8 Prayers You Can Pray for Unbelievers Right Now

Contributing Writer
8 Prayers You Can Pray for Unbelievers Right Now

Christians know what it means to pray. The Bible tell us “the effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails (helps) much” (James 5:16, emphasis added). We are commanded to love the Lord our God with all our heart, and when we love Him with all we are, we pray with a full and fervent heart.

These days, half-hearted prayers abound, and there is no fervency in a prayer which lacks heart. This is spiritual war, brothers and sisters, and prayers for unbelievers (and for all other requests) are our best offense and defense.

How Should We Pray for Unbelievers?

As during any time of prayer, we should approach God’s throne of grace:

Prayerfully – Pray before we pray? Sure!

Humbly – It’s His will we are seeking. 

Gratefully – We may be the only ones praying for a particular person or group. What a privilege to come before the God of the universe and know He hears us.

Urgently – People go one of two places: heaven or hell. Imagining our unbelieving loved ones in hell should bring us all to our knees.

Submissively – We are commissioned to pray for unbelievers of all walks of life.

Joyfully – God desires all to be saved. Isn’t that great news?

Expectantly - Not with our personal expectations — but with an expectancy of God’s will, which is always perfect.

Collectively – We join the whole of God’s church in praying for unbelievers.

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What Does Scripture Say about This?

man hands holding open bible

In a word — Scripture says much! Following is a list of several key verses which point our hearts toward prayer for unbelievers. They speak of the need for prayer, our role as Christ-followers, and the power of the Spirit as He works in and through us.

“Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you” (Psalm 51:12-13).

“Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved” (Romans 10:1).

Pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17).

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?” (Luke 15:4).

Other verses include:

Matthew 5:44, 9:37-38; Luke 19:10; John 3:16, 10:14-16,16:8; Acts 26:18; Romans 1:16, 12:12; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6; Ephesians 2:8-10, 6:19-20;  Philippians 4:6-7; Colossians 4:2-4; 1 Timothy 2:1-6; 2 Timothy 2:25-26, 4:1-22; James 5:16; Hebrews 3:7-8, 4:12; 2 Peter 3:9; 1 John 2:2, 5:14-15; Jude 23; Revelation 3:20 

1. A Prayer for Family Members Who Don't Know Christ

Almighty, infinite Father,

My (sister, brother, father, mother, etc.) does not know You. You already know this, and You have placed me in their lives for Your good purposes. You are holy, and You desire that no one perish but instead come to a saving faith in Your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (____________) has a hard time believing me, but You are greater than any hindrance the evil one may throw in their way. I pray, Father, for You to draw them to yourself through Jesus, and for them to find true peace and joy. Use me as You will, Lord, and make me an instrument of peace and praise as I share the Good News with my (______________). I can’t wait to see what You do, Lord. If I get to heaven without knowing they love You, I pray You will continue to work in their heart and bring them to Yourself.

I pray this in Your name,

Amen.

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2. A Prayer for a Friend Who Doesn't Know Christ

two guy friends sitting on a mountain

Lord,

I praise You for Who You are. You love me! You love all of us. You alone are awesome, and You alone deserve all our praise! My friend (_____________) is lost, and I know I cannot save them. That is something only You can do. Please keep me from trying to control their decision and instead, Father, help me reflect Christ in such a way they come to me and say, “I want what you have. Show me how.”

Your Word says, “And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!’” Send me, Lord! Allow me the privilege of making Your name famous to all You bring in my path, and especially now, for my friend, __________. Please save ___________ for Your glory, for the kingdom, and for Your use. I am desperate for _________to know You and love You. There’s no better way to live than with You as Lord.

I pray this in Your name,

Amen.

3. A Prayer for Unbelievers in Our Communities

Father,

As I go about my daily tasks around my neighborhood and town, remind me to lift up each person I see to You! I may not be able to close my eyes as I am in my car, but you know my heart for unbelievers, that they may come to know You as Lord and Savior. So many people wear Christian symbols, but only You know their hearts. Let everything I see be an opening to share the good news with the unbelievers who come across the path You have selected for me.

