No one prayed for me to come to know Jesus.
At least no one has ever reported praying for me.
Jesus found me anyway.
I’m grateful for God’s sovereignty to help me become a follower of Christ.
My parents were not religious in any visible way. But they choose to drop me off every Sunday night at a church youth group when I entered 7th grade.
For months, I didn’t want to go.
But once I made friends there, I changed my tune. I wanted to be there.
Eventually in high school, Jesus found me. Jesus extended the grace of God to me that was irresistable. I’ve been a follower of Jesus ever since.
But no one I knew was praying for me to come to know Jesus. Not that I have ever known. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Pray for your lost friends
Prayer is one of my 7 Axioms of Personal Evangelism.
Now I urge people to pray for the unsaved friends in their life, their community, nation, ethnic groups, and so on.
I pray for my lost friends, asking the Lord
- to open their hearts to message of the gospel,
- that their eyes would be open to the truth of the gospel,
- that they would see their need for Jesus.
- that I would detect their spiritual thirst.
Which of my lost friends do I pray for?
Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD : The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.1 Samuel 3:7
As I read this a few mornings ago, I simply began to think:
- Who am I praying for to know the Lord?
- Who am I praying for God to reveal His word?
I can think of several people today in the reach of my life who do not yet know the Lord.
Every now and then, I make a fresh list of people I know who don’t yet know the Lord [How I do make a prayer list of friends].
In fact, as of this writing, we have moved into a brand new community and have started to meet our neighbors.
We don’t know the spiritual condition of any of them. But we can begin to pray for opportunities to start new friendships.
Seven Ways to Pray for Your Lost Friends
Sometimes, I find it helpful to have a list of items to pray through.
Here is my list of 7 Ways to Pray for Your Lost Friends
- Ask God to make them spiritually thirsty. (Isaiah 41:17-18).
- Ask God to open their heart to receive (Acts 16:4).
- Ask God to help me be salt and light at the right time (Colossians 4:6)
- Ask God to give us conversational opportunity (Acts 8:26-40).
- Ask God to help me discern if I’m planting, watering, or harvesting (1 Corinthians 3:6-7)
- Ask God that I’m sensitive to His nudges to get involved (Acts 8:26-40)
- Ask God to help that person take another step closer to Him. (Psalm 23).
21 days of Praying for lost friends: An Example
One Easter Season, our church ran in a 21 day season of prayer.
Each morning our pastor would email us 3 scriptures to read and some guidance for prayer.
Our commitment was three times of prayer during the day.
- 3pm, and
Praying through these Scriptures and the prayer guidance took about half an hour each time.
As I prayed for my lost friends during that commitment, I found that I was constantly
- thinking about the sermon series that is coming,
- praying that I’d encounter people wrestling with the series topic.
- giving invitations to come and join us.
- praying for the particular friends on my prayer list to invite them to church
Prayer prepared me, as well as preparing the church for the spiritual work of evangelism that is coming.
10 More Ways to Pray for Your Lost Friends
Others have written along these lines. I include them here to help fuel your prayer points for evangelism.
- Ask God to open their spiritual eyes (2 Cor. 4:4).
- Ask God to give them ears to hear (Matt. 13:15),
- Ask God to give them faith to believe (Acts 20:21).
- Ask God to give them the will to respond (Rom. 10:9).
- Ask God to send people into their lives to witness to them (Matt. 9:38).
- Ask God for ways to build caring relationships (1 Cor. 9:22).
- Ask God for opportunities to witness (Col. 4:3).
- Ask God for boldness to witness (Acts 4:29).
- Ask God for an opportunity to invite them (Luke 14:23).
- Ask God to set them free from spiritual captivity (2 Tim. 2:25-26).
Blogger and Pastor Bob Mayfield shares these 7 ways to pray for your lost friends.
- Convict them of their personal sin and lostness (Acts 2:37, John 16:8)
- Open their eyes and reveal Christ as Lord and Savior (Matthew 16:17; 2 Corinthians 4:4)
- To draw them to Christ through the Holy Spirit (John 6:44)
- Tear down any strongholds that are keeping them from salvation (1 Corinthians 10:3-5)
- Make their hearts receptive to the Gospel (Matthew 13:8)
- Move them to repentance and saving faith (Like 13:3; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2 Corinthians 5:17)
- Help them be a fruitful witness themselves (Matthew 28:18-20; John 15:8)
The Structure Doesn’t Matter
The point is to pray.
Outlines and Scriptures are helpful, but none are a formula to increase conversions.
The structure doesn’t matter.
What matters is you talking to God about your friends.
- One of the most popular free recordings on this website is on praying through a set of verses from Colossians.
- If you’d like to lead an evangelistic prayer meeting, here is a structure you could use with 11 phases.
- How do I brainstorm my list of names to put on my prayer list? Here is how I do it.
- When I got new neighbors, read how I started to pray for them before I even met them: How to Pray for Your Neighbor’s Salvation
- Start 30 days of prayer. Start here.