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As you pray for the lost begin by asking the Lord to bring to your mind specific names of lost people for whom He wants you to pray. Keep that list where you will see it regularly (you may add to it over time, too). It usually helps to “automate” the prayer time such as at the altar after worship on Sunday, in the car on the way to work each day, before bed every Wednesday or whatever works for you. Make the decision ahead of time and set a reminder on your phone. To learn how to pray for the lost, I have found these scripture-based prayers and prompts by Sandy Mayle helpful:


  1. Align your heart with His — “Lord, help me be more sensitive to those who are lost and outside the family of God. Give me your heart of compassion for them because they are harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36)

  2. Intercede for the lost — “Merciful Savior, you have given me __________ as a special prayer assignment. Thank you for loving this person so deeply and for allowing me to be a fellow worker with you. Father, draw ___________ to yourself; pour out your unfailing love and grace. May _____________ repent and receive your mercy and great compassion.” (1 Corinthians 3:9; John 6:44; Psalm 51:1)

    • You may pray for God to send messengers to preach the gospel  where He is not known and for the truth to be received and understood. (Isaiah 52:15; 2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 Thessalonians 2:13)

    • You may pray for God to help prodigals who have turned their back on the gospel to come to their senses and humbly make the journey back home to their heavenly Father. (Luke 15:13-14, 17, 20)

    • You may pray for God to expose the lies of false religions and reveal that salvation is found only through Jesus Christ. Ask Him to carry the weak, the vulnerable and the deceived to spiritual safety. (Acts 4:12; John 14:6; 1 Timothy 1:13; Matthew 6:13)

    • You may pray for those who deny God’s existence to have their eyes opened to the eternity which He has placed in their hearts. Pray He will spur their quest for truth and that their search for answers will lead them to Jesus. (Ecclesiastes 3:11; Romans 1:20)

    • You may pray the Holy Spirit would give us courage and a sense of urgency in sharing the gospel with those who are perishing. (2 Peter 3:9)

  3. Pray for other believers —“Father, you have called your people to store up treasures in heaven. Thank you for enlarging the harvest of [our] righteousness so [we] can be generous on every occasion. May [we] excel in the grace of giving to your harvest work so more people will come to you through Jesus.” (Matthew 6:20; 2 Corinthians 9:10-11, 8:7)

  4. My prayer for us today — that we will be faithful to pray for the lost ones that the Lord assigns us and that we will have the joy of someday crossing their names off our lists. Amen and amen.

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