Is it even Biblical to Pray for a Person’s Salvation?

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IceAndFire1328
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Is it even Biblical to Pray for a Person’s Salvation?

Post by IceAndFire1328 » Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:19 pm

I would like to start a new thread based on this article. The original can be found at:

http://biblehelp.org/prayperson.htm(Use by permission of author)

Is it even Biblical to Pray for a Person’s Salvation?
Recently, someone told me that it is not Biblical to pray for someone’s salvation. He said that the Bible instructs us to pray for more laborers, but it never instructs us to pray for the salvation of specific individuals. This got me curious, so I started taking a closer look at this subject. When I asked others about their thoughts, I got responses ranging from, “Yes, of course. God desires that we intervene on the behalf of others,” all the way to, “Definitely no; what ARROGANCE!!!!”

The Bible, of course, has to be our final authority. So, what does it say … ?


[NOTE: I did not include the rest of the article because of its length. It is, however, very important to read the rest of the article to understand the discussion being made on this thread. The article can be found at: http://biblehelp.org/prayperson.htm]

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RICHinCHRIST
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Re: Is it even Biblical to Pray for a Person’s Salvation?

Post by RICHinCHRIST » Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:31 pm

I agree with the article. I think it's silly semantics to say that it's unbiblical to pray for someone's salvation. Anyone who holds to a non-Calvinist understanding of salvation would believe that free will has a part to play. God will not override someone's free will in order to answer a persistent prayer.

The only people who may think it's inappropriate to pray for someone's salvation may be a Calvinist. Why pray for someone to be saved if God unconditionally elects His flock? No one's prayer will change God's mind about who He selected before the foundation of the world. If I were a Calvinist, I would concede that praying for someone's salvation is a fruitless prayer. For that matter, all prayer would be fruitless if meticulous sovereignty is true.

I think when we pray for someone's salvation we are simply asking God to work in that person's life in order to bring them to a place of understanding the gospel. Once it's understood, they have the freedom to choose to obey it or reject it.

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Michelle
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Re: Is it even Biblical to Pray for a Person’s Salvation?

Post by Michelle » Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:52 pm

Hi there, IceAndFire1328. I, too, believe that we can and should pray for every good thing, and what tops salvation?

A funny thing happened because I like to read the posts at two Christian discussion forums. I saw this exact same question, with the same two links to the article and everything, at both forums. Curious, I googled the title of these threads and found that you've posted it on many Christian discussion boards over the past week. Several of your posts have sparked interesting discussions, and maybe that's what your motivation was in doing this, but you haven't returned to any that I've found. Maybe I'm overly skeptical, and maybe your motivation is just to get a message out there, but it feels to me like you're trying (desperately) to drive traffic to your website.

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Candlepower
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Re: Is it even Biblical to Pray for a Person’s Salvation?

Post by Candlepower » Sun Mar 24, 2013 8:27 pm

I believe Christians are obligated to pray for the salvation of the lost. Here are my reasons:

1) “The Lord is not…willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

God does want anyone to perish; He does want everyone to repent. Whether or not all will eventually repent is another subject. But clearly, God does not desire for anyone to perish unrepentant.

2) “Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

In heaven, God’s will is done. On earth, His will is only partly done, by some, at times. If it were otherwise, then His instruction to pray for His will to be done on earth seems pointless.

Conversion involves repentance, and repentance occurs when one changes his mind and surrenders to God. Salvation means (in part) agreeing with God. Because it is God’s will for His will to be done on earth, it seems elementary that Christians should pray for rebels to surrender to Him (i.e. repent and be converted).

It seems to me that praying for the lost is at the heart (or near it) of praying for God’s will to be done on earth. As far as I know, the only things on earth that resist God’s will are people.

The Apostle Paul told Timothy, “…I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men…” (1 Timothy 2:1). We are to intercede for the lost. Obviously, they are among the "all men" Paul mentions.

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Re: Is it even Biblical to Pray for a Person’s Salvation?

Post by nancyer » Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:16 pm

RICHinCHRIST wrote: God will not override someone's free will in order to answer a persistent prayer.
I think when we pray for someone's salvation we are simply asking God to work in that person's life in order to bring them to a place of understanding the gospel. Once it's understood, they have the freedom to choose to obey it or reject it.
Very well said. I pray daily for my ex-husband to know God, understand and believe that He is here and that He loves us. I pray that God will open his heart and will give ME the right words to say when questions or situations comes up, that he can't twist into something negative but that will leave him wanting more or at least considering.

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Paidion
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Re: Is it even Biblical to Pray for a Person’s Salvation?

Post by Paidion » Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:33 pm

RICH, you wrote:I think it's silly semantics to say that it's unbiblical to pray for someone's salvation. Anyone who holds to a non-Calvinist understanding of salvation would believe that free will has a part to play. God will not override someone's free will in order to answer a persistent prayer.
Either I am greatly misunderstanding you, RICH, or you are contradicting yourself.

You say, "God will not override someone's free will in order to answer a persistent prayer." If that is the case, then how will persistent prayer for the salvation of a person who is insistent on going his own way, accomplish anything?
Paidion

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