A Gospel Prayer based on Ephesians 5:21-33

O holy God of love,

Long ago, in eternity past, You planned great good for Your people. Your intention all along has been to create a new community called the church that would stand before You in shining-greatness, in blameless holiness. Your purpose has been to create a people – to bring out their best – free from spots, wrinkles, or any other disfigurement.

Yet as I look at my life, I see darkness, shame, impurity, and uncleanness. And the people around me – family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, fellow believers – are full of faults, blemishes, and unholiness, too.

It is impossible for an unholy person, like me, and an unholy people, like us, to experience intimacy with You, a holy God. Apart from grace, we are doomed to miss out on a good and glorious future.

You, however, are full of grace. In spite of our faults, You sent Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to love us and to save us. He gave Himself up for us so we could become the church, His new community. On the cross, Jesus sacrificed Himself with a love marked by giving, not getting. His love makes us whole. Jesus nourishes and cherishes us. His love sanctifies the church and cleanses us by the washing of water with the word. His word brings about our beauty.

One day, Jesus will present the church as a bride to Himself in splendor, beauty, and glory. Until that day, Lord God, You have made marriage to be a profound, mysterious picture of the relationship between Christ and the church.

May husbands and wives leave their fathers and mothers and be joined together so that the two become one flesh. May husbands and wives be filled with the Spirit, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. May wives respectfully yield to their husbands with a passionate strength just as the church submits to Christ. May husbands lovingly lead their wives with a sacrificial tenderness just as Christ loves the church. May our marriage relationships be so blessed by You so that husbands will help their wives and wives will help their husbands stand before You in holiness one day and hear You say, “Well done.”

Father, You have made the marriage relationship to be a great mystery that speaks of something profound – the marriage of Christ and His Church. Thank You that Your love through Christ will fulfill Your plan, Your intention, and Your purpose by creating a new community. You will make Your church an altogether glorious bride in Your eyes.



This prayer has been inspired by Ephesians 5:18b, 21-33. Some of the words and phrases in this prayer have been taken directly from the English Standard Version, J.B. Phillips New Testament, The Message, New Living Translation, and the New Life Version.

National Day of Prayer – Thursday, May 6, 2021

We can pray for America today and every day by lifting up seven critical centers of influence in our nation.

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.  1 Timothy 2:1-2

1. GOVERNMENT (Federal/State/Local)

“For God is the King of all the earth; sing to Him a psalm of praise. God reigns over the nations; God is seated on His holy throne. The nobles of the nations assemble as the people of the God of Abraham, for the kings of the earth belong to God; He is greatly exalted.” Psalm 47:7-9

“May all kings bow down to Him and all nations serve Him.” Psalm 72:11


“From His dwelling place He watches all who live on earth — He who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, LORD, even as we put our hope in You.” Psalm 33:14-22


“…put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22-24

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8


“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17

“A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.”  Proverbs 22:1


“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6


“So then, just as you received Jesus Christ as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” Colossians 2:6-8


“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” Romans 12:9-13





A Gospel Prayer based on Ephesians 5:8-14

O God of hope,

In a world filled with distress and despair, darkness and death, You are the blazing center of light and life. Because of who You are, You are able to fill everyone who comes to You with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit we may abound in hope (Romans 15:13).

Yet I have chosen to walk in the world’s darkness rather than in Your light. I have chosen to embrace what is bad and wrong and false. Over and over, I have done what is displeasing in Your sight. I have wasted time pursuing the fruitless deeds of darkness. It is shameful to even speak of the things I have done in secret. No wonder I feel depressed and dejected.

Even though I don’t deserve Your light in my life, You graciously offer me hope. You sent Your Son, Jesus, the Light of the world, to step down into my darkness. He lived the life I could not live. The fruit of His life was light, all that is good and right and true. He died the death I should have died. He suffered on the cross in darkness to pay for the shameful deeds I have done in secret. He rose again to give me light and life. Jesus is the Source of new life and new hope for all who believe. Truly, this is good news!

So, again today, I repent and believe the gospel. At one time I was darkness, but now I am in the light. Therefore, help me to walk as a child of Your light, taking in and giving out all that is good and right and true. Let my life be a living proof of all that pleases You, God.

May I take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness. Instead, help me to expose them. Keep me from a scandalous waste of my life. Save me from doing shameful things in secrecy.

Remind me that nothing escapes Your eternal, watchful, loving eyes. Your light shows everything for what it really is. All my intentions will be exposed when Your light shines on me. Your light makes everything visible.

So, Lord God Almighty, awaken me. Don’t let me sleep spiritually! I now live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me. By Your grace and for Your glory, I have risen from the dead to new life in Christ.