I pray this in Your name,

Amen.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Finn Hafemann

4. A Prayer for Unbelieving Neighbors

Family with teen girls praying together

Lord Jesus,

My heart is burdened for my neighbors. So many close to me choose to not believe in or love You. How can I best show You to them? Please help me to be bold in my defense of the Gospel and not cower for fear they may reject me. My flesh may seek its own glory, but I am nothing, Father, without You. Help me to surrender all to You as I “wear” You as a garment, and let me proclaim You without pretension or guile or judgment. Shine through me, Father so no one misses my banner of praise and submission to You!

I pray this in Your name,

Amen.

5. A Prayer for Unbelievers Worldwide

O, Lord God!

I shudder to think of the millions who choose not to know You as Lord. Philosophies abound which are counter to the Truth. You alone are the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. Help the unbelievers by the power of Your Holy Spirit to see, hear, and embrace You as the One True God. Some countries accept millions of gods which can neither hear nor speak. Lord, they bow down to them and ignore You. Impress on their hearts there is no other god!

As Your missionaries go forth physically, we join them spiritually in a call for revival as only You can bring. May unbelievers worldwide one day taste and see You are good.

I pray this in Your name,

Amen.

6. A Prayer for Someone Who Is Hostile to God

Almighty Father,

The millions who hate You and Your followers may believe we Christians are held captive, but those who believe that lie are the ones held in captivity. Father, let them see and know the freedom that only believers enjoy — that being a bondservant of Christ is the greatest freedom anyone can have. They do not know they serve the devil. Open their eyes, Lord. Soften their hearts and use them to further Your kingdom with mighty testimonies which belie the foundations of sin which fester in the hostile enemies of Christ. Change them as only You can, Lord God.

I pray this in Your name,

Amen.

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7. A Prayer for People Caught in Cults

Sad woman with her head up against a rainy window

My Lord God,

The devil and his minions are busy, busy, busy. Your Word tells us the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. He must be giddy when people reject the truth for an insidious lie he has foisted on them. They are caught in a snare of undeliverable promises, and they may not even know it. Lord Jesus, open their eyes to Your truth. Convict them and the cult’s leaders and help them turn from deceptions and give them courage and strength to leave the cult. Protect them from the evil ones and from their instruments of deceit, whether they be physical or spiritual. Save them, Father, and then teach them how to don their spiritual armor every day. Help them find and get intimately involved with Your church. You are mighty to save.

I pray this in Your name,

Amen.

8. A Prayer for Those of Us Who Are Praying for Unbelievers 

Lord,

Forgive me when I forget to pray for unbelievers, and I do it so often. Help me and all believers to stay in Your Word and gain our marching orders from it. Help us to remember Your laws, for they have given us life. Fill us with Your Spirit that we may have ears to hear what He says to Your church through the Scriptures. Keep us on our knees in praise, thankfulness, and supplication for unbelievers the world over. As we see news stories about Your church being persecuted, as we meet unbelievers, and as we consider our unbelieving loved ones, prick our hearts and consciences to immediately pray for them. Help us to be salt and light in this lost and dying world.

And to all of these prayers, we pray in the magnificent name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

We live hectic lives full of distractions. As we study Jesus’ life when He walked on the earth, His days, too, saw many events and distractions. But when we look closely at our Savior, we see He took precious time for prayer. In John 17:20, Jesus prayed for His believers to be sanctified in the truth. He prayed for us before we knew Him and loved Him. Let’s follow His perfect example and pray for unbelievers — that they may know and love their Creator.

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Lisa Loraine Baker is the multiple award-winning author of Someplace to be Somebody. She writes fiction and nonfiction. In addition to writing for the Salem Web Network, Lisa serves as a Word Weavers’ mentor and is part of a critique group. She also is a member of BRRC. Lisa and her husband, Stephen, a pastor, live in a small Ohio village with their crazy cat, Lewis.