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Study Guides

Cultivating a Passion for the Lost

Praying for the lost requires a burden for them. You must have a passion for their salvation. This truth is illustrated in Romans 10:1, "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved." Paul states that his heart's desire was to see Israel saved. He longed for the Jewish people to turn to Jesus Christ in faith and repentance. He yearned for them to turn from their self-righteousness and to Jesus and Jesus alone. This was his heart's desire.

Yet, Paul combined his consuming desire with fervent prayer. He declares that his heart's desire and prayer was that Israel might be saved. Paul's desire to see them saved moved him to pray for them. His passion for them and their salvation fueled his praying. This verse reveals that passion precedes prayer; the burden comes before the broken and fervent intercession.

How can you cultivate a passion for the lost? What can you do to develop this passion that will fuel your praying? This study guide is designed to help you see God for this passion for the lost. It is intended to help you cultivate your burden for the lost. As this takes place, it will move you into a more fervent and powerful intercession for the lost. In order to use this study guide, read and meditate on the Scriptures. You might want to put your insights into a journal. You might even consider starting a separate journal or notebook. Ask God to speak to you through the verses and the study question. Use the prayer suggestions at the end of the study to help you apply the truth to your life.

Day 1 : The Work of the Holy Spirit

Read Romans 9:1-3. Paul shares his agony and concern for the Jewish people. He is broken and desperate concerning their lost condition. He states how much he desires to see Israel saved. If it were possible, what was Paul willing to do to see Israel saved? Read Romans 9:3.

Why did Paul have such a passion and agony for the lost?

His passion and agony was a result of the Holy Spirit's work in him. The Spirit of God must produce this burden in you. It is His work in your life. Read John 16:8-11. What will the Holy Spirit convict people of?

How would you describe your concern for the lost?

Ask the Holy Spirit today to create within you a passion for the lost. Pray that He will convict you about their sin of unbelief, their need of Jesus' righteousness, and their certain judgment. Plead that this will move you to pray as never before in your life.

Day 2: The Worthiness of God

Read Psalm 67. What does the psalmist pray for in verses 2-3?

How has God changed your life? What does your relationship to God mean to you? Is that worth sharing with others?

Psalm 67 teaches that God is worthy to be made known to the lost. There is no other God but Him and Him alone. He is the great and glorious God. People need to know this God.

Pray today that you will see and understand in fresh and new ways God's worthiness to be made known to the lost. Ask that this truth will powerfully affect your praying the lost.

Day 3: The Command of Jesus Christ

Read Matthew 28:19-20. What commands does Jesus give in these verses?

How does this apply to the lost around you?

Can this be accomplished without prayer?

Christ's command to lead people to Him and then teach them the Word of God is impossible in human wisdom and strength. It can only be accomplished through the power of God that is released through prayer. Fervent, broken intercession is essential to reach people for Christ and then leading them to maturity.

Ask God to convict you of the impossibility of the Great Commission in human strength. Pray that He will burden you with the truth that the Great Commission can only be carried out through fervent prayer.

Day 4: The Necessity of God's Word

Read Romans 10:13-15, 17. What will happen to those who call on the name of the Lord (v.13)?

What is the process behind a person calling on the name of the Lord (v.14-15)?

How does a person exercise faith in Jesus Christ (v.17)?

This passage teaches that a person must hear and believe God's Word in order to be saved. True faith comes through hearing the Word of God. There is no substitute for the Word of God. It is the instrument that God has chosen to draw people into relationship with Himself. People must hear the Word of God if they are going to exercise saving faith in Jesus Christ.

Ask God today to convict you in a fresh way of the necessity of people hearing and believing the Word of God. Pray that you will have no doubt concerning this truth.

Day 5: The Uniqueness of Jesus Christ

Read John 14:6; Acts 4:12; John 3:16?

Who is the only way to the Father?

What is the only name by which lost men and women can be saved?

Who has been sent by the Father to be the Savior?

Since Jesus is the only Savior, what does this mean for the lost person?

These passages reveal the uniqueness of Jesus Christ. He is the only Savior. He is the only hope of sinners. There is no other way of salvation but through Him. We must plead that sinners will turn to Him in faith and repentance. We must cry out to God that they will surrender to Him.

Ask the Holy Spirit to burn this truth into you heart. Plead that you will know and understand clearly that there is no hope for anyone outside of Jesus Christ.

Day 6: The Intensity of Spiritual Warfare

Read John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:3; 1 Peter 5:8.

What does Satan desire to do to lost people (John 8:44)?

What does Satan do in the lives of lost people (Ephesians 2:3)?

How does Satan control lost people (2 Corinthians 4:4)?

What is Satan seeking to do (1 Peter 5:8)?

Satan binds lost people through the chains of sin. He blinds them through his lies. He longs to damn them to hell forever. The only hope that the lost have is believers who will plead for them. Satan laughs at our plans and our programs. But, he trembles when believers prayer. He cannot stand against the power of God that is released through prayer.

Plead today that God would show you in a fresh way that the lost are bound by Satan and that he desires to damn them forever in hell. Ask Him to convict you deeply that prayer is the most powerful weapon that you have against Satan and his plans.

Day 7: The Certainty of Judgement

Read Hebrews 9:27; Matthew 10:28; Luke 13:1-3.

What two things are going to happen to every person (Hebrews 9:27)?

What will God do to those who reject Jesus Christ (Matthew 10:28)?

What must a person do to escape hell (Luke 13:1-3)?

It is an unpleasant subject. Yet, it is as certain and as sure as God Himself is. Lost people who die in their sin will be judged by God and cast into hell. Because they rejected Jesus Christ, they will forever face the wrath of God. This is going to happen. It is an unchanging, absolute certainty.

Plead with God to grant you a fresh reminder of God's judgment. Pray that He will break your heart and move you to pray and witness because of peoples' eternal destiny apart from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Day 8: The Compassion of Jesus Christ

Read Matthew 9:35-38.

How did Jesus feel about the crowds (v.35)?

Why did Jesus feel such compassion (v.35)?

How much do you think about the spiritual needs of others?

When Jesus looked at the crowds, He didn't see just a mass of people. He saw lost, hurting people in need of a Savior. When you look at others, you need to see them as Jesus did-lost, hurting, and in need of a Savior.

Plead today for the eyes of Jesus. Ask that you will see the spiritual needs of others. Pray that His compassion for the lost will be released in your life.

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