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IEA Devo 2022 prayer • Becoming a Disciple-Maker

Prayer – The Disciple-Making Lifestyle

“This is the assurance we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14)


Part One

When you pray, pause to remember what the apostle John was inspired to teach us. When interceding for those who are sick you will not know for certain if healing is God’s specific plan. However, in contrast when you ask for a friend to be convicted of his or her sin – you can rest assured that, in God’s perfect timing, your prayer will definitely be answered with a “Yes!” (See John 16:8).

You may be thinking, “What’s the difference?” “Why is that true?” Some requests can clearly be understood to be God’s will because He has already stated His position. However, in other situations His will may not be easily understood. As an example, since Adam’s early sin, physical death has universally been God’s plan. This reality is true for everyone! All that remains uncertain is – when, where, and how it will take place. It is pointless to pray not to die when the Bible explains, “there is a time for everything…a time to be born and a time to die.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1a, 2a)


Part Two

Spiritual conviction is God’s dependable response to our intercession, because His activity is already promised. Jesus spoke about the Holy Spirit saying, “When He comes, He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin, righteousness, and judgement: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in Me…” (John 16:8) When praying, we can request the Holy Spirit’s convicting ministry with full assurance.

Prayer about spiritual death is completely different from prayer about physical death. The Biblical reason is because it is never God’s will that anyone die spiritually, but we will all die physically. This spiritual experience of eternal death can and must be avoided! However, this requires an informed choice. That is why as Christians, we are called to witness to our friends and loved ones.

The Bible explains, “…it is God’s will that none should perish…” (2 Peter 3:9) This is why we can be certain that our loving Creator wants everyone to go to heaven! Tragically however, many will miss that blessing through spiritual ignorance, or choosing to perish due to their own stubborn misuse of free-will. No one will ever be forced into God’s kingdom. Our salvation rests on our personal desire followed by a decision. Jesus said, “…If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” (Matthew 16:24)


Part Three

When we ask God to provide His promised conviction, the Holy Spirit will faithfully begin pointing out the spiritual roadblocks caused by a person’s unrepentant sin. Our earnest request for the Holy Spirit to produce conviction will always receive heaven’s gracious “Yes.” However, when that conviction arrives, it will never remove a person’s individual responsibility for making important choices. The heavy responsibility of acting on truth is the corresponding challenge that accompanies being made in God’s image. The Bible says, “…choose this day whom you will serve…” (Joshua 24:15)

From today forward, you can begin pursuing intercession with relaxed confidence that is based on Scripture. Simply rest in what God has already promised. You can depend on Him to carry out His purpose. Your faith in Jesus Christ is the foundation for your witness. Now, come quietly before Him and make your request. Who in your circle of loved ones needs to be convicted of sin so they will realize their great need of a Savior?


By Billie Hanks Jr.

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