4 Ways to Pray for the Lost

All of us have people in our lives who don’t know Jesus yet. God strategically places his people in relationships with those who have yet to turn their lives over to Christ.  You might be tempted to think someone is an unbeliever because they simply have not heard the gospel or rejected it for personal reasons, but there might be more to it.

2 Corinthians 4:4 says, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” Spiritual forces are trying to stop them from surrendering their lives to Jesus. The enemy does not want them to see the truth and turn their allegiance to Christ.

Christians are not only called to share his good news but also pray for others to receive it. In one of Jesus’ parables, he gives his disciples a few hints on how to pray for those who haven’t given their lives to him. If you look at the parable of the seed and the sower in Matthew 13:3-9, Jesus describes a farmer who plants seeds in many different locations. Three out of four of the seeds fail to fully grow up into a plant but the fourth multiplies 30, 60, and 100-fold. This is a metaphor about sharing the Gospel and why it doesn’t take root in some hearts.

When they were in private, Jesus explained the parable to the disciples and his explanation gives us 4 ways to pray for those who don’t know Jesus yet.

1. Protection

We can start praying for protection from the enemy and his schemes over our friends who don’t know Jesus. In verse 19 he says, “When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart.” Satan wants to bring confusion into their minds so he can take away any chance they have of putting their hope in Jesus. Our prayers can start by asking God to guard their hearts and minds against the lies of Satan.

2. Understanding

Secondly, we should pray for a greater understanding of the gospel. Jesus talks about the next scenario of the failed seed in verses 20-21. “The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.” People hear the Gospel but don’t understand Jesus is the solution to all of their issues in life. They may get a glimpse of Jesus but can’t see that he can help them in their trouble and comfort them in their time of persecution.

3. Joy

Praying that people would find joy in Jesus is another crucial request. About the third seed in verse 22, Jesus says “falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.” Supernatural joy from Jesus can conquer that fleeting happiness of riches. It is also a gift from God that he will give in the most anxious time to bring peace.  

4. Fruitfulness

The last blessing we should pray over friends and family who don’t know Jesus yet is fruitfulness. This means that Jesus’ love would sink deep into their hearts and change their lives in amazing ways. They would begin to change and share with others.  I pray God would produce 30, 60, 100-fold in my kids’ lives just about every night.  One of the greatest miracles is seeing someone who was running in the opposite direction of God and then changes direction and runs hard after him.

Let’s ask God for protection from the enemy, understanding of the Gospel, joy, and fruitfulness in the lives of those who don’t know him yet.
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