How to Pray For the Lost

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praying for the lostAll of us know people who don’t believe in God. We are commanded in Scripture to do what we can to reach them for Christ (Matthew 28:18-20). How do we do that, when many could care less about what we have to say? Well, why don’t we first start by praying for them? Some people are easy to reach, they’re just waiting for someone to come and share the Gospel. Others are tough as nails and difficult to even talk to about Jesus. Sometimes there’s only one thing you can do, but I believe it is the most powerful thing that anyone could ever do, and that is to pray for them! I believe more people have been won to Christ by someone’s prayer than any other way. Yes, they have to hear to believe (Romans 10:14-15), but prayer prepares the way and softens the heart.

The Bible tells us that God loves unbelievers just as much as He loves believers. From the Apostle Peter we read, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (1 Peter 3:9). And again from the Apostle Paul, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3-4).

 If you are a believer, you know the joy of living life in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. You also most likely have someone in your life today that doesn’t believe in Christ — and you long for them to know Him the way you do. Over the years, I’ve had people ask me, “How do I pray for someone that they would come to know Jesus as their Savior?” Maybe it’s your mate, your children, or people you work with — maybe it’s you. Here’s four ways you can pray for someone who does not know Christ today:

 

1.  Pray that our heavenly Father will draw them to Jesus Christ: Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me” (John 6:44-45).

2.  Bind the Spirit that blinds their minds. The Apostle Paul wrote, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God”  (2 Corinthians 4:4). You have the power to bind the enemy, so use it (Matthew 18:18)!

3.  Pray for the convicting work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Jesus said, “But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor (Holy Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment” (John 16:7-8).

4.  Pray for them to encounter Christians in a favorable way. Isaiah the prophet, speaking of the coming of Jesus wrote, “He won’t yell, won’t raise his voice; there’ll be no commotion in the streets. He won’t walk over anyone’s feelings, won’t push you into a corner.  Before you know it, his justice will triumph; the mere sound of his name will signal hope, even among far-off unbelievers” (Matthew 12:20-21, The Message).

The most important thing you can do for someone who is lost is to begin to pray for them and to keep on praying (Matthew 7:7-8). Your initial prayers will accomplish more than actual words to them can ever do until you or someone else has the opportunity to share the Gospel with them face to face. When that happens, you’ll find that God had already softened their hearts to receive. After all, isn’t that what He did to yours—and to mine!

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