So, may there be no more distress and despair, darkness and death for me. Because of the power of Your indwelling Spirit, I abound in hope. I claim the promise that Christ will shine on me. Shine, Jesus, shine on me, in me, and through me. Right now. This day. And every day.



This prayer has been inspired by Ephesians 5:8-14. Some of the words and phrases in this prayer have been taken directly from the English Standard Version, the New Living Translation, The Message, the New International Version, and the J.B. Phillips New Testament.


A Gospel Prayer based on Ephesians 5:1-7

God of light and love,

You made the stars to worship You. The mountains bow in reverence to You. You caused the oceans to roar Your greatness. Since everything exists to lift You high, so will I. You are worthy. 

You are not only worthy to be worshipped, You are worthy to be imitated. In fact, my imitation of You should be an expression of my exultation in You. As a child who has a good father longs to walk in his daddy’s steps, so I should copy You.

Yet I fail to pattern my life after Yours. My love too often turns into lust. Instead of being generous, I have the itch to get my hands on what belongs to other people. My greed proves that I am in reality an idolater who worships the things of this world. Too often my mouth pours out filthiness, nastiness, silliness, foolish talk, flippancy, and crude joking. I am a child of disobedience. Because of my defiance, O God, I deserve to experience Your wrath.

How could a sinful person like me ever come into Your presence? I know, deep down, that apart from Christ no immoral, impure, or greedy person like me could ever inherit the Kingdom of Christ.

Yet even though my life has been filled with idolatry, Christ Jesus still loves me. Thank You, Lord, that He offered Himself on the cross as a sacrifice. The offering of His life to die in my place was a pleasing aroma to You, God. His love for me was not cautious but extravagant. He gave everything of Himself to save me. Therefore, I repent and I receive the undeserved gift of Your forgiveness that has been offered to me through Christ. 

You are the God of my salvation. You chased down my heart through all of my failure and pride.

On a hill called Calvary, the Light of the world was abandoned in darkness to die. All my failures disappeared there where Your Son lost His life. He lost His life so I could find mine. And then He left the grave behind. And one day, so will I.

Now, help me to live a life that is worthy of this gospel. May I not be fooled by those who try to excuse their sins. Don’t even let me hang around people who deceive others with their empty words. Save me from participating in the sinful things these people do. Remind me often that sin has no place among God’s people. 

Instead, help me to give thanks, to live in purity, and to be generous. As Your beloved child, help me to watch what You do and then mimic Your ways. I want to follow the example of my Lord Jesus Christ, living a life overflowing with Your love.

Since the wind goes where You send it, so will I. Since even the rocks cry out Your praise, so will I. Since the sum of all my praises still falls shy, then I look forward to singing to You again in heaven a hundred billion times.

Lord God of my salvation, truly You are worthy.



This prayer has been inspired by Ephesians 5:1-7. Some of the words and phrases in this prayer have been taken directly from the English Standard Version, the New Living Translation, The Message, the New American Standard Bible, the J.B. Phillips New Testament, and the song “So Will I.”


A Gospel Prayer based on Ephesians 4:1-6

I praise You, God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

I believe in You, God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, the only Son, our Lord. I believe in the Holy Spirit. You are one Spirit, one Lord, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. In perfect love and unity You worked to create, to rescue, and to restore. You, Lord, display Your unfathomable unity within Your Trinitarian diversity.

Because You are one, You have called Your people to live as one – to live in love and peace with You and with one another. But too often my love has turned inward – toward myself. And so I have chosen selfishness over selflessness, division over connection, and hostility over unity. I have been at odds with people that I should have embraced and served.

I have not walked in a manner worthy of the calling to which I have been called. I have not always pursued the kind of unity that Jesus prayed for on the night before His death. I have not always sought the kind of unity that the apostle Paul wrote about when he compared the church to a single body with many parts which work together. I have not exemplified the kind of unity that John saw in his vision of heaven – every tribe, tongue, and nation gathered to worship. I have not lived a life that measures up to the Great Commandment You have given, which is to love.

Lord, I confess that I have been guilty of pride and harshness in my relationships. I have been impatient and arrogant. I have focused on what divides rather than on what unites. I have been at war with You, with others, and within myself.  What I have earned as a result of my sin – my love turned self-ward – is death. I need a Savior!

And, thankfully, You have provided me with a Savior, Your Son, Jesus Christ. He was pierced for my transgressions. He was crushed for my iniquities. Upon Him was the chastisement that brought me peace. I am like a sheep that has gone astray. I turned to my own way. But You, Lord, laid my iniquity onto Jesus.

