“When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, ‘Take off the grave clothes and let him go.’” (John 11:43-44)
I know there are different church traditions, regarding offering prayers for the dead, and I’m going to completely sidestep them all. I was raised Presbyterian, and I don’t ever recall being encouraged to offer prayers for the dead. But some time ago, during intercessory prayers, God conveyed, in my heart, with a great sense of urgency, to pray for someone whom had recently passed away.
Our eternal and almighty God hears prayers offered after the fact before the fact; therefore, I will even pray for the souls of the dead. God is not subject to time; time is subject to God; no prayer is ever too late. The Lazarus story comes to mind (John 11:38-44). “When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, ‘Take off the grave clothes and let him go.’” (43-44). Even after being dead for four days, not only was Christ not too late to restore Lazarus to life, but theologians speculate that Jesus may have delayed His arrival in order to demonstrate the glory of God in this way.
By no means do I advocate a wait and see policy on giving our lives to the Lord; we cannot manipulate or outmaneuver God. Yet, for all the same reasons we cannot manipulate or outmaneuver God, we should never give up hope in Him. God is the beginning and the end. God is timeless. I pray for the dead, because no prayer is ever too late, because God is the master of time, not its subject.
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