Just as Paul prayed for those to whom he had carried the Gospel, we must pray for those that we witness to as well. Jesus said to “go and make disciples” (Matt 28:18). Making disciples requires more than just teaching others the plan of salvation. Just as Paul would stay in a community and teach for several Sabbaths, we must be diligent to do the same with new converts. Then we must remember to always pray for them, asking God to fill them with His Spirit, wisdom, knowledge and insight. So that they will grow and produce more fruit for the Kingdom. We, as well as the new converts, need God’s strength and might to endure with patience. It is God’s plan that each of us share with others so that His Kingdom will grow. We must share His love with others and we must do it with a song of joy in our hearts and on our lips attracting others to Jesus.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
13 I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life. 14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for. 16 If you see a fellow believer sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it. 17 All wicked actions are sin, but not every sin leads to death.–1 John 5:13-17 (NLT)
When we pray, we are asking God for life. It pleases God that His children will ask Him for eternal life and the things that are necessary for physical life here. He has given us His Son already, why would He now withhold any good thing from us? We are instructed to pray for others as well, asking God for life for them. When we or others sin a sin that does not lead to death (physical or spiritual) we are instructed to pray for life for ourselves and them. It seems to be optional to pray for those who have sinned a sin unto death (“I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it”). ****
****A short devotional could not possibly cover this subject, but for two examples of a sin leading to physical death look at 1 Cor. 11 (those that are asleep) and Acts 5 (Ananias and Sapphira).
A sin leading to spiritual death (blasphemy against the Holy Spirit) Matt.12:3. Another is absolute total denial that God exists. If He doesn’t exist then how could He possibly forgive any of us?
But if we aren’t sure about those sins leading to death, we are not restricted from praying for those who have committed them, John just cannot give us an assurance that God will give life to those for whom we are praying.