The Hitchhiking Evangelist
I want to follow yesterday’s post with some encouraging thoughts regarding God’s desire to restore prodigals (and all unbelievers). As you think and meditate on these truths, not only will they encourage you, but your faith will also grow, causing your prayers to be more powerful.
God Wants Everyone to Be Saved
The Scriptures tell us God is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9, KJV). We don't have to wonder about God’s desire or willingness regarding the lost; He could not make His will any clearer. The Lord wants every person to believe upon Christ and be born again.
God Is Able to Save
"Behold, the Lord’s hand is not so short that it cannot save" (Isaiah 59:1). Not only is God willing to save the lost, but He is fully capable of doing so. He has sufficient power and knows how to bend, shape, and change the perspective of unbelievers, bringing them to a revelation of the truth. Holy Spirit can break off of them every satanic stronghold and bring them to a knowledge of the truth. Allow the following story to encourage you:
“‘While hitchhiking home, Roger Simms was picked up by an older gentleman in an expensive car. They talked about many things, including Mr. Hanover's business in Chicago. Roger felt a strong compulsion to share his faith but was apprehensive about witnessing to a wealthy businessman. Finally, nearing his destination, Roger spoke up.
“‘Mr. Hanover,’ began Roger, ‘I want to share something very important with you.’ He explained the way of salvation and asked if Mr. Hanover would like to receive Christ as his Savior. To Roger's astonishment, the businessman pulled over to the side of the road, bowed his head, wept, and prayed the prayer of salvation. He thanked Roger, saying, ‘This is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.’
“Five years later, while in Chicago on a business trip, Roger went to Hanover Enterprises. The receptionist told him it would be impossible to see Mr. Hanover, but Mrs. Hanover was available. A little disappointed, he followed her into an office.
“After exchanging greetings, Roger explained how Mr. Hanover had kindly given him a ride years ago. Suddenly interested, Mrs. Hanover asked when this had happened. When Roger told her it was on May 7, five years earlier, she asked if anything unusual had happened during his ride.
“Roger hesitated, wondering if giving his witness had been a source of contention. But, feeling the prompting of the Lord, he told her that he had shared the gospel message and that her husband had accepted the Lord into his heart.
“She began to sob uncontrollably. After a few minutes, she explained that she had thought her prayers for her husband's salvation had not been answered. After leaving Roger at his destination, Mr. Hanover had died that day in a horrible head-on collision.”(1)
God is faithful. He knows how to unlock people’s hearts, convince them of their need and Christ’s provision, and when the time is right for them to be presented with the opportunity. And this certainly does not have to occur in a house of worship. God knows when to have hitchhikers travel home; He knows how to ensure unbelievers are driving the right road, at the right time, and how to motivate them to pick up the “evangelist.” God knows what He is doing!
Don't miss the fact that Mrs. Hanover had been praying for her husband’s salvation. Our prayers release God’s power; never forget this. (I will teach on this in a post/s soon.)
Christ’s Very Name Is Savior
"And you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).
“Jesus” comes from the Hebrew word Yehoshua, from which we also get Yeshua, both of which mean “Jehovah/Yahweh is salvation,”(2) These words originate from Yasha, which means "save."(3) Christ is called Yeshua because He is the Lord who saves us, the Savior. Think about that: Jesus chose to name Himself, "the Lord who saves." He wants no confusion, no ambiguity, no doubt as to His heart and desire.
Imagine the conversation that may have occurred as the Godhead was planning our salvation. Here is one possibility: After accepting the unimaginable reality that He would have to become a human, suffer, and die to redeem us, the Father asks Christ: “What name shall we give You as a human, Son? Most High? Creator? Omnipotent One? Everlasting God?…”
Perhaps pausing to consider the question, the Lord simply replies, “Let’s not complicate it. I just want them to know I’m coming to save them from the Fall, from the curse of their sins. Just call me Yeshua, ‘Yahweh who saves.’ In fact, we can just shorten it to ‘Savior’”.
And they did.
The Greek word for Savior is soter, “a deliverer that is God.”(4) It comes from sozo, meaning “save, rescue, deliver, or make whole.”(5)
The angel said to the shepherds, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" (Luke
"For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers" (1 Timothy 4:10).
Jesus proudly wears this name as His title! He loves to save! He WILL save your loved one, your friend, your neighbor!
Charles Finney shared the following testimony of a father who came to a realization of the Lord's intense desire to save his family:
“I knew a father who was a good man, but who had misconceptions about the prayer of faith. His whole family of children had grown up, without one of them being converted. One day, his son grew ill and seemed ready to die. The father prayed, but the son grew worse and was sinking into the grave without hope. The father prayed until his anguish was unutterable. There seemed no prospect of his son surviving, so he poured out his soul as if he would not be denied.
“He received an assurance that his son would not only live, but be converted. God also assured him that not only this son, but his whole family would be converted to God. He came into the house and told his family his son would not die. They were astonished at him. ‘I tell you,’ he said, ‘he will not die. And no child of mine will ever die in his sins.’ That man's children were all converted years ago.”(6)
Believe in the heart and power of the Savior! What He did for this father, He will do for you.
Pray with me:
Father, first of all, we pray for the prodigals in our lives. We know You are mighty to save, and You love to do so. You are Yeshua. We ask You to awaken them to their true condition, and to Your provision and love. We release Holy Spirit’s power to bind every stronghold and strategy satan is using to keep them deceived and bound. We loose them from all demonic control and all deception. We prophesy to the wind of Holy Spirit: blow on the dry bones, giving them life, in Jesus' name.
Father, we also pray for those who have never known You. Save and deliver them, also, in the name of Yeshua. Release Your power, revelation, and salvation to them. Send the right laborers to them. Do this here in America and around the world. We continue to decree as Your Ekklesia that the war in the Middle East will not stop the great harvest there. The violence and war will backfire on satan and actually cause the harvest to materialize more quickly and in greater numbers.
And regarding another subject, Father, we continue to pray for breakthrough in America. We pray for President Trump, asking You to reverse the unrighteous attacks against him from corrupt members of the judicial system. Vindicate him. Give great strategy and wisdom to those fighting for him and with him. Deliver him from the evil trying to keep him silenced and ineffective. If he is Your preference to be our president in 2024, let nothing stop this. Remove evil, godlessness, marxism, and immorality from our government. Continue to give Speaker Johnson and others who stand for righteousness in America, the wisdom and favor needed to restore America. All of this we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
We decree that “the Lord who saves” is coming with another wave of revival to redeem millions here in America and around the world.
Click on the link below to watch the full video.
Today’s post is adapted from my book How to Pray for Lost Loved Ones, published by Baker Books.
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1. Alice Gray, Storie4s for the Heart (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 1996), pp. 225-257.
2. James Strong, The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990), ref. no. 3091.
3. Ibid. Ref. no. 3467.
4. Ibid. Ref. no. 4990.
5. Ibid. Ref. no. 4982.
6. Charles G. Finney, How to Experience Revival (New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 1984), p. 58.