Pastoral 2016

Soteriology and Prayer

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 16 October 2016

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Since July, 35 students of theology have been meeting on Wednesday nights to study “Soteriology” as part of the Gethsemane Bible Institute Online classes. (By the way, this is the 3rd in the series of GBI’s Systematic Theology classes). I am happy to report that all the students come with tremendous enthusiasm and give themselves to learning.

Soteriology is the study of the Scriptural doctrine of salvation. This division of theology deals with a keen study of God’s provision of salvation for sinners through Jesus Christ and all salvific blessings He offers to those who trust in Christ. Topics, such as Election, Atonement, Substitution, Propitiation, Expiation, Satisfaction, Forgiveness, Limited Atonement, Effective Call / Irresistible Grace, External Call, Internal Call, Regeneration, Repentance and Saving Faith, Justification, Reconciliation, Adoption, Sanctification, Glorification, are studied.

It is really thankworthy that as the students grow in the knowledge of the biblical doctrines, not only their doubts, questions, lack of clarity and misunderstandings are driven away, but their spiritual fervour and devotion to the Lord have also increased enormously.

During last Wednesday’s class, the students responded with much delight to the Scriptural truths they learned thus far. The topic of study was God’s effectual calling of a sinner to Himself through the general Gospel call via Christians’ presentation of the Gospel (cf. Romans 10:14- 15). They were asked how they would pray for the effectiveness of their personal and collective evangelistic efforts. They were encouraged to think of the truths that they have learned and make them their prayers. Remarkably, the students (one after another) shared about 20 or more prayer points that they would include in their prayers for evangelism. At the end of the class, some testified that they had never realised how profound and solemn their prayers for evangelism can be when they pray with clear and sound knowledge of divine truths.

Certainly, the deeper knowledge of God’s Word enables God’s people to pray with understanding of His Will and with earnestness. I would like to share some of the prayer points that we have discussed in GBI so that you can be strengthened in your prayers for the work of the Gospel.

Praise God for:

  1. Praise God for His rich grace towards sinners, and provision of Jesus Christ as our great Saviour.
  2. Thank God for the wonderful Gospel and the presence and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Praise God for:

  1. Take and use me as a Gospel channel each day.
  2. Lead me to (or send to me) Thy elect people who have not yet known the Lord Jesus Christ, that they may be led to the knowledge and belief of the Gospel.
  3. Grant me open doors to declare the truths of Christ.
  4. Grant me the Spirit’s empowerment to do the work of evangelism.
  5. Remove all fear and anxiety and grant me boldness to present the Gospel.
  6. Grant me courage and an unashamed spirit when I will be scorned at or opposed or even persecuted for witnessing for Christ.
  7. Soften (or open) the hearts that are hardened (or blinded) by sin and Satan.
  8. Fill me with wisdom to answer questions and doubts of those whom I reach out to.
  9. Fill my mouth with proper words to declare the Gospel truths faithfully and effectively.
  10. Grant me humility in my conduct and preaching.
  11. Endue me with perseverance in my efforts to bring the Gospel to others.
  12. Grant me a fearless spirit to rebuke sin and unbelief.
  13. Grant me patience to explain the truths of the Gospel to those who ask about them.
  14. Grant me compassion and love for sinners, that I may be ever willing to preach the Gospel.
  15. Keep me from pride and self-dependence as I go about witnessing.
  16. Prevent me from perverting the Gospel.
  17. Protect and guide me away from sinful temptations, that I may be a holy and clean vessel for the Lord.
  18. Deliver me from Satan’s hindrances.
  19. Remove all obstacles, interruptions, interferences, and other problems that could prevent evangelistic efforts.
  20. Provide safe journey, good weather, good atmosphere, etc.
  21. Pray for evangelistic materials, like good tracts.
  22. Bestow upon the listener the Holy Spirit’s (not man’s) working and conviction.
  23. Grant understanding of the Gospel, repentance and true faith.
  24. Grant new believers illumination to behold the Glory of Christ and His Salvific Work.
  25. Grant readiness and power to those who repent and believe to turn away from sinful lifestyles.
  26. Grant new converts the joy of salvation.
  27. Pray that more labourers may be called, equipped and sent to the harvest field near home and far away.
  28. Pray that in all our Gospel attempts, Christ’s Name may be exalted.