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How Can I Pray for My Unsaved Loved Ones?

The softened heart, understanding mind, and seeing eyes, simply pave the way for ears to receive the gift of grace found in Jesus Christ. Romans 10:17 reaffirms that faith can only come in this way, through hearing the gospel. Contributing Writer
Sep 25, 2020
How Can I Pray for My Unsaved Loved Ones?

For the Christian, there is no greater pleasure than that of a relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s only natural to desire the same for our loved ones. So, when those we love most reject Jesus, or ignore God, it can be a heart-wrenching reality. Particularly over the eternal consequence of such actions.

Thankfully, we are not hopeless in the matter of our unsaved loved ones, for it is by the generous grace of God any man is saved. And we certainly aren't helpless either, for there is continued mercy by way of a gospel message that contains the power for salvation (Romans 1:16).

Therefore, let us come boldly to the throne of our King (Hebrews 4:16), in petition for the souls of our loved ones. Knowing He hears our prayer (1 Peter 3:12), and equips us for such a time as this (2 Timothy 3:17).

The Power of Praying for Unsaved Loved Ones

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16).

If this isn't enough to get us praying for our unsaved loved ones, 1 John 5:14-15 says we can approach God with confidence, especially when our prayers are in accordance to His will — found within the pages of the Bible.

It is on these pages there are truths like 2 Peter 3:9 that give us a glimpse into God’s heart for the lost. Our prayers, therefore, come from knowing God is patient, not wanting any to perish but for all to come into repentance.

We also know there is a Father in Heaven who willingly gives the Holy Spirit to those who ask (Luke 11:13). Unfortunately, we live in a fallen world, where none are naturally seeking God (Romans 3:11). It is a work of His Spirit that God draws us (John 6:44) and reveals His Son (Matthew 16:17).

With these Scriptures in mind, along with many others, supplication and intercession can be made for those who are lost in the world. This is done with the understanding there is no magic formula to the perfect, answerable prayer. But by faith and trust, accepting that God always responds according to His plan, purpose, and timing. Not ours.

Still, we're encouraged to make our requests known to God (Philippians 4:6). All of them, which includes specific requests for unsaved loved ones. They can be specific because the Bible is actually very clear on what prevents any person from a redeemed life with God — the perfect place to be in prayer.

Here are five such areas, along with prayers, for an unsaved loved one.

1. The Hardened Heart

Because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself (Romans 2:5, ESV).

Requests to Bring to God

Prayer for an Unsaved Loved One’s Heart

Heavenly Father, today I pray for (name). They are in need of a new heart, the kind of heart only You can give. For Your Word tells us the human heart is sick and wicked, needing to be changed.

Please replace their heart of stone with a humble heart, a clean heart, a pure heart, a believing heart. The kind of heart that can accept God and the truth of the gospel. Above all, may they have a repentant heart, Lord. In Jesus' saving name, I pray, Amen.

2. The Mind That Doesn't Understand

They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them (Ephesians 4:18).

Requests to Bring to God

Prayer for an Unsaved Loved One's Mind

Heavenly Father, today I pray for (name). Your Word says the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers causing great darkness and it is only the Light of Truth that can penetrate this darkness, Lord. Please allow that light to shine in their mind and bring with it the knowledge of the glory of God, found in Jesus Christ.

Please give them a renewed mind, a mind that is transformed in Christ, no longer hostile to You, a mind that is set to the things above, Lord. Praise God, You are a Savior that desires all to come to the knowledge of truth. May it be so for (name). In Jesus' saving name, I pray, Amen.

3. The Eyes That Do Not See

The god of this world keeps them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Requests to Bring to God

Prayer for Unsaved Loved One’s Spiritual Eyes

Heavenly Father, today I pray for (name). They are in need of eyes that can see all the goodness of the Lord. Your Word says it is Satan who has blinded their eyes, praise God, this enemy has been defeated by Christ! The One who has come that sight may be restored.

Please grant (name) the eyes needed to see Your shining light of salvation and Your Kingdom in all Its glory. May it lead them to repentance and salvation in Jesus' name, Amen.

4. All So Ears Can Hear the Gospel

How can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? (Romans 10:14).

The softened heart, understanding mind, and seeing eyes, simply pave the way for ears to receive the gift of grace found in Jesus Christ. Romans 10:17 reaffirms that faith can only come in this way, through hearing the gospel. For it is the Good News of Christ's death and resurrection that contains the power of God, bringing salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16).

So, whenever you are unsure how to pray for unsaved loved ones, remember it's the gospel they need most. A gospel that is not shared merely in word, but in Spirit, with power, and conviction (1 Thessalonians 1:5).

Requests to Bring to God

  • That unsaved loved ones would have ears to hear (Matthew 11:15).
  • To hear the gospel and believe (Mark 16:16).
  • To repent and be baptized, receiving the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).
  • That laborers would be sent to harvest (Matthew 9:38).

Prayer for Ears to Hear the Gospel

Today I lift up to You my loved one, (name). Lord, it is not Your desire that they shall perish, therefore I make this request, that You would remove all the stumbling blocks, placed by the enemy that are covering their eyes, ears, minds, and hearts.

Yes, Lord, please give them eyes to see, a mind to understand, and a receptive heart, all to hear the gospel that saves. May Your Spirit make a way for their acceptance of this gift, in repentance and humility. I ask for You to send godly influences into my loved one’s life that seeds of truth may be planted and watered, producing a fertile soil.

Oh, that the gospel would simply come into their life, with great conviction and power, Lord. All for the glory of God! In the saving name of Jesus, I pray for (name)'s salvation. Amen.

5. Personal Application and Prayer

The praying Christian has a further role to play in the lives of their unsaved loved ones.

Requests to Bring to God

Prayer to Live out the Gospel

Heavenly Father, thank You for being a Good Shepherd and Great Redeemer, in my life and in the lives of those who are still lost. I ask that my life would glorify Your name and this precious gift. May I be a warming light to those around me, not one that is harsh or abrasive.

Lord, please guide my words, my deeds, my attitudes, that I can respond to my unsaved loved ones with patience and love. Your Word says that disagreements and arguments about the things of God are unprofitable and worthless, only doing damage to the hearer (Titus 3:9; 2 Timothy 2:14).

Let me know when to speak and when to stop and listen. And may I always be ready to share my faith when asked, never missing an opportunity to plant or water seeds of Truth. In Jesus' name, I pray, Amen.

Photo Credit: ©Getty Images /Halfpoint Images authorAmy Swanson resides in Connecticut where she has recently discovered a passion for Bible study and writing. By God's continued grace, she now enjoys helping others better understand their Bibles, while also being an advocate for biblical church integrity. As a mother of three and a wife of 13 years, she blogs less than she'd like to but shares Scriptural insights, encouraging truth, resources, and musings more regularly at Beloved Warrior.

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