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How To Pray For The Lost

Christ has commanded us to make disciples of all nations. We are to preach the Gospel to those who haven’t heard of the Good News that God came down on earth and dwelt among us in the person of Christ. He lived the life we should have lived, died the death we should have died, and rose from the dead on the third day, proving indeed that He is the Son of God. Christ’s death on the cross satisfies God’s wrath for the sins we have committed. Anyone who repents, believes in the finished work of Christ, and commits to follow Him receives eternal life and forgiveness. If we genuinely have encountered Christ, then we share Christ with others, knowing that in Him eternal life can be found. Just as we preach the Gospel to the lost, we also have to pray for the lost. We pray for them to be saved. To know what to pray for the lost to be saved means also understanding how one gets saved. It is important to note that salvation is of God and from God. It is all God’s work in our lives. That is why we can never boast about anything. You can never boast about you making a conscious decision to believe Christ and repent because even the fact that you repented and believed is all due to God’s grace at work in your life. If not for God’s grace that works in your life, you are still living the life of sin. 

Psalm 3:8

Salvation belongeth unto the Lord: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.

Romans 3:23

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Titus 2:11-14

11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

All of us sin. We sin because we are sinful by nature. That is why the Bible tells us that we have hardened hearts. No matter what, people won’t seek God, let alone repent and believe the Gospel because their hearts are hardened. Sin will always be there unless the heart is dealt with because sin lies from the heart. Only God can turn a heart of stone into a heart of flesh. In other words, the reason you repented and believed the person and work of Christ is because God turned your heart of stone into a heart of flesh. The Holy Spirit has regenerated your heart and caused you to be born again. Jesus Himself said that unless one is born again, he or she shall never see the kingdom of God, let alone repent or believe. We repented and believed because the Holy Spirit caused us to be born again, not the other way around where you believed, and that is why you were born again. So we can never boast about anything because it is all God’s work in us. God’s mercy made us alive from being dead in our trespasses. 

Ezekiel 36:26

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.

John 1:12-13

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 3:3

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

John 3:8

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

John 6:44

No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Ephesians 2:1-10

1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;

2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Titus 3:5

Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

James 1:18

Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

1 John 2:29

If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

1 Peter 1:3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

Another thing is that only God can open the eyes of spiritually blinded people. In the story of the man born blind, we can see that God has opened his blinded eyes, not just physically but also spiritually. That is why he was able to see his need for Christ and understood that He is indeed the Messiah. The Pharisees, on the other hand, despite their intellectual prowess, were spiritually blind. Christ was right before them many times, yet they failed to see Him as the Messiah Whom the prophets have prophesied. Only God can open the eyes of the spiritually blind—those who are blinded in sin because of the enemy.

John 9:25

He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.

These things give us hope that no one is too far from the grace of God. No matter how “bad” a person seems to be, he or she will repent and commit to following Christ because God’s grace is irresistible. For example, the apostle Paul was once a persecutor of Christians. It is essential to know these things to pray for the lost. We can’t expect them in their sinfulness to repent unless God’s grace works in them.

How do you pray for unsaved souls?

Given the things mentioned above, you will know the things you can pray for the lost, especially those you are preaching the Gospel to, whether they are your family, friends, or even a stranger. One of the things that you can pray for is for God to open their spiritually blinded eyes. As mentioned a while ago, they are all blinded in sin. They will never see their need for Christ unless God opens their spiritually blinded eyes. Another thing that you can include in your prayer is for God to turn their hearts of stone to hearts of flesh. Remember that a person will never repent and believe unless his or her heart is first dealt with. You can also pray to God to give them grace. After all, everything is of God’s grace. Just take note of the points mentioned above and pray them for the lost. Here is an example of how you can pray for the lost:

Heavenly Father, it is all because of Your grace and mercy that I repented from the life of sin and believed Who Christ is and what He has done on the cross. I pray for the same grace and mercy upon the lost, for salvation is all by Your grace and mercy. Open their eyes so that they may see Christ, Who is the Messiah that they need and in Whom they can find salvation from their sins. Soften their hearts and turn their hearts of stone to hearts of flesh so that they may receive the Gospel and repent. Work in their hearts, Holy Spirit, and cause them to be born again to regenerate their hearts. May they not only hear Your Word but also understand it, for understanding comes from You alone. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

We can never boast that we are saved because of our conscious decision of believing Christ and repenting. Apart from God’s grace that was at work in us, we would not have made such a decision. That is why, in the end, it humbles us and drives us to thank and worship God—because we are still dead in our trespasses if not for His grace and mercy.