No one prayed for me. At least no one has ever reported praying for me.
My parents were not religious in any 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.
But no one I knew was praying for me. Not that I have ever known.
Yet Jesus found me anyway and I’m grateful for God’s sovereignty to help me become a follower of Christ.
I have been a Christ follower since I was 15 years old.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Pray for your lost friends
Now I urge people to pray for the unsaved friends in their life, their community, nation, ethnic groups and so on.
Prayer is one of the 7 Axioms of Personal Evangelism.
I pray for them, 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.
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 it].
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.
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 emails 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.
Unfortunately, I have lost that series of emails, so I couldn’t share it here, but at least it’s a structure one could use.
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.
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).
Other’s have written along these lines. I include them here to help fuel your prayer points for evangelism.
I have shared a strategy from others called 10 Ways to pray for your lost friends.
- 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 ((I 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.
One of the most popular free recordings on this website is a 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.
The structure doesn’t matter.
What matters is you talking to God about your friends.
Coaching Corner – The One Thing
Commit to a 30 day season of prayer for your friends.
Here are two free resources to help you: