Why do some people seem to come to Christ so quickly and so easily and others seem to resist conversion throughout their lives? I have found one common denominator in salvations. Everyone who either I have personally led to Christ, or who I have been able to dialogue with that have come to Christ through my indirect involvement has told me that they personally knew of someone that has been praying for their salvation. Somebody had paid a price in prayer for those souls! Interestingly, I believe the God who created salvation and the whole universe designed it that way! As with so many things, it is all about God’s love for us.
One night during a revival service in upstate New York, I asked the congregation a question. “Do you believe that if this church held a prayer meeting every night for a week in which everyone that could come would cry out to God in earnest prayer for souls that God would do something in this town?” Well, the response was minimal. So I asked, “Do you believe that if this church held a prayer meeting every night for two weeks in which everyone that could come would cry out to God in earnest prayer for souls to be saved that God would do something in this community?” At that point a few more heads seem to nod yes. So then I upped the ante. “Do you believe that if this church held a prayer meeting every night for a month with fasting for those who could come and those who could fast and would cry out to God for souls to be saved that God would do something in this town?” All of a sudden, everyone, although obviously shocked by the suggestion, seemed to agree that with that degree of prayer emphasis, that God would certainly do something in their town. I concluded by saying “Then I have one simple question. ‘Why aren’t we doing it?’”
History is replete with examples of great numbers of people coming to Christ as the result of great prayer efforts. Story after story of historic soldiers of the faith such as David Brainard, George Muller, Praying John Hyde, Charles Finney and his traveling companion, intercessor Father Nash, Charles Spurgeon, George Whitfield, and dozens of others all wrote in different time periods in history of the remarkable fruit of prayer. However, it is very important to note that these men and countless unsung women who often were the leaders of any prayer services in the local churches were simply that; they were leaders. As intercessors, they inspired others to join them producing great concerts of prayer crossing denominational, ethnic, and socioeconomic lines. These leaders cried out to God in earnest, believing that as the scripture says in James 5:16b “The effective and fervent prayers of a righteous person avails much!” (NKJV) They also believed Hebrews 11:16b; “He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him!”(NKJV) Literally translated, Hebrews 11:16b states, “He is a rewarder of them that seek seek Him.” Because the early translators did not want to repeat the same word twice, they substituted an adjective for the verb. What I like to draw from this is that God is a rewarder of them who seek Him a lot! Or for mathematicians he is a rewarder of them who seek (squared) Him!
So how does all of this tie in with our Heavenly Father’s love plan for the winning of souls? Why is He moved by fervent prayer, either by a weeping mother on her knees, for sometimes years, or by a group of passionate parishioners, who just want to see many people in their little town come to Christ who diligently form determined prayer groups? Simply put, and speaking metaphorically, I believe that God wants His Bride involved very much in the birthing of souls into His Kingdom.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Nolan Harkness