How do I pray for my unconverted loved one?

How do I Pray for my Unconverted Loved One or Friend?

In Romans 10:1 Paul wrote, “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them (his fellow Jews) is that they may be saved.”

We are told to pray for those things which are God’s will. John 14:13 “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.”

God’s will is that those he has chosen will come to Jesus and be granted eternal life. John 6:37-40 “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day”

We are told that prayer is one of the means God has ordained by which he acts. In James 5:16 we read, “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” Somehow God incorporates our prayers into his sovereign working. There is mystery in this, but God commands us to pray.

So, what more specifically do we pray for?

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told us to pray that God’s will be done on earth.

In Luke 10:2 “(Jesus) told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

In Ephesians 6:19-20 Paul wrote, “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

May we be even more specific in prayer for the unbeliever?

Our first and most biblical prayer is to God to act in the life of the unbeliever. I may appropriately pray for receptivity of the Gospel by the unbeliever, though to my knowledge there is no biblical illustration or command to do so. BUT most importantly, I pray for God to be God in the way he has said he works in those he saves.  

John 6:44 “No one can come to me unless the Father, who sent me, draws him.

Acts 16:14  Of Lydia of Thyatira it is written, “The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.”

Acts 13:48 we read, “…as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.”

“ Father in heaven, I ask that you appoint, draw to the Lord Jesus, and open the heart of ____________ , that they may be saved.”  

I am certainly free to labor that point and express my heartfelt desire (as Paul did for his fellow Jews) but I am not dependent on my friend’s response; I’m dependent on God to be God in the life of my loved one, friend, or neighbor.