I was a fairly shy tenth grader and getting yelled at by another student in front of all our class. The teacher was running a few minutes late, and there was nobody to intervene for me.
Why was “Misty” so upset with me? I had left a note in her locker telling her I’d love to tell her about the Lord. I’d been praying for her regularly (we were pretty good friends) and felt like the Holy Spirit was calling me to be bolder in my approach, but being a generally insecure teen girl at the time, I didn’t want to have the conversation face-to-face.
Hence the note that Misty found in her locker that got her so upset she chewed me out in front of everybody.
Fast-forward a decade or two, and my encounter with Misty still sits in the back of my head when I think about my unsaved friends. But God, I want to say, if I share the gospel with her, she might yell at me! In many ways, I’m no different than that shy, insecure fourteen-year-old getting berated in front of a class full of students.
The Struggle is Real
Why is it so hard for us to share our faith with others? Of course, nobody wants to be called a bigot (a label many individuals plaster on Christians who try to spread the gospel). Many times, I’m afraid of offending others or (as in the case with Misty) of losing a friend. I know at least internally that the thought of someone spending eternity in Hell should be enough of a compulsion to help us overcome our fears all the time, but so often I find myself more like Jonah than I want to admit: God, send someone else!
Do you ever wish God would send someone else to witness to your friends? #letsbehonest
A few months ago, Jaime Hampton, my friend and co-host of the Prevailing Prayer Podcast, each made individual commitments to pray for five of our unsaved friends every day. We came to this agreement based on the story of George Müller, and how his prayer list began with the names of five friends. After decades of fervent prayer, he saw God bring these individuals to salvation. The last conversion came just a few months after George Müller’s death. His perseverance to pray was an inspiration to me, and I made the same level of commitment to pray for these people on my prayer list either until they are converted or until I die.
The struggle became what to do to keep my mind sharp and my focus directed in my prayers. I wanted more than a simple, Please help so-and-so be saved. I’d already written several prayer guides by then, which is how I decided to write the 30 Days of Prayer for the Unsaved. This guide can be read as an eBook, but I also set up a daily email so for the next thirty days, I could get one prayer each day in my inbox reminding me to pray about a specific aspect for my unsaved friend.
How to Pray for Your Unsaved Friends
If you have unsaved friends, you might be where I was — wanting to pray for their salvation but unsure what to say to God on their behalf. Here are a few ideas of ways to pray for the unsaved.
- Pray for opportunities. Many people hear the gospel several times before they actually come to Christ. Ask God to bring witnesses into your friend’s life. The more you pray, the more God might change your heart and give you boldness so you’ll be ready to take that step and share the gospel with them if the chance arises.
- Pray for a conviction of sin. Unless someone realizes their need for a Savior, they have no perceived need for Christ. Pray that God would use your friend’s conscience to lead them to the cross, where they can find true forgiveness from their sins and freedom from guilt.
- Pray against spiritual blindness. Scripture says that before your friend is saved, a veil covers their eyes so they can’t understand the gospel. Only in Christ can that veil be removed. Ask God to prepare your friend’s heart to receive his free gift of salvation.
If you’d like to get emails with other prayer points and reminders, you can sign up at www.alanaterry.com/unsaved, and if you’re encouraged to pray more fervently and regularly for your unsaved friends, leave us a comment and tell us about your commitment!