I want to show you how to pray for sinners according to scripture. This way we can get better results when we pray for sinners to get saved. We won’t waste any precious time praying aimless prayers that never accomplish what we want.
#1 Prepare their heart to receive the Word of God
Part of Matthew 13:23 refers to the “good ground” which is the heart. Love will melt a person’s heart and make it soft. Then their heart will be prepared to receive the Word of God. You don’t sow seed on hard and stony ground. You need a soft, tender good ground to produce a harvest.
Say not, There are four months, and then comes harvest? I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. (John 4:35)
So when we witness to sinners we will have good results with those who have a soft, tender, melted and prepared heart that is ready to receive the Word of God. Love encourages and motivates people to live a better and more fulfilling life. It brings joy, peace, comfort and hope. Hope in believing they can live a good life filled with blessings and the goodness of God.
Psalm 136 is full of mercy with each verse ending with “His mercy endures forever”. How many times has God shown mercy to sinners and they repented? Mercy can come through several different ways such as forgiveness, food, clothing, shelter, good health, healing, deliverance, traveling mercy, protection, a financial blessing, marriage, etc. which often leads to salvation. There have been many times that people got healed and were so thankful and touched by God they gave their heart to Jesus. There were times in the gospels where Jesus would heal or deliver somebody from bondage and they repented and believed in Him. So ask God to prepare their heart through love, mercy and goodness.
#2 Lies and deception
In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, unless the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2 Corinthians 4:4)
Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, If you continue in My word, then are you My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31-32)
The only way to counter a lie is by giving them the truth. Jesus said “Sanctify them through Your truth: Your word is truth”. (John 17:17) Pray for them to receive the truth and to be delivered from the stronghold of deception.
Then He opened their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures. (Luke 24:45)
“Understanding is a wellspring of life” (Prov. 16:22)
“With all your getting get understanding” (Prov. 4:7)
When anyone hears the Word of the kingdom, and doesn’t understand it, then comes the wicked one, and catches away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. (Matthew 13:19)
Matthew 13:19 makes it clear that the reason the sinner didn’t get saved was because they lacked understanding. Satan came when he knew the sinner didn’t have understanding and then he came to catch away the word.
1 Peter 5:8 says, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking who he may devour.
But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14)
Watch what happens when a sinner has understanding and hears the Word of the kingdom.
But he that received seed into the good ground is he that hears the word, and understands it; which also bears fruit, and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty some thirty. (Matthew 13:23)
Notice this sinner had understanding and his heart was prepared to receive the Word of God. The verse said “received into the good ground” which is his heart. The sinner who rejected the gospel never had a prepared heart. It makes no mention of it. It says he didn’t have any understanding. So the prepared heart comes first then understanding.
Pray for them to have understanding of the Word of God when they receive it. If they don’t then they won’t get saved. I think this is one of the most important things to pray for when praying for a sinner.
#4 Sense of urgency
(Read Jonah chapter 3 for a good example of this.)
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering to us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
You don’t know what shall happen during the next day. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away. (James 4:14)
Boast not yourself of tomorrow; for you don’t know what a day may bring forth. (Prov. 27:1)
Therefore be ready: for in such an hour that you think not the Son of man will come. (Matthew 24:44)
Some people think they have all of the time in the world to repent and get right with God. Any day now the rapture will happen. It could be today, tomorrow, next week, next month or whenever. If we are not right with God when the rapture happens then we will be left behind. We are not promised our next breath. Every day people are taken out of this world when they die. Do you think they plannned on dying that day? Each one of us should do some soul searching every day and make sure we are right with God and ready if we die or the rapture happens today. Don’t play games with God because you will lose and lose royally! I feel led to warn you that if you are playing around with God and living in sin and refuse to repent. There will be a day that you will be very sorry. Ask yourself where you to spend eternity.
Pray for sinners to seriously consider where they want to spend eternity and realize that they are not promised their next breath. The next time they go to a funeral they should ask themselves “What if that was me in that coffin”. Think about all the people who die each day in a car accident, shot, stabbed, natural causes, etc.
#5 Grace and faith
For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
The combination of grace and faith helps lead souls to Christ. Grace is the divine influence upon the heart and it’s reflection in the life. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1) It doesn’t matter how good a person is because you can’t earn salvation or work your way into heaven.
Pray that sinners will realize it is God’s grace to them that allows them the opportunity to get saved (John 3:16) and God imparts to us the faith to believe in Jesus when we hear the gospel.
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom. 10:17)
#6 Work of the Holy Spirit to be completed in the life of every sinner with no hindrances
And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on Me; Of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and you see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. (John 16:8-11)
The Holy Spirit does the convicting not us. We witness, the Holy Spirit convicts, draws and deals with the sinners. His work is VERY important in the body of Christ and the world. He deals with sinners to get saved and believers to repent. He empowers and enables us to proclaim the gospel. (Acts 1:8) And reveals the truth of the Word of God. (Luke 4:18-19)
#7 Reveal God to sinners
God reveals Himself to sinners and saints in several different ways.
Moses in the burning bush (Exodus 3:2)
Paul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-19)
Joseph in a dream (Genesis 37:5-11)
Hagar by an angel (Genesis 16:6-14)
God spoke to Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3)
#8 Laws of sowing and reaping
And herein is that saying true, One sows, and another reaps. I sent you to reap that whereon you bestowed no labor: other men labored, and you are entered into their labors. (John 4:37-38)
Pray for sinners who have never heard the gospel to hear it today and accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. And for sinners who have already heard the gospel. That God will send a believer into their path to continue to witness to them.
#9 God’s perfect will to be done in every sinner
The thief comes not, but for to steal, to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
Jesus loves the sinner so much that He not only wants to save them but He wants them to be totally blessed in every area of their life. He cares about ALL of their life. Whether it be healing, deliverance, or a financial blessing orwhatever they need or desire.
#10 They must confess Jesus is Lord
That if you shall confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and shall believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)
It is not enough to believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord. You must confess with your mouth to receive salvation. Ask and you shall receive. If they don’t ask Jesus to save them and forgive them then He won’t. Jesus loves every sinner and wants to save them. He will not force Himself on anybody. They must ask and then He will save them.
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:10)
Many people are deceived by thinking that all they have to do is believe in the existence of Jesus or have knowledge of who He is. It is not enough to believe that Jesus died on the cross, you must confess with your mouth and ask for forgiveness of sin. Ask Jesus to come into your heart and be your personal Lord and Savior.