Are you here because you have a small army of wayward relatives and wild friends that are too thick-headed and too skeptical to find Jesus?
I feel your pain—Melissa and I also have a load of unbelievers that we’re trying to steward towards salvation.
Sometimes reaching the lost can only be done through prayer for unbelievers and faith in His promises using Scripture. Here is a bunch of information that will help you pray for unbelievers.
Table of Contents
The Importance of Prayer for Unbelievers
Praying for unbelievers is intercession and is a powerful tool in drawing them closer to God. Doing this aligns you with God’s desire for all to know Him.
- Break spiritual strongholds.
- Illuminate truths.
- Pave the way for the Holy Spirit to work in an unbeliever’s heart.
- Reinforce your sense of duty to evangelize.
- Foster a deeper compassion and urgency to share the Gospel.
Praying for unbelievers shows that you have hope in eternal life for all.
The Power of Grounding Prayers in Scripture
Praying with Scripture shows that we trust God’s Word. Praying in line with His intentions will strengthen your faith.
Scripture-based prayers are powerful because they resonate with the very words God has spoken. This helps you stay grounded with your petitions in truth. You can harness the transformative power of God’s eternal Word by attaching your prayers to Scripture.
Understanding the Heart of Prayer
Prayer is an expression of trust, an expression of dependence, and an expression of love towards God. It’s a where we lay bare our souls, express gratitude, seek guidance, admit weakness, and declare love.
The heart of prayer acknowledges God’s sovereignty and embraces His will. This is true in times of joy, in times of sorrow, and times of uncertainty.
The heart of prayer should remain anchored to your belief in God’s goodness and love.
Transformation of the Heart
“From stone to flesh” is a transformative biblical concept found in Ezekiel 36:26. It is a promise to Israel for spiritual cleansing:
Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.Ezekiel 36:26 (NASB)
The “new heart” represents a new birth or a regeneration by the Holy Spirit. The self-willed evil inclinations gets replaced with a new nature.
Think of it as a new covenant, because the following verse says that “I will put My Spirit within you.” The Holy Spirit didn’t dwell within us until after Jesus ascended to Heaven.
So effective prayer requires us to have a heart without bitterness and hate.
The Sovereignty of God in Salvation
Here’s why God is sovereign in salvation:
- Source of Salvation: Salvation comes from God. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8 NASB). Neither you or I can save anything without Jesus.
- Election: Ephesians 1:4-5 tells us that God chose us for His own glory. Ask Him to save others so that His glory is displayed.
- Redemption: Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross was a divine act to redeem humanity. No human effort could achieve this redemption. He bought us—we are His.
- Regeneration: The Holy Spirit regenerates our hearts. He does this despite us not deserving it (Titus 3:5).
- Preservation: God guarantees that those of us He saves will remain in faith until the end (Philippians 1:6). He will finish a transformation in you if He begins a transformation in you—you can be certain of that.
- Human Inability: Humans are spiritually dead and cannot come to God on their own (Romans 3:10-12). God’s direct intervention is necessary for salvation. Luckily for us both; He does all the work.
Salvation is not based on our merits because we have none, but it does demonstrate His unmatched love, power, and faithfulness.
The Role of Persistent Prayer in Bringing Unbelievers to Christ
The role of persistent prayer in bringing unbelievers to Christ is multifaceted and profound:
- Spiritual Warfare: Persistent prayer fights against the forces of darkness that blind and bind unbelievers. Believers can break the spiritual strongholds that block the acceptance of the Gospel through prayer (2 Corinthians 4:4).
- Heart Preparation: Persistent intercession softens the hearts of unbelievers, and makes them receptive to Christ. Your prayers till the ground like a farmer preparing the soil for seed.
- Divine Intervention: Your prayers will cause God to swing His magnifying glass onto those you pray for and lead many of them to Christ.
- Empowerment for Believers: Persistent prayer empowers us to share the Gospel and become more fruitful. Obedience leads to more transformation.
- Building Faith: Persistent prayer teaches us to trust God’s timing and builds faith.
- Alignment with God’s Will: Praying persistently for unbelievers aligns us with God’s heart as He wishes all to come to the knowledge of truth (1 Timothy 2:4).
In short, persistent prayer draws unbelievers closer to the saving knowledge of Christ while bringing us closer to God’s heart.
God’s Desire for All to be Saved
“God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).
No one is excluded from His offer of salvation through Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross. God’s desire is clear, but He respects human free will. Each person must choose or reject His gracious invitation.
Aligning Our Prayers with the Heart of Christ
Immerse yourself in Scripture to align your prayers with the heart of Christ. Build a relationship with Him through regular communion, and seek His will above your own.
- Pray with humility.
- Pray with openness.
