We are still looking at the most important question to ask before you pray. You can find that discussion In Part 1 of this series of articles. How we answer the question, “Is the person I am praying for a Christian?” will dictate what we do next.
In this article I am going to share 3 steps to follow if your answer to that question is “Yes, the person I am praying for is a Christian.”
3 Steps to Follow
If you know the person you are praying for is a Christian take these steps:
1. Ask if you are certain.
Ask yourself if you are certain they are a Christian. Follow that question with another one - how are you certain? The only acceptable to answer to this question is that you have heard the person say they are a Christian. Simply because you know they go to church is not enough.
I have led many people to Christ that were regular church goers. Nobody had ever actually asked them if they were Christians. By my asking, they eagerly accepted Jesus as their savior and were thankful that somebody had finally asked.
Make certain they are Christians.
2. Ask are they actively practicing their faith.
If you know the person is a Christian, ask yourself if you are certain they are actively practicing their faith. If you do not know, your next step is to find out. Call the person and ask them about their spiritual growth and relationship with God. An easy approach is to ask where they go to church followed by asking if they are active in their church. Even if you know where they “go” to a particular church already, ask about their attendance. Most Christian people will appreciate your interest in their spiritual growth.
Most of the churches I have pastored have numerous names on their inactive rolls. Many of these inactive members still claimed those churches as where they go to church. They didn’t however.
While church attendance does not always mean active in faith, it is an indicator. Make sure the people you are praying for are active in their faith.
3. Pray for their spiritual growth and relationship with God.
Regardless of they are active or not, now you really know what to pray. If they are active, then pray that God will continue to grow them so that they can find consolation in the adversity they are facing (the reason for the prayer request).
If they are not active, now you know what they need most, even more so than the reason for the prayer request. Pray that God will restore them to himself. Pray that through a re-commitment to Christ that they can find the strength they need to endure their adversity.
An active relationship with God and continued spiritual growth is the most important answered prayer for any Christian. Through their relationship and continued growth, they will find what they need in God.