Praying for the Lost

prodigal prayerNothing happens without prayer. The salvation of sinners lost and bound for hell is no exception. If we love sinners as Jesus does and want to see them saved, then how do we pray for them?

  • “Concerning the condition of the sons of men, God tests them that they may see that they themselves are like animals.” – Ecclesiastes 3:18[1]
  • “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. Who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart. I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” – Jeremiah 17:9-10
  • “When [the Holy Spirit] has come, he will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.” – John 16:8
  • “They, being ignorant of God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” – Romans 10:3-4
  • “You were without Christ … having no hope and without God in the world.” – Ephesians 2:12
  • “You, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now he has reconciled in the body of his flesh through death.” – Colossians 1:21

Because of their sinful nature, sinners hate God. They consider him their enemy. They also live without God every day because they don’t think they need him. They don’t know their hearts are sinful and wicked. Sinners nothing about divine judgment or Christ’s righteousness either. The process of salvation – hearing the Word, conviction of sin, confession, repentance, and conversion – is a miracle. It’s a divine act of mercy and grace. So we must pray for it.

  • “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” – Romans 10:17

seed word gospel jesus-christConviction of sin is the fruit of hearing and receiving the Word. It leads to the obedience of repentance and faith. However, sinners refuse to hear the Word. They reject it instead. If we want the Word to be planted in the soil of good hearts instead of falling by the wayside, on stony places, or among thorns, then we must soften that soil through prayer (Matthew 13:19-23).

I pray that God wakes up sinners through testing and suffering – disappointment, heartache, failure, pain, etc. People don’t run to God in the good times, only in the bad ones. I also ask God to make sinners face eternity and their own mortality. I pray that he makes them aware of their lost condition and sinful hearts. Only then will they receive the Word, be convicted of sin, and repent. Only then will sinners be saved. So let’s pray. Jesus is coming!


[1] All Scripture verses are NKJV, unless otherwise noted.


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