When we reach out to the lost, it is vital to know that we should preach the Gospel to them and pray for them. A ministry where believers only preach the Gospel and never pray for the lost or the harvest they are working on is not a ministry at all. This is simply because, at the end of the day, we as Christians depend on God, who works and moves in people’s hearts.
Heavenly Father, I thank You because it is not entirely up to our efforts when we go out to make disciples and preach to people about Christ. In the end, You move in the hearts of the people. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Why do we have to pray for someone who does not know Jesus?
We pray to God for those who don’t know Christ because, as mentioned before, God is the One who ultimately works in a person’s heart. In (A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26), it is written that God is the One who turns our hearts of stone to hearts of flesh. Whenever we preach the Gospel to a person, and he or she is hostile towards it or does not receive it in a manner that we ought to receive it, that is because the heart of that person is hardened. No matter how intelligent a person may be, if their heart is hardened, they won’t be humble enough to acknowledge that they have sinned before a holy God and need Christ to save them. This also shows that when you preach the Gospel to someone while understanding it with your mind is important, it is not just all about intellectualism. It is also a matter of the heart.
With that, we pray for God, who can turn hearts of stones to hearts of flesh, to work in the heart of the person to whom we are about to preach the Gospel. We pray that God will prepare the heart of the person so that when we preach the Gospel, he or she will receive it. We can also pray after preaching the Gospel, even though the person may not initially believe the Gospel, for the Holy Spirit to continually work in the person’s heart such that they will eventually believe and repent. It is God who makes our hearts like the good soil in (But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. Luke 8:15) in the parable of Jesus; after we hear God’s Word, it grows in our hearts and bears fruit in our lives.
We also pray to God for those who don’t know Christ because only God or the Holy Spirit can open their spiritually blinded eyes. People don’t know Christ because they cannot see Him. A good example in the Bible of someone whose spiritual eyes were opened was the man born blind in John 9. The man’s eyes were not just opened physically but also spiritually. He saw Christ for who He is, the Messiah, the only person who could save Him and was deserving of worship. The Pharisees, on the other hand, despite being so intellectual and knowledgeable of all the prophecies and the law, still failed to see Jesus as the Messiah that the Old Testament had talked about and even desired to put Him to death.
That is also why we pray to God for those who don’t know Jesus, as only God by the Holy Spirit can open the spiritual eyes of a person blinded by sin. Only when the Holy Spirit opens our eyes do we realize that we are living our lives incorrectly and that life, meaning, and purpose are only found in Christ. It is how a person whose spiritual eyes have been opened is able to repent, believe the Gospel, and commit to a life of following Christ.
Knowing that God can work in a person’s heart and open their eyes makes us all the more confident when preaching the Gospel to others, knowing that in the end, it is God who will work on people’s hearts. We know that no one is outside the grace of God that He cannot radically change. A good example of this is the apostle Paul, who was once a persecutor of the church.
Father in heaven, I thank You because You are a God who is gracious and merciful. You are the One who softens people’s hardened hearts and opens their spiritually blinded eyes so they may see their need for Christ and understand that eternal life and forgiveness are only found in Him. Our confidence is not found in our ability to preach but in Your ability to work in their hearts. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
How Can I Pray For Someone That Does Not Know Jesus?
You can pray for someone who does not know Jesus to know Jesus simply. To pray for that, you can pray for several things. One is praying for them to have the opportunity to hear the Gospel. They will never believe the finished work of Christ and repent unless they hear about it, as written in Romans 10:14-15. Pray first that they will be able to hear the Gospel.
As you pray for them to have the opportunity to hear the Gospel, pray that the Holy Spirit will work on their hearts by turning their hearts of stone to hearts of flesh and that He will also open their spiritually blinded eyes. Keeping those three things in mind will enable you to pray a good prayer for someone who does not know Christ yet.
Below is an example prayer that you can offer for someone who does not know Jesus:
Heavenly Father, I pray for [name of the person] that he will have the opportunity to hear the Gospel. I pray for boldness upon the Christians where he works that they will preach the Gospel and reach out to Him. I also pray that You will work in his heart and soften his hardened heart. Open his spiritual eyes, Holy Spirit, so that he may see Christ for who He is and repent and believe His work on the cross. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Just as we should pray for people to know Jesus, we must also do our part: make disciples out of all nations by preaching the Gospel, as written in Matthew 28:16-20. While indeed God is the One who works in the people’s hearts and opens their spiritual eyes, that does not mean we don’t have to do anything. Aside from God’s commands to proclaim the good news to those who haven’t heard of it, we also have a partnership with Him. God, in His sovereignty, chose the church, though His means are not limited to it, and commissioned those within his church to expand His kingdom through preaching the Gospel.