- Willingly surrender.
- Intercede for others—especially the lost.
- Reflecting Christ’s selfless love.
- Embrace gratitude.
- Be persistent and patient.
- Trusting in God’s timing and wisdom.
The Significance of Praying for the Conversion of Others
Intercession participates in spiritual warfare by combating forces that prevent acceptance of the Gospel. It also fosters unity in the body of Christ.
It’s an expression of hope, love, and faith through the expansion of His kingdom.
Scriptural Foundations for Praying for Unbelievers
The Bible underscores the believer’s role in interceding for the lost through both Testaments.
Praying for Open Hearts to the Gospel — Acts 16:14
A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.Acts 16:14
Lydia was a wealthy merchant who had not fully given herself to Jesus, but God softened her heart.
Praying Against Spiritual Blindness — Acts 26:18
‘to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’Acts 26:18
Spiritual blindness keeps us from seeing our own sin. Praying for others to see their own wickedness is the beginning of salvation.
Overcoming Deception — 2 Corinthians 4:4
in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.2 Corinthians 4:4
An anti-God worldview has always held the majority throughout history. People tend to easily believe impossible ideas like evolution over the truth of Jesus. Pray for discernment.
Powerful Gospel Presentations — Ephesians 6:19
and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,Ephesians 6:19
Ask God to be present and in charge of the things we say to others so that He is glorified.
Demolishing Strongholds — 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,2 Corinthians 10:4-5
We fight hell in the spirit and dismantle every bit of satanic wisdom to rescue our loved ones.
Freedom From Sin — Romans 6:17-18
But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.Romans 6:17-18
Separation of sin is a big theme in the Bible. We pray for a desire to know and obey God’s Word.
Extending God’s Grace — Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.Ephesians 2:8-9
Even faith is a gift from God. We’re to remain humble in prayer, because God does all the work.
Praying for a Revelation of Jesus — John 14:6
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”John 14:6
Jesus is salvation—there’s no other way. Ask Him to reveal Himself to your loved ones.
Understanding God’s Love — Psalm 36:5,7
Your lovingkindness, O LORD, extends to the heavens, Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings.Psalm 36:5,7
God’s love is not measurable. Shelter in His care, and pray that others are sheltered.
Asking Believers for Guidance — 1 Corinthians 3:6
I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.1 Corinthians 3:6
Band together with a common purpose and watch God work.
Practical Ways to Pray for Unbelievers
Praying for unbelievers is a vital aspect of a believer’s intercessory role. Here are some practical ways to pray for them:
- Specific Requests: Pray for their hearts to be softened and receptive to the Gospel. Pray for spiritual blindness to be removed. Pray for any barriers or misconceptions about Christianity to be cleared.
- Use Scripture: Ground your prayers in biblical promises and truths.
- Pray for Encounters: Ask God to put them in situations where they can hear the Gospel or witness Christ’s love through others.
- Pray Against Spiritual Warfare: Intercede against any spiritual forces that might be blocking their understanding or acceptance of the Gospel.
- Pray for Laborers: Jesus said the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few (Matthew 9:37-38). Pray for God to send believers into their lives to share the Gospel.
- Pray for Conviction: Ask the Holy Spirit to convict them of sin (John 16:8).
- Pray Persistently: Continue to lift them up in prayer, and trust in God’s timing.
- Pray by Name: Personalize your prayers by mentioning the names of the unbelievers you’re praying for. Being specific in prayer fosters a personal connection in your intercession.
- Pray for Their Needs: Pray for their current needs, struggles, or challenges To show genuine care and concern along with their salvation.
- Commit to Fasting: Combine your prayers with fasting, and earnestly seek God on their behalf.
Remember, while we play our part through prayer, it’s ultimately God who draws people to Himself. Our role is to intercede faithfully and trust in His sovereign work.
Praying in the Scriptures
|1 Samuel 12:23
|Samuel assures the Israelites that he will not sin by ceasing to pray for them, emphasizing his continued intercession on their behalf.
|After Job prayed for his friends, God restored his fortunes, highlighting the power of intercessory prayer.
|Abraham intercedes for Sodom, asking God to spare the city if righteous people are found, showcasing fervent prayer for the salvation of others.
|Moses intercedes for the Israelites when God’s wrath is kindled against them, pleading for mercy and forgiveness.
|1 Kings 8:25-30
|Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the temple, asking God to hear the supplications of His people and forgive.
|Paul’s prayer for the Colossians, asking God to fill them with knowledge, strength, and understanding.
|Paul expresses his continual prayers for the Ephesians, asking God to give them wisdom and revelation in knowing Him.
|Paul prays for the Philippians’ love to abound, that they might be filled with righteousness and be blameless for the day of Christ.
|2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
|Paul prays for the Thessalonians, asking God to fulfill their good intentions and work of faith with power.
