We have several examples of people praying for the salvation of unbelievers.

MOSES – Exodus 32:31-32, “And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.”

STEPHEN – Acts 7:59-60, “And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”

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

CHRIST – Luke 23:33-34, “And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”

We should pray often for those who are strangers to God’s grace. Of course, we must share the Gospel with them for it is through the Gospel that sinners are convicted of their sins and are shown the way of salvation. We read in Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth…” We also read of the power of the Gospel in Ephesians 1:13, “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.” The Gospel is the Good News that Christ has died for our sins that, through faith in Him, we might have forgiveness of sins and receive eternal life. We read in Romans 10:9, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

However, one MUST believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. We cannot pray someone into Heaven. They MUST respond to the message of the Gospel and put their faith in the Lord Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We see that truth presented over and over in the scriptures.

  • John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
  • John 3:18, “HE THAT BELIEVETH on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
  • John 6:47, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, HE THAT BELIEVETH on me hath everlasting life.”
  • Acts 16:31, “And they said, BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, and thou shalt be saved…”

Let us be faithful in sharing the Gospel with others. Then, in praying for the salvation of others, let us ask the Lord to soften their hearts to receive the Gospel that they might be saved. Ask the Lord to convict their hearts of their sins and cause them to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus. Our blessed Lord is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9). Yet, one MUST personally put his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. (316.3)