At church, we are committed to being REAL disciples because it helps us live out our faith together as disciples of Jesus. REAL discipleship is: Read the bible, Engage in prayer, Abound in love and Live for Jesus. To assist in this, we have the REAL journal that helps us intentionally read the bible and pray everyday. In Abounding in prayer we have a grid that has different categories: people, special concerns and areas God tells us to pray, for instance, all those in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2). We also pray for unbelievers daily. We live in a world full of people who deny Jesus (who alone provides salvation) and do not believe or trust him. With this in mind, there are plenty of people that we can be praying for.
We can pray for people we work with, our neighbours and our family and friends who currently do not believe. Another group I pray for are people who I don’t currently know and don’t know another Christian. I pray that God would provide opportunities for me to meet them, so that I can share my life and our risen Lord Jesus with them.
But I wonder if you’re like me, you feel at times your prayers for unbelievers aren’t very deep. We need to remember that prayers will be different depending on the person. For instance, if someone is searching, open to discussion, open to reading the Bible and willing to come to church then your prayers should be slightly different to the person who openly opposes and seems hostile to the gospel.
For the person searching here are some deeper things you could pray. Thank God that they are interested in spiritual things even if they don’t fully understand yet. Pray they would look in the right place to find answers (the bible). Pray for opportunities to talk about Jesus and to share the gospel. Pray that God would remove obstacles that prevent them committing to Jesus. Pray that by trusting in Jesus, they would find eternal joy and hope in life.
For the person hostile to the gospel pray that you wouldn’t fear them (their irritated words or awkward silences) and instead seek to bring glory to Jesus over your discomfort. Confess the times out of fear that you didn’t defend Jesus in front of them and for courage the next time the opportunity arises. In 1 Peter 3:15 we’re told to be prepared to give an answer for the hope we have in Jesus. Thus pray your friend would ask questions. Finally pray God would be gracious to your friend, just like he’s been gracious to you in saving you through faith in Jesus.
We have a great father in heaven who loves to hear our prayers and he loves to hear our prayers for the unbelievers we rub shoulders with everyday. So as we pray, who knows, God might just have mercy and save them.