Praying for Men: Part 2
Who I Follow
The Best Decision I Made
I became a follower of Jesus in October of 1994. That was a long time ago. It was a Monday and I was sitting in my dorm room fulfilling a decision I had made to do something with God everyday. Specifically, I was reading a booklet I had picked up from the past weekend at an InterVarsity conference. It was called, My Heart, Christ’s Home. That booklet showed how it works when you follow Jesus.
When Jesus comes into your life, he doesn’t change you overnight. Instead he slowly shows you where you need to change. He is patient and will complete His work in us. When I look back over the years of following Jesus, I have changed a lot, but I’m still Dave. I’m becoming the person God envisioned when he created me. This is maturity in Christ, becoming the person God intended you to be. That is what I’m praying for men to become, mature in Christ. It starts with making the decision to follow Jesus and continues with the Holy Spirit making you more like Christ and the man God dreamed you would be.
I’m becoming the best possible me. So following Jesus is the best decision I have made. Jesus helps with being a husband, dad, employee, writer, etc. It has been a great journey so far and I look forward to where I’m going in the future.
Revival Helps the Believer Grow
Step One and Beyond
Before a man can grow in maturity of Christ-likeness, he first must decide to follow Jesus. Before that can happen, there are a series of steps a person must make before they are ready to follow Jesus. The first step is to trust a Christian and that is my first prayer request. If we are to have a revival of men, men are going to have trust Christians.
Who are the men in your life that you need to develop trust with? When you have a moment, sit down and ask God what is it you need to do to develop trust. A big part of this is developing friendships and that means we need to serve our friends that don’t know Christ and be served by them. Recently I had to move and I got help from both my Christian friends and my non-Christians friends. The best part of it is that I didn’t ask my non-Christian friends, they volunteered and I had to accept their help if I desire them to come to Jesus.
While this is the first step, this isn’t the last step. A man will have to be open to change and become curious of what Jesus can do before he finally makes the decision to follow. At each stop of the way, these men need prayer. Will you join me in praying for men on each step of the way towards making the decision to follow Jesus? These steps are called thresholds and if you read I Was Once Lost, you will get a better idea of what I’m talking about. All the while, ask God how it is that you can help this person.
Question to Ponder
Who can you build trust with to help them become a believer?
It Doesn't Stop There
When I made the decision to follow Jesus, I wasn’t complete. The best part of following Jesus is that you don’t have to be perfect the day you start. God is faithful to finish what he has started. When I think back to that booklet I read before becoming a Christian, I can picture Jesus gently telling me how I need to change. There even have been times when I resisted, but God is still patient. Even today I was listening to God tell me new ways he wants to change me.
God doesn’t have a one size fit all plan. Each plan is catered to the individual, because we are unique. Just look at how Jesus healed blindness. Each time he did it a different way showing us that there isn’t a formula that we can follow. My task as his follower is to take the time to listen to how he wants to mold me. Then allow him to do what he is doing in me. I need you to pray for me. Please don’t just pray for me, but pray for all men who are following Jesus. Becoming Christ-like is a long process and it is easy to get off track. That is why we need your prayers.
Pray especially for these three areas for men to get involved with:
Individual time with God (prayer and Bible meditation/reading)
Small Group (could be men only, mixed gender, or couple group with his wife)
Being active in a church (this should overlap with Small Group)
Peter Encounters Jesus
The Example of Peter
Peter first encountered Jesus because his brother Andrew brought him to Jesus. Andrew knew Peter needed Jesus and what a great example to follow. When you read the gospels, you see Peter as rash and bold. Even on the night Jesus was arrested, he cut off the ear of the temple guard. Jesus was preparing Peter to be the leader of the early church, and Jesus used the incident with the ear to help form him.
Peter in Acts has changed. He is still bold, but he is not as rash as before. The speech he gave at Pentecost is an example of his boldness. Peter was there when the gospel went to the Jews, the Samaritans, and then to the Gentiles. Take the time to read Acts 10, because we see there God working in Peter as well as working to advance His Kingdom (I’m amazed in how God can do this, form the individual as He is working on the Mission). Peter had times of sliding back. Just read Galatians when Paul confronts him. Don’t we as followers of Christ need reminders on how we should act?
The story of Peter is a great example of gaining maturity in Christ. This is my prayer request for men that more of us will become a follower of Jesus and be formed like Peter was. Those of us that do follow Jesus, we can continue the journey of becoming like Him and be a partner in His Mission at the same time.
2 Chronicles 7:14
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Why am I Passionate About This?
That is a great question! I believe that if you can reach men, you can reach even more people. Men are leaders. As they are transformed in Christ, then they can help out their wives, children, and others that they have influence over.
So, don’t stop praying! When you are done, pray again, and make sure you pray a third time. Do this early and often.