All of us know someone in our family or circle of friends who has not been reconciled to God the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ. God wants to save them and can save them. However, it is also the will of God that we should pray for their salvation. In 1 John 5:16 God directly links the salvation of people and prayer with each other.
1. We should pray for the whole person. Take note of any negative or sinful habits in the person’s life and pray about it.
2. Watch out for sinful, negative and unbiblical behaviour patterns and pray about those. Pray that the Holy Spirit will reveal the truth to their hearts.
3. Ask the Lord to show you who has a negative influence on the person and pray for the breaking of these negative influences and/or the breaking of destructive relationships that draw the person away from Christ.
4. Note which activities have a negative influence on the person’s life – pray that it will be replaced by a positive influence and/or that the negative influence will be made powerless.
5. Determine which influences from the past contribute to his/her present behaviour. Pray for healing, that he/she will be able to forgive, to accept what happened and let it go.
6. Pray that the Holy Spirit will convict the person of specific sins.
7. 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?
8. Pray for an opportunity to speak to him/her about Jesus or that the Holy Spirit will work in the heart of another believer to speak to him/her about Jesus.
9. From your position of authority in Christ Jesus (Eph.1:19-22) you have to resist any work of the devil that is attacking the person and is working disobedience to God in that person, or is blinding him/her and is planting lies about who God really is, or is hindering the person in any way to come to the Lord. You have to keep on resisting the work of the evil one in the person’s life until there is victory. Bind the works of the devil in the Name of Jesus, rebuke and resist him.
10. Are your motives pure? Why do you pray for the person? Are you praying for him/her in order to make life easier for you in marriage or maybe to enable you to say you brought this person to the Lord and by doing that may get some credit? Alternatively, is it really about that person—for his/her conversion, so that God the Father may be honoured through his/her life?
11. Be sensitive for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Do not dictate to God by telling Him how He should save the person. God knows what He is doing. When you have finished praying, you have to stand back and allow God to work in ways He knows best, even if it might differ from the ways you expected Him to work. Do not try to give God a hand – His omnipotence is sufficient to complete the work.
12. Do not be in a hurry. God’s timing is perfect and He will not be hurried or allow you to prescribe to Him what to do.
13. If the circumstances demand it and the Holy Spirit guides you, you may fast and pray for the person. People often pray half-heartedly with little seriousness and perseverance.
14. Praise God when you pray. When you praise Him, you acknowledge that God is in control, it uplifts your own soul and brings faith to your heart. Praise is also for those times when you are at the end of yourself and when you realise that only God remains.
Portions from Scripture for prayer
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. (2 Cor.5:18-20)
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.