How to pray for unreceptive unbelievers

How to pray for unreceptive unbelievers

Praying by Alexander Baxevanis via Flickr CC BY 2.0To pray that God would ‘bless’ or ‘help’ an unreceptive unbeliever is not the way to go. Two reasons:

  1. Those kind of prayers are too generic. How will we know if God answers. How will we know if we are praying according to God’s will.
  2. Those prayers are framed as if the unbeliever was a child of God. But they are not. They have not yet been born from above; there is no internal witness of the Holy Spirit, their minds are still blind to spiritual truth, and they are not abiding in Jesus nor living by His vitality.

I am not saying that we don’t pray for them. We do! For many of us, these unreceptive unbelievers are people we love dearly. So how do we pray for them?

Here are some suggestions:

  • Pray that God would dispatch ambassadors who can effectively live and talk the Gospel truth before the unbeliever. Unfortunately, those who are close relationally, are often not in the best position to be a winsome witness. So we pray that God would send others who can speak the truth in love and give clear answers to the unbeliever’s doubts and concerns.
  • Pray that the unreceptive unbeliever would be the recipient of sincere kindness and generosity from true believers. That these expressions of agape love would diminish the negative impact that prior interactions with ‘Christians’ have left on the unbeliever.
  • Pray that the unbeliever would find no satisfaction in falsehoods and illicit pleasures. That God would allow them to experience the emptiness of idolatry and thereby awaken a genuine hunger in them for the abundant life that only Jesus can provide.

How else can we pray for unbelievers? What would you suggest?

Photo Credit: Alexander Baxevanis (CC BY 2.0)


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