Do you pray for the lost people around you?
A few years back, I remember God convicting me to reach out to my neighbors. It was clear to my wife and me that they needed Jesus, but we didn’t know how to start. They had no religious background at all and they lived a life completely different than ours. We began to pray that they would come to know Christ. Over the next few weeks, God opened several doors for us to minister to them, to share our story, and begin investing in a relationship with them. One night, we invited them over for a cookout. After we ate, we asked them if we could share the message of Christ with them. At the end of the conversation, both of them accepted Christ. Every aspect of that encounter and what led up to it was an answer to prayer. God was at work. He answered our prayers and added to the kingdom that day.
There are people all around you who need Jesus. He wants to use you to reach them. Here are some of the specific ways you too can pray for people the in your life who need Christ:
1. Pray that the Father would draw them to Christ.
John 6:44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him
God is the initiator in salvation. He sent His Son to die for sinners and He is the one who works in people’s hearts to make them receptive to the gospel message. We knew that if our neighbors were to come to Christ, God would have to move in their hearts and so we prayed that He would do so. When you pray for others, pray that the Father would draw them to Christ.
Lord, I pray you work in the heart of ____________ and draw them to Christ.
2. Pray that the Spirit would convict them of sin and their need for Christ.
John 16:8 “And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment
The Holy Spirit prepares hearts for the gospel message by bringing conviction. He works to help people see their sin and their helpless condition without Him. Leading up to our cookout, we had already shared a good bit of our testimony with them, but our neighbors did not yet see their need for the Lord. The Holy Spirit worked in their hearts that night, and when we shared the message of Christ, they responded. Without the work of the Holy Spirit, people remain unmoved by the message of the gospel. People do not see their need for forgiveness and reconciliation. Conviction cuts to the heart and prepares people to hear and respond to the good news.
Holy Spirit, I ask you to convict ____________ of sin and show them their need for salvation through the death and resurrection of Christ.
3. Pray for Opportunity to Witness
Col 4:3 “praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word … that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak.”
Even when you are intentional about your desire to witness, you still need an opportunity to do so. Leading up to that night, we had attempted to share the gospel many times. We would tell part of our testimony, or pieces of the God’s story, but never had a chance to fully share the gospel message. We wanted to share Christ, but there was never an open door. God gave us the opportunity that night to fully and clearly share the message of salvation and invite them to receive Christ. As you pray for lost people around you, pray that God would give you an open door for witness.
Lord, I pray that I would have the opportunity to share the gospel with ____________ and that I would be able to clearly present the message of Jesus Christ.
4. Pray for Boldness in your witness
Eph 6:19-20 “pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, … that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
Let’s face it, the biggest reason we don’t witness is fear. When it came to our neighbors, I too had a bit of fear that they would reject the message and reject me. I knew there was a possibility that when the opportunity came to share, that I would chicken out. Paul himself needed prayer for boldness, so I’m not alone. I prayed for boldness that night and God granted it. As you pray for opportunity, pray also that you overcome your fears and share the message with boldness.
Lord, I pray that when that opportunity comes, that I would be bold and not shy away from sharing your truth with ____________.
5. Pray for their salvation
1 Tim 2:1, 4 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all people . . . who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Do you want your friends, neighbors, loved ones to come to Christ? Then pray that they do! My desire for my neighbors was for them to come to Christ. It was not enough merely to be able to share the gospel with them. I wanted them to respond to the message in repentance and faith. I wanted them to be saved. We began to pray specifically for their salvation. On that night, at our dinner table, God answered our prayer. Our neighbors accepted the Lord. When you pray, pray for people to be saved.
Lord I pray that ____________ would turn from sin and trust in Jesus for salvation.
Will you pray specifically for lost people?
What are some other ways that you pray for the people in your spheres of relationship?