How to Pray for Believers and Unbelievers

How to Pray for Believers
It is interesting to note that much of the praying that was done in the New Testament was on behalf of believers. Jesus certainly modeled this pattern with His mission-centered prayer in John 17. Paul likewise models and teaches this practice throughout his epistles (see Eph. 1: 15-19; 3:14-19; I Thess. 3:11-13). As Christians we should lift one another to the throne of grace daily. One writer said it well, "More believers on their knees praying will result in more Christians on their feet evangelizing." Prayer for believers that focuses on the fulfillment of the Great Commission should be at the heart of every Christians prayer life. The following prayer suggestions can help believers pray with a view toward the Great Commission.

Using Matthew 9:37-38, John 17:11-24, and Colossians 1:9-11 as a guide, pray for:
bulletChrist to send believers into His harvest fields (Matt. 9:38)
bulletChrist to keep Christians in His name and character (John 17:11)
bulletChristians to have Christ’s joy made full in themselves (John 17:13)
bulletChrist to guard and protect believers from the evil one (John 17:15)
bulletChrist to sanctify (set apart) believers in the truth of God (John 17:17)
bulletChristians to be unified in one mission, purpose and spirit even as the Father and Son are one (John 17:21-22)
bulletChristians to be where Christ is and join His work ( John 17:24).
bulletChristians to be filled with spiritual wisdom, pleasing in all ways to Christ, strengthened spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally, and bearing fruit in every good work (Col. 1:10-11).

How to Pray for Unbelievers
Evangelistic praying should include prayer for personal spiritual needs, evangelism events, believers and unbelievers. Prayer on behalf of lost people is clearly mandated by Christ in Matthew 6:9-10. The Apostle Paul models and exhorts believers concerning prayer for the lost (see Rom.10:1-2; I Tim. 2:1-4). Below is an acrostic that can be used to pray biblically and effectively for those that are lost.

Pray for their HEARTS to be changed.
bulletPray for Receptive and Repentant Hearts (Luke 8:5-12)
bulletPray for their spiritual Eyes and Ears to be opened to the truth of Christ (2 Cor. 4:3-4; Matt. 13:15).
bulletPray for them to have God’s Attitude toward sin (John 16:8).
bulletPray for the person to be Released to believe (2 Cor. 10:3-4; 2 Tim 2:25-26)
bulletPray for a Transforming life (Rom. 12:1-2).
bulletPray for God to Send them into his harvest field (Matt 9:35-38).

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Revised: October 19, 2000.