Once again, I repent of my sin and trust in Jesus. You have sent Your Spirit to live in me. As I yield to Your indwelling Spirit, I can now live a life worthy of Your calling. Help me always be humble and gentle. Help me be patient with others, making allowance for their faults because, in Christ, You have made allowances for me. May I be eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 

Thank You for the diversity that exists in the Church, in my community, in the nation, and in the world. Please let me be an agent of unity within that diversity, showing the world that there is one body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God and Father of all. Help me, God, join You in calling others into the glorious hope that we can all share in Christ Jesus.



This prayer has been inspired by Ephesians 4:1-6. Some of the words and phrases in this prayer have been taken directly from the English Standard Version, the Amplified Bible, the Contemporary English Version, the Good News Translation, the New Living Translation, and The Message. Words were also used from Apostles’ Creed.

A Gospel Prayer based on Ephesians 3:14-21

Father in heaven, who demonstrated Your love by sending Your Son to die for us and Your Spirit to live in us,

I praise You for Your great wisdom that in Christ You are bringing together every tribe and language and people and nation. Your extraordinary plan to unite all mankind in Christ is being known and talked about even among the angels.

My response is to get down on my knees before You, Father. In my sin, I was once far from You, an orphan. But in Christ, You have made all who believe, those in heaven and those on earth, part of Your family. You are my magnificent Father.

Please, Lord, from Your glorious, unlimited riches, empower me and all Your children with inner strength through Your Spirit. May Christ make His home in my heart as I learn to trust Him more and more. Right now, I open the door of my life once again and invite Christ to dwell in my heart through faith! I repent and I believe the gospel.

Help me to be deeply rooted and securely grounded in Your love, to have both my feet planted firmly in Your gracious affection for me. Strengthen me to be able to comprehend with all my brothers and sisters how wide, how long, how high, and how deep Your love is. Lord, I want to embrace the breadth of Your love, to know the length of Your love, to plumb the depth of Your love, and to reach the height of Your love. I want to know the unknowable – the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge. I long to personally experience in my heart the love of Christ which far surpasses mere head knowledge.

Show me how deep Your Father-love is for me! Show me how vast Your love is beyond all measure! You gave Your only Son for me and made me, a wretch, Your treasure! O love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong! It shall forevermore endure. Your love is the saints’ and angels’ song.

Now, fill me, Lord, with all Your fullness. I ask You for the richest spiritual experience possible – completely flood me with Your presence.

You, Lord God, are able to do far more abundantly than all that I could ever ask or think. You can do anything – far more than I could ever imagine or guess or request in my wildest dreams! Heavenly Father, Your mighty power is at work within me and within all my brothers and sisters.

May You receive all the glory that belongs to You in Your church. May You receive all the glory that belongs to You in Christ Jesus. May You receive all the glory that belongs to You throughout all generations forever and ever.



This prayer has been inspired by Ephesians 3:14-21. Some of the words and phrases in this prayer have been taken directly from the English Standard Version, The Message, the New Living Translation and the Amplified Version. Words were also used from the hymns “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” and “The Love of God.”

A Gospel Prayer based on Ephesians 3:1-13

Lord God, Revealer of divine mystery,

I give You praise, as the Creator of all things, that You kept Your plan hidden in past ages. I give You thanks that Your shrouded mystery has now been revealed. You had not revealed it to previous generations, but now by Your Spirit You have revealed the mystery to Your holy apostles and prophets.

And this is Your revelation: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches we now inherit as Your children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because both Jews and Gentiles can belong to Christ Jesus. The ground is level at the foot of the cross. We all get the same offer, the same help, the same promises in Christ Jesus. Your grace, God, is accessible and welcoming to everyone, across the board.

I, however, have not always been welcoming to everyone. I have valued and devalued people based on the color of their skin, their economic status, their level of education, their political point of view, their nationality, or their ethnic heritage. Sometimes, my pride-filled self-pity causes me to act like I am “worse than.” At other times, my self-exalting arrogance causes me to think I am “better than.” In short, I fail to love as You love. I have sinned and fallen short of Your glory.

Like the apostle Paul, I see myself as the least of the saints, the most undeserving of all Your people. Yet You have given me Your grace. Jesus laid down His life for me to forgive me for my lack of love. He rose again to give me new life. Because of Christ and my faith in Him, I can now come boldly and confidently into Your presence. 

By the working of Your power, You have called me to be Your minister. You have given me insight into Your mystery. You have granted me the honor of serving You by spreading the Good News. You have graciously invited me to tell everyone about the endless treasures available to all who are in Christ. And so here I am, Lord, with the responsibility to announce to others – Jews and Gentiles, black and white, rich and poor, young and old – things that are way over my head, the inexhaustible riches and generosity of Christ.

