I tweeted out a request for prayer recently. There were some family members at a funeral I preached whom I know were unbelievers. I’m grateful for the many people who responded that they did and would be praying. To those of you who may take the time to read this, I appreciate your prayers. I could sense more warmth from them, but there was not an outward response that I could see. This circumstance got me thinking about praying for the lost, and I’d like to offer some suggested prayers we could lift up on behalf of those who don’t know Christ.
- Pray for the convicting power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of unbelievers. Jesus taught that the Spirit’s role is to convict of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8). Without his work in the lives of the lost, they simply will not come to Christ.
- Pray for the gospel to be preached/witnessed to unbelievers. Paul affirmed that the “gospel is the power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16). We should be prepared to be the answer to our own prayer here and look for opportunities to share the gospel with others.
- Pray that God would open the blinded eyes of unbelievers. One of Satan’s chief tasks is to blind and hinder unbelievers from seeing the glory of Christ and responding positively to him (2 Corinthians 4:4-6).
- Pray that God would give believers boldness to share the gospel. Even the apostle Paul asked for prayer that he might be a bold witness (Ephesians 6:19). Pray for one another that we might boldly preach, proclaim, and witness the gospel to others.
I know there are other things we can pray, but these four are a good start. And they should be a start, not a finish. Consistently praying for unbelievers is a fruitful task because God himself desires the salvation of the lost much more than we do (2 Peter 3:9). I’m reminded of one of my favorite George Müller stories. Müller ran an orphanage in England on faith and prayer in the 19th century. He prayed for more than 50 years for two of his friends to come to faith in Christ. One day later in his life, someone asked George if he thought his friends would ever be saved. George responded, “Do you think my Lord would have me pray for my two friends for 50 years if he did not intend to save them?” True to God’s leading, one friend came to faith in Christ shortly before George died, and the other shortly after George died. So, let us persevere in praying for those who don’t yet know Christ.
I’ve got my names ready to pray these prayers on their behalf. Will you join me?