How to pray for an unsaved person

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.


Practical Guidelines
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Offer to pray for them and if you feel bold enough, ask the person if you can pray for him/her right then.
  5. 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.
  6. 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?


Portions from Scripture for prayer

Father, Your Word clearly states that it is not Your will that anyone should die, but that all repent of their sin and live. (Ezek.18:23). Your Word teaches us that You are patient, not wanting anyone to perish, but for everyone to come to repentance. (2 Pet.3:9). You desire that all men shall come to a saving knowledge of the truth. (1 Tim.2:3-4).

You loved the world so much that You gave Your one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16). You demonstrated Your love for us by Christ dying for us, while we were still sinners. (Rom.5:8). Based on this truth, I pray for the salvation of ___________ . I pray that you would bless ____________ with the gift of eternal life. Father, as You raise the dead and give them life, even so the Son gives life to whom He pleases. I pray that You raise _____________ from the dead to life. (John 5:21). Father, draw ____________ to the Lord Jesus, because no one can come to Him unless You draw them. Those whom You have drawn unto Jesus will be raised up on the last day. (John 6:44).

Father, I pray for ____________’s release from the power and grip of Satan. You have given us the keys of the kingdom of heaven and promised that whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever we loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. I resist Satan in Your name. He must flee from __________ ; and in Your Name, I loose ___________from all power of the devil. (Matt. 16:19; 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. Convict ____________ of sin in his/her life. (John 16:8). Your Spirit is the Spirit of truth, (John 14:17) and love. (2 Tim.1:7). May Your Spirit convict ___________ of the truth about himself/herself and the truth about who You are, and give him/her assurance of Your eternal love. Lord Jesus, You sit at the right hand of the Father to intercede for_________ (Rom.8:34). Father, may Your omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient 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 him/her with Your immeasurable love? Father, may Your Holy Spirit give new life to ___________. (Ezek.36:26). I ask Your Holy Spirit to give him/her wisdom and understanding (Isa.11:2), life (John 6:63) and to be born again. (John 3:3). May Your Spirit of adoption give ____________ the desire to be Your child. (Rom.8:15) Please, give _________ faith. (2 Cor.4:13)

Jesus Christ, Lamb who was slain for us before the creation of the world (Rev.13:8), You came to save sinners. (Luke 5:32). Please save __________. Through Your death on the cross You paid the full price for his/her sins. (John 19:30)

Lord, You made us to be a kingdom and priests. (Rev.1:6). As Your priest, I intercede for __________. You gave us the ministry of reconciliation and I am now fulfilling that commission by praying for __________ to be reconciled to You. (2Cor.5:18-20). I ask this in Jesus’ name.


Remember, God wants sinners to be saved.
When you pray, take this promise as well as all
 the other promises on this issue and pray to God.

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