“The sower sows the word. And these are the ones along the path, where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them” (Mark 4:14-15).
In the parable of the sower, the Word gets sown, but the evil one comes along and snatches it away. He can do this in a number of ways. He can distract people so they do not think long and hard on gospel matters. Or he will replace what they’ve heard with something better (or so they think). He will whisper things like, “Get your kicks now, and when you grow old you can find God.” In a previous devotion, we discussed the warfare praying people will encounter. But remember, the person who hears the gospel will face even greater opposition. We need to pray for them.
1. Pray that God’s Word finds a home in their heart.
The above verses come from a story called, “The Parable of the Sower.” But really we could label it “The Parable of the Soils.” In this parable, the writer presents four kinds of soils, representing four types of heart responses to God. Three of the responses fail the test, and only the last will find salvation. We need to pray that God prepares hearts for salvation. We cannot argue someone into believing, nor can we threaten them. We present the truth, but God must touch the hearts. Pray that His Word would find a home in their hearts.
2. Pray for people to embrace Jesus as Lord and Savior.
The various accounts of people finding Christ in the Bible always leads to a transformed life, as Paul would write:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
“For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation” (Galatians 6:15).
Some suppose they can dabble a bit with Christianity and see if it works. That approach will always end in failure. Pray for people to fully embrace the Christian faith and cut ties to the old life. The faith that Jesus spoke of requires a deep commitment.
3. Pray that new believers will fully obey God.
While this seems a bit counter-intuitive, the going actually gets easier the deeper the commitment. Let me explain. People making firm commitments have already counted the cost. They recognize they will encounter opposition. They value the gospel above the comforts and pleasures of this life. On the other hand, half-hearted commitments will lead to half-hearted passion for God. Pray for people to fully pursue God, holding nothing back. With God’s power working in their lives, we will witness life-transforming change and great rejoicing.
Posted on Thu, March 9, 2017
by Sam Petitfils