Give me more and more insight into the mystery of Christ. May I be a good steward of the grace that has been given to me. If necessary, help me be willing to suffer on behalf of others in order to share Your gospel with them.

Lord, use Your church – and me in it – to accomplish Your purpose to display Your manifold wisdom to the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. Show all of creation the many colors – the artistry – of Your supreme intelligence. May Your extraordinary plan to unite all mankind in Christ be known and talked about even among the angels!

Make Your mystery known, Lord, through me.



This prayer has been inspired by Ephesians 3:1-13. Some of the words and phrases in this prayer have been taken directly from the English Standard Version, The Message, and the New Living Translation.

A Gospel Prayer based on Ephesians 2:19-23

O God, Father of the Lord Jesus Christ and Sender of the Holy Spirit,

I praise You as the Triune God, eternally existing as Father, Son, and Spirit. You have always lived in community. You exemplify interrelationship and interconnectedness. You created mankind to live in fellowship with You and one another. Your communal nature means that You participate in and interact with all of Your creation. And You have invited me into this communal way of life.

But too often I have chosen to live alienated from You and alienated from Your people. I have gone my own way. I have pursued my selfish agendas. Instead of pursuing an interdependency with You and others, I have pursued either unhealthy dependence or unhealthy independence. In short, I have not loved You or others as I ought. Too often my sinful choices have caused me to live in lonely isolation.

But You did not want me to live alone. You pursued me. You loved me enough to send Jesus to die for my sins, so that I could know You and be adopted to be Your beloved child. You brought me, the solitary, into Your family so I could have a relationship with You and with Your other children as we together inherit eternal life.

So now, I am no longer a stranger or a foreigner. I am no longer a wandering exile. I am now a fellow citizen in Your kingdom with all Your people that You have made holy in Your sight. Your household of faith is now our home. 

You have built a home for me and for all Your people. I belong. We all belong. Together, we are Your house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus Himself. 

It’s the gospel of Jesus that makes all this possible. Christ is the One who holds the household together and makes us continue to grow into a holy temple for the Lord. 

Together, we are a sanctuary that is dedicated, set apart, and sacred in the presence of the Lord. You are building us – all together – to be Your dwelling place by the Spirit.

Help me to see that You love not just a collection of individuals, but a community of people. May I see that You have not merely invited me into a personal relationship with You, but into Your glorious family. Help me to embrace the gift You have given – a divine relationship with You and with all my brothers and sisters in Your church all around the world. Teach me how to love and to be loved as the gospel not only transforms my heart, but also transforms our relationships in the church, with our neighbors, and in the community around us. 

May our lives together reflect the eternal love which existed in eternity past between You, Father, and the Son and the Spirit.



This prayer has been inspired by Ephesians 2:19–23. Some of the words and phrases in this prayer have been taken directly from the English Standard Version, The Message, the Contemporary English Version, the Amplified Bible, and the New Living Translation.

A Gospel Prayer based on Ephesians 2:11-18

O God of all mankind,

You created us to enjoy Your presence. You long to be near to everyone You have made. Your desire has always been for Your people to be at home with You and for You to be at home with them. You are faithful, Lord, inviting us into fellowship with You and into unity with one another.

However, we have rejected Your invitation. You offered us the greatest privilege – to be near You. Yet we have chosen the greatest curse – to be far from You. The foolish choice to reject the invitation to be close to You also caused human beings to divide from one another.

Woe is me! I participated with the rest of humanity. My sin made a separation between You and me. My willful, wrong choices caused You to hide Your face from me. Just as Adam was banished from the Garden because of his sin, so I too have suffered alienation from You and from others. Without Your rescuing grace, I would be headed to an eternal separation in hell forever. 

You, however, did not leave me alone. You did what was seemingly impossible. Before Christ, I was excluded from citizenship among Your people. I did not know the covenant promises You had made. I lived in this world without You and without hope. But because of Christ – shedding His blood for my forgiveness and dying on the cross so I could have new life – I, who was once far off, have been brought near. 

You made Jesus to be our peace. He tore down the walls between people, the divisions that kept us at a distance from one another. The hostility between various groups of people has now been broken. Jesus takes two who are at war – Jew and Gentile, black and white, men and women, young and old, East and West, North and South – and makes us one in peace.

This is why I praise You for the cross. Christ brought me and people quite unlike me together through His death on the cross. The cross enables me to embrace those who are different and kills any hostility lurking in my heart.

