For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
The Holy Spirit gives believers the desire to see an unsaved person come to salvation, but not everyone knows how to pray effectively for the salvation of an unbeliever. A few practical prayer guidelines and a model prayer are provided here, that you can use when you pray for an unsaved person.
- Pray that God will bless them. Pray for the whole person: where they live, their family members, domestic circumstances, their place of work and work relationships, social life, friends and friendships, protection, health, finances, salvation, etc. You can use Num. 6:24-16: The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.
- Build relationships. It is important, where possible, to build social relationships and friendships with the individuals we are praying for. Build these relationships despite their beliefs, but do it without compromise.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the needs of the individuals to you: spiritual, emotional or physical needs. Listen to them and try to understand their pain, frustrations, needs, disappointments, dreams and expectations. Lend physical and/or emotional help where possible. People are more open to listen to what you want to tell them about Jesus if they can see that you care about them in a practical way, and that you love and accept them. Not all believers feel that they have the gift of evangelism, but everyone can pray for someone, get involved with their needs in a practical way and build friendships.
- Offer to pray for them and if you feel bold enough, ask the person if you can pray for him/her right then.
- Witness spontaneously. Look for situations where you can testify naturally to what God means to you and what he has done in your life, without preaching to them. Don’t try to defend God. When someone asks direct spiritual questions, just answer as well as you can. Perhaps you can refer the person to someone else that can help, or recommend a relevant book or video.
Eight questions in the person’s heart
Pray that the Holy Spirit will put the following questions in the person’s heart and that he/she will look for answers to these questions. These are basic questions about life and it often happens that once people start asking these questions, it leads them to Christ:
– Whom can I trust?
– What is the purpose of my life?
– Where will I go when I die?
– When will I be free?
– Why do I hate God?
– Why do I flee from God?
– How can I handle my problems?
A prayer for an unbeliever
Father, Your Word is very clear that You do not take any pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that You desire that they shall turn from their ways and live. (Ezek.18:23) Lord Jesus, I pray because You said our Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones shall be lost. (Matt.18:14) Your Word teaches us that You are patient with us, not wanting anyone to perish, but for everyone to come to repentance (2 Pet.3:9) and that all men shall be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim.2:3-4)
Lord God, You so loved the world that You gave Your one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) Father God, You demonstrate Your love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom.5:8) On the basis of this knowledge, I pray for ___________ salvation, that You will give him/her eternal life. Father, as You raise the dead and give them life, even so the Son gives life to whom He is pleased to give it. I pray that You will give life to ________________ (John 5:21) Father, draw ____________ to the Lord Jesus, because no one can come to Him unless You draw them to him, and those You draw to Jesus You will also raise up at the last day. (John 6:44)
Father, I pray for deliverance for ____________ from every power and grip of evil, because You said, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” (Matt.16:19) I submit myself to You, and in the Name of Jesus, I resist the devil, and he will flee from me. In Your Name, I loosen ______________ from all power of the devil. (James 4:7)
Lord Jesus, You gave Your Spirit to the church that He will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin, righteousness and judgment: (John 16:8) Your Spirit is the Spirit of truth, (John 14:17) and the Spirit of love. (2 Tim.1:7) May Your Spirit convict ___________ of the truth about himself/herself, about who God is and about God’s eternal love. Holy Spirit You are our Helper who comes from the Father, will You also be an Advocate for ___________ with the Father to intercede for him/her. (John 15:26). Lord Jesus, You are sitting at the right hand of the Father to intercede for_________ (Rom.8:34) Father, may Your omniscient, omnipresent and Almighty Spirit (Ps.139:7; Isa.40:13; Zech.4:6) work in ___________ every moment. Holy Spirit, I do not really know how to pray for __________, but will You intercede for __________ with unutterable sighing with the Father? Father, may Your Holy Spirit give ________ a new heart and put a new spirit in him/her. (Ezek.36:26) In Jesus’ Name I ask that the Spirit of the LORD will give ________ wisdom and understanding. (Isa.11:2) Will You give ________ life (John 6:63) and rebirth. (John 3:3) May Your Spirit of son-ship and adoption give ____________ the desire to be Your child. (Rom.8:15) Please, give _________ a spirit of faith. (2 Cor.4:13)
Father, Jesus Christ is the Lamb that was slain for us from the creation of the world. (Rev.13:8) Lord Jesus, You came to call sinners to repentance, please save __________. (Luk.5:32) Lord, by Your death on the cross You paid the full price for ________ sins. (John 19:30)
Because of Your Word, I believe that You came to reconcile people to You. I believe that You exist and that You reward those who earnestly seek You. (Heb.11:6)
Lord, You made us to be a kingdom and priests. (Rev.1:6) And as Your priest, I intercede for __________ that he/she will be reconciled to You. You gave us the ministry of reconciliation and I fulfil that commission now by praying for __________ to be reconciled to You. (2Cor.5:18-20)