These scriptures highlight the importance and power of praying to God on behalf of others.
Specific Prayers for Different Situations:
Prayer for Unbelievers in General
I come before You with burdened heart for those who do not yet know You. I pray for unbelievers around the world, that their hearts might be softened to the truth of the Gospel. Open their eyes, Lord, to see the beauty of Your love and the depth of Your sacrifice on the cross.
Remove any barriers, misconceptions, or hurts that might be keeping them from understanding Your grace.
Send forth believers into their lives to share the good news, and let Your Holy Spirit work powerfully to convict them of their need for You. May they experience genuine encounters with You through the testimonies of believers.
I pray against any spiritual forces that might blind them or bind them. Break every chain, Lord, and set them free. Allow them to discover the joy, peace, and purpose that comes from a relationship with You.
Father, I trust in Your desire for all to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. I lay this prayer before You, believing in Your power to transform even the hardest of hearts. Draw them close, Lord, and let them be found in You.
In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
Prayer Unbelieving Family Members
I come before You with a heavy heart, thinking of my beloved family members who have not yet embraced the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Lord, You know each one by name, and You understand the depths of their hearts, their struggles, doubts, and the experiences that have shaped their beliefs.
I pray, Father, that You would draw [call them out by name in a list] close to You. Soften their hearts, open their eyes to recognize the truth of Your love, and the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus, for their salvation. Break down any walls of skepticism, hurt, or misunderstanding that might be keeping them from You.
Send forth Your Holy Spirit to convict them, to guide them, and to provide divine encounters that will lead them to a transformative relationship with You. May they witness Your love, not just through words, but through my actions, patience, and unwavering faith.
Lord, protect them from any misleading influences or spiritual deceptions. Surround them with godly influences, with testimonies and witnesses that will resonate with their hearts.
I trust in Your perfect timing, Lord, and Your relentless pursuit of every lost sheep. I lay my family members at Your feet, believing in Your promise that You desire all to be saved.
In the precious name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.
Prayer Unbelieving Friends
Today, I lift up my dear friends who have yet to know and experience the life-changing love of Jesus Christ. You, who know the number of hairs on our heads, are intimately aware of the journeys, questions, and barriers that each of them faces in coming to faith.
Lord, I ask that You would draw near to [call them out by name in a list]. Let the truth of Your Gospel shine brightly in their lives, dispelling doubts, breaking through misconceptions, and healing past hurts. May they encounter genuine reflections of Your love and grace through Godly interactions, conversations, and shared moments.
Send Your Holy Spirit to stir their hearts, to plant seeds of curiosity, and to nurture a genuine desire to seek and know You. I pray against any distractions, deceptions, or negative influences that might pull them away from the truth.
Grant me wisdom and discernment in my words and actions. Equip me to be a compassionate listener, gentle guide, and steadfast witness of Your love. Let my life be a testament to the hope and joy found in You.
Father, I trust in Your boundless mercy and Your desire for all to come into Your embrace. I commit my friends into Your loving hands, believing in Your power to transform lives.
In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
Prayer for Those Who Have Drifted From Faith
I lift up [name them in a list], who have once known You but have drifted away.
Touch their hearts anew, reminding them of the love and warmth they once felt in Your presence.
Rekindle the flame of faith that may have dimmed, and guide them back to Your embrace. Let them experience Your relentless love and grace, assuring them that it’s never too late to return.
Surround them with supportive voices and signs of Your constant pursuit. Renew their spirits, Lord, and draw them close once more.
In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.
The Role of the Community in Intercession
The role of community in intercession is both profound and multifaceted:
- Collective Power: Multiple believers generate a collective spiritual power and authority. Jesus said, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20).
- Shared Burden: Intercession within a community allows believers to share burdens. This is encouraging and uplifting.
- Diverse Perspectives: Different members bring varied perspectives, experiences, and insights to prayer.
- Mutual Encouragement: Community members can uplift and encourage one another during moments of doubt.
- Accountability: Praying together leads to accountability and faith for long-term prayer needs.
- Spiritual Growth: Faith deepens as members witness answered prayers and experience the power of collective prayer.
- Unity: Interceding together fosters unity and fellowship within the community.
- Continuous Prayer: Community prayers are frequent and multiplied beyond what we you can do by yourself.
- Witnessing Miracles: As the community witnesses God’s answers to their collective prayers, it serves as a testimony to both members and outsiders, showcasing God’s power and faithfulness.
Community amplifies the power of prayer, provides support, and fosters unity.
I hope this helps with the journey of bringing your loved ones to salvation in Christ. Don’t give up on them—our God can do all things.