Thank You that Christ came and preached peace to me, someone who was far away from You, and to those who were near. Thank You that we all share the same Spirit and have equal access to You, Father.

Now, help me today to show and share Your message – that no matter who someone is or what they have done – the cross of Christ is the way we can all be reconciled to God and to one another. Put an end, Lord, to the divisions we experience because ethnicity, nationality, upbringing, economic status, or any other earthly distinction that wrongly separates us. Tear down the walls between us through the power of the risen Christ.



This prayer is based on the truths found in Ephesians 2:11-18. Some of the words and phrases are taken directly from the English Standard Version, The Living Bible, The Message, and the New Living Translation of the Bible.

Preaching the Gospel to yourself and others

As we continue to focus heavily on the Gospel, especially the value of “preaching” it to ourselves, we do not want to mistakenly reduce the gospel to some sort of divine “self-help” material.  The Gospel is the power of God for salvation (Rom. 1:16) which means we can walk in the power of the Gospel after salvation, as well as embrace God’s power in the Gospel in our salvation.  But the Gospel is good news to share with others, not just good news to rehearse to ourselves.  Sharing the Gospel is one of the best ways to experience its power in your own life. In the receiving, we are compelled by God to be part of the giving.

One of the most important aspects of sharing the Gospel with those who do not know the Lord is to pray for them before you share the Gospel with them, while you share the Gospel with them, and after you share the Gospel with them.  Sometimes we say it this way, “Talk to God about your friend before you talk to your friend about God.”  If you are at loss for how to pray for your “One” and those who do not know Christ, here is a good refresher list for you…

How to Pray for the Lost

Adapted from Tim Challies “18 Prayers to Pray for Unbelievers”

Pray that God would circumcise their hearts. Circumcision was the Old Testament sign of entering into God’s covenant, of being God’s people. To have a circumcised heart symbolizes having a heart that is fully joined to God, fully submissive to him. “And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live” (Deuteronomy 30:6).

Pray that God would give them a heart of flesh. The Bible contrasts a heart of flesh, a heart that is alive and responsive to God, to a heart of stone, a heart that is cold and unyielding. Pray that God would work within these unbelievers to change their hearts. “And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh…” (Ezekiel 11:19).

Pray that God would put his Spirit within them. The great joy of salvation is being indwelled by God himself. Pray that God would grant this honor to those unbelievers, that he would choose to take up residence within them. “And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules” (Ezekiel 36:27).

Pray that they would come to Christ. If unbelievers are to come to salvation, there is just one way. They must come through Christ and Christ alone. “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’” (John 14:6). Remember, too, that he is the one who calls them to come and to be relieved of the burden of their sin (see Matthew 11:28-30).

Pray that God would open their hearts to believe the gospel. Once more, God must initiate and people must respond. So, pray that God would open the hearts of these unbelievers so they can in turn believe, just as Lydia did. “The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul” (Acts 16:14).

Pray that God would free them from the slavery of sin. Unbelievers may believe they are free, but they are in fact enslaved. They are slaves of sin, bound by their sin and sinfulness. Pray that God would liberate them by his gospel. “But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed” (Romans 6:17).

Pray that God would remove Satan’s blinding influence. Unbelievers have been blinded by Satan and will only ever be able to see and appreciate the gospel if God works within them. So, pray that God would give them sight—spiritual sight. “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Pray that God would grant them repentance. Unbelievers cannot repent without the enabling grace of God. So, pray that God would grant them repentance, that this repentance would lead them to a knowledge of the truth. Pray as well that they would come to their senses and that they would escape from the devil’s snare. “God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:25-26).

Pray for other believers to encounter them. God almost always uses a succession of people to share the gospel with people before they are saved. Pray, then, that God would lead other Christians into the lives of the unbelievers you love, that they too would provide an example of Christian living and that they too would speak the gospel. “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:6).

Pray that God would use any circumstance to do his work in them. We pray to a God who is sovereign and who sovereignly works his good will. Often he saves people through difficult circumstances, through bringing them to the very end of themselves. Pray, then, that God would arrange circumstances, whether easy or difficult, to lead them to salvation. “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your word” (Psalm 119:67). As you pray for the unbelievers you love, always pray to God: “your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

Pray that God would extend his mercy to them. God assures us that he wishes for all people to turn to him in repentance and faith. He receives no joy from seeing people perish. Pray, then, that God would be glorified in the salvation of these people. “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

Pray with confidence. Finally, pray with confidence. God expects we will pray, God invites us to pray, God commands us to pray. Why? Because God loves to hear us pray and God loves to respond to our prayers. So as you pray for unbelievers, pray with confidence that God hears your prayers. “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16).