Can a person pray for …
-God to love them? Read John 3:16 and Rom 5:8 it is redundant to ask God to love us in light of these verses.
-acceptance by God? Read Acts 10:34-35 and Eph 1:6-7 Sinners do not need to pray for God to accept them, rather they need to obey the teachings of Christ to be accepted by God. Read John 14:23
-salvation? Read the account of Saul in Acts 9:3-19 and Acts 22:6-16 When Ananias found Saul praying, he stopped the prayer with the command to be baptized in order to have his sins forgiven. No one was ever told in the Bible to pray for salvation. There is no record of a ‘sinner’s prayer’ anywhere in the Bible. Salvation is found when a penitent person is baptized – Read Acts 2:37-40
-God’s grace? Read Titus 2:11-12 God’s grace has been given to us in the gospel. We cannot pray for some other way when God has already told us what to do in His word. Read Mark 16:16 and 2Cor 5:17-21 And how do we get ‘into Christ’ and find this promised grace ? Gal 3:26-27 “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ.”
What then is the sinner to do? Accept the word of God, believe in Jesus and obey the commands of the scriptures. The power of salvation is in obedience to the commands of the scriptures, not in prayer. Read Rom 1:16 and in Rom 6:3-4 “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were therefore buried with Him in baptism in order that , just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”
Will you follow the clear scriptural teaching today? Do not depend on what some man or some preacher has told you – read it for yourself. We will answer only to God for our responsibility of knowing and following the instructions that he has given us!
If Jesus had gone to heal Lazarus when Martha and Mary asked, it wouldn’t have been a new kind of miracle. Everyone already knew that Jesus could heal the sick. Lazarus had been dead four days, everyone knew this. According to Jewish belief, the spirit stayed around the body three days in hope of returning, but at four days – there was no hope. Martha even said “there will be an odor”. Imagine the shock when Jesus called Lazarus from the grave and he came out alive again. No one could deny the great miracle that had been done and that Jesus was indeed the Son of God. There is a reason why God acts on His own time frame. May we learn to wait for the Lord’s perfect timing.
Note: Jesus had to specifically call “Lazarus, come out” otherwise all of the dead would have been raised!