The apostle Paul, writing about the Jewish people, wrote, “My heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved” (Romans 10.1). Two important observations from those few words.
First, notice that Paul’s heart desired the salvation of fellow Jews. His heart beat with an ache that longed for them to know the grace of God as demonstrated in Christ Jesus. So great was the anguish in his heart, that he even wrote, “For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers” (Romans 9.3). Wow! Have you ever been able to say that about another person? May the Lord give us each that kind of “anguish” for the people He wants to reach through us.
Second, notice that he prayed for the salvation of others. On Sunday morning, we are going to be looking at the idea of praying for those who do not have faith in Christ. We will see that salvation is “an inside job,” a divine work of God, and that praying for the lost is just as important as sharing the gospel with the lost. As Derek Gentle wrote,
Salvation is a work of God within us; it is not simply a deal God makes with us and we of our own accord readily accept. It involves the imparting of that which we do not naturally seek. Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die — or to submit to the Lordship of Christ. We can remember how, before Christ, we ran from God. Hence, as God appointed to save the lost by the telling of the gospel, He has also chosen to save through the instrumentality of the prayers of his people. Salvation is an inside job and we are dependent upon God to do an internal heart-changing work in those for whom we are burdened.
Join us on Sunday morning at the First Baptist Church of Benbrook as we learn how to pray for the people God places on our hearts, for those whom we are “in anguish of heart” for their salvation.