What If I'm Not Sure Whether My Friend Is Saved

prayerQuestion: "How do I pray for someone if I'm not sure about his standing with God? He says he's a Christian, but I'm not sure." Answer: Only God knows the heart. If you can't see the fruit of someone's faith in Christ, that person is likely far from God. Don't let your confusion about someone's salvation keep you from praying.

Instead of getting caught up in trying to read someone else's heart, focus your prayers on what you know: his fruit (or lack of fruit). Let's reframe the question: How would you pray for someone who is far from God?

An example: "Heavenly Father, you and only you know the heart of man. Your word says that the heart is deceitful, yet nothing escapes your understanding. I intercede on behalf of my friend. I believe that he is far from you. I pray that you will do whatever it takes to draw him to yourself. Let me be a faithful witness and a loving friend. I pray that he will see Christ in me. Glorify your name in all that you do. Amen."

Plowing the Fields Devotional: A Guide to Praying for the Lost

There is nothing more important than where people will spend eternity. Every Christian has loved ones, friends, or acquaintances who are lost. Much of the time, however, we are more concerned with who won the big game, whether the stock market is rising or falling, or what policies our government officials are promoting. It's usually not that we don't care about our friends who are far from God; rather, we are so easily distracted by the enemy. That's why I wrote Plowing the Fields Devotional: A Guide to Praying for the Lost. It is a 50-day devotional that can focus your heart and mind on the people for whom Jesus Christ died and rose to life. Salvation is not something that God accomplishes only through professional evangelists or church programs. Regular Christians--that means you--can impact eternity by praying.

Faith Trainer Guide: Helping People Follow Jesus

Faith Trainer logo - websiteI've just completed a project that has been, in some sense, decades in the making. Well, to say I've completed it may be inaccurate, for it's really the first step of a much larger mosaic. So let's say that I've reached a milestone that, for me, is critical to fulfilling my calling. All my life I've had a desire to assist regular Christians to be an active part of the Great Commission. Yet what I've witnessed in my 20-plus years in ministry has been a deadly combination of apathy, misdirected efforts from church leaders, and outright opposition to disciple-making.

For many years now, the Lord has brought people into my life cutting-edge Christian leaders who focused on different aspects of disciple-making: Steve Sjogren (servant evangelism), Lee Thomas (praying for the lost), Bill Fay (sharing the gospel), and Jim Petersen (spiritual parenting)--just to name a few. It took a while for it all to sink in and to overcome those who opposed what the Lord was doing, but Part 1 of the project is now complete.

Faith Trainer Guide: Helping People Follow Jesus is a free downloadable self-study workbook that may be able to help you effectively reach your lost loved ones for Christ. Just click the banner above that says "Faith Trainer Rsources" and you can download it from that page.

May your prayers be everything our Heavenly Father desires, and may He grant you everything you ask (John 15:7-8).