less for the unsaved and instead pray for Christians to come into the lives of the unsaved to show them the way. Now perhaps you’re surprised to hear me say that, but we have very few instances in the Bible where we are commanded to pray for the unsaved. Certainly the Bible tells us to pray for those who have authority over us and it tells us that we should pray for all people. But isn’t it interesting that when Jesus left this Earth He said to the disciples, “When the Holy Spirit is come to you, through you He will convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgment.”

So Jennifer continue to pray for the unsaved, but pray especially that God will bring Christians into their lives who will explain the Gospel to them because it’s through us that the world believes. Keep praying, and don’t feel guilty about praying for people in some special order with your family first. And pray that believers will rise to the challenge of being the witnesses they should be to a hurting and lost world.

Scripture references

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