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An essay donated by Kathy LaPan

Why I am Praying for You, Even if you Don't Want Me To

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It is the directive of Jesus for believers to pray for non believers; to pray they come to Him, to pray they accept Him, to pray they open their hearts.

When I first began exploring Christianity, having been raised in an eclectic, agnostic household, many people would say, " I will pray for you." I found this confusing and offensive. Wasn't I here, asking questions, trying to find God, open to the whole idea? Aren't you basically telling me I can't do it by myself, that I'm not going to figure it out, that I need a room full of strangers to intercede on my behalf?

It has taken many years for me to accept Jesus, and I understand now why people wanted - needed - to pray for me.

Paul wrote in Romans 10:1:

"Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved."

He was very clear in all of his writings that evangelizing Jesus' message was the main duty of all believers, regardless of any possible negative consequences. He wrote in Philippians 1:29:

"For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake."

Also, Matthew 24:37-39 says:

"For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man."

The Old Testament tells again and again of the Hebrews refusals to listen to the Lord. They were so inconsistent with their belief they were referred to as harlots, "sleeping around" with any new god who looked shiny and exciting ... and continued to do so even after Jesus came.

James 4:4 says:

"You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God."

The world is very tempting. Kim Kardashian's rear end, Lindsay Lohan's latest arrest, another formulaic sitcom, the chasing of wealth... Satan has designed a culture that exists specifically to distract you from the Lord...not just distract you, but to make believers seem backwards and laughable. Even those who think they are saved can easily be drawn into the 'busy-ness' of "Being a Believer"; they can be easily distracted from the real point of Christianity -- the worship of Christ. Or they can fall into the temptation of the Pharisees and spend so much time and effort picking apart the lives of others they fail to dedicate their own lives to Jesus.

Therefore, my friend, I will pray for you. Even if you don't want me to. Even if it would make you angry to know I'm doing it (because in that case, I'm probably not going to tell you!) I am praying Jesus can make a pathway into your heart. I am praying you can be drawn back from the world and into HIs arms. I am praying you don't get caught up in being busy or fulfilling the "appearance" of a "Good Christian", and that you stay open to Him. I do this because Christ did this: He reached out for the sinners, the tax collectors, the whores, the lepers. He told us parables like the lost sheep or the missing coin or the prodigal son, and explained there is more rejoicing in Heaven when one sinner accepts Him than when ninety-nine people claim to love Him.

"He died for sinners just like me, a grateful leper at your feet" sing Casting Crowns. 1 He died for me, and I will pray that you will understand in your heart that he died for you, too.

God gave us the ultimate gift in Jesus, and Jesus gave His father the ultimate gift in reconciling Him with His creation -- us.

I will pray for you to see that gift as the miracle is it, and to accept it. May God bless you today, my friend.

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Susan Humphreys donated an essay as a rebuttal to this essay.

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Footnote:

  1. Casting Crowns is a contemporary Christian and Christian rock band formed in 1999 and based in Atlanta, GA. Their web site is at: http://www.https://castingcrowns.com/

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Originally posted: 2012-DEC-31
Latest update: 2012-DEC-31
Author: Kathy LaPan.

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