Tag Archive | Unbelievers

Are You Frustrated with the Blind?

Do you ever get frustrated because an unbeliever just doesn’t ever seem to understand what you tell them? Everything you say and offer them to read just doesn’t seem to have any effect. Almost like you are both speaking different languages. Technically you are. Unbelievers are blinded to the truth.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4

3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing.
4 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.

We should never become frustrated or irritated with unbelievers because the Lord is very clear that He gives understanding to those who understand. Until the Lord gives unbelievers understanding then Satan is allowed to blind them to the truth. But that doesn’t mean we don’t warn them.

No one understands upon their own but only through the working of the Lord and the Holy Spirit.

1 Cor 2:14 (ESV) The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

But notice in 1 Corinthians 4:3 that they are perishing. Oh, shouldn’t we have mercy and love for those who are perishing and yet are blinded to that fact?

How much sense would it make for someone to get angry with a blind man because he just refused to see where he was going? It wouldn’t make sense would it. How foolish would it be if we saw a blind man heading to a cliff and yet we refused to warn him about it because he just wouldn’t be able to see it anyway. Why bother? But what if he was to turn from his destruction?

Ezekiel 3:18-19

18 If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.
19 But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.

Warn away for some might turn from perishing and the Lord might grant them sight.


Matthew Henry’s Prayer For Unbelievers

Do your prayers for unbelievers resemble this prayer at all?

Matthew Henry’s Prayer for Unbelievers (This is a very good resource on Prayer.)

O teach transgressors your ways, and let sinners return to you. Psalm 51:13 (ESV) 

O give them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 2 Timothy 2:25 (ESV) the truth as it is in Jesus, Ephesians 4:21 (ESV) the truth which accords with godliness, Titus 1:1 (ESV) that they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil. 2 Timothy 2:26 (ESV) 

Let those who are straying like sheep return to Jesus Christ, the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls. 1 Peter 2:25 (ESV) 

Show those fools their folly and misery who have said in their hearts, “There is no God,” and who are corrupt and do abominable deeds. Psalm 14:1 (ESV) 

Lord, maintain the honor of the Scriptures, the teaching and the testimony, and convince those who speak not according to that word, that it is because they have no dawn. Isaiah 8:20 (ESV) You have exalted above all things your name and your word; Psalm 138:2 (ESV) magnify the law, magnify the gospel, and make both glorious. Isaiah 42:21 (ESV) 

Let those who will not be won by the word, be won by the conduct of Christians, 1 Peter 3:1 (ESV) which we beg may be such in everything that those who do not believe may be convicted by all and called to account by all, may be brought to worship God and to declare that God is really among them. 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 (ESV) 


Should We Be Praying For More Than an Unbeliever’s Salvation? (Part 2)

In the New Testament, we get introduced to another reason to pray for unbelievers.  Prayer for their salvation and prayers for workers to go out into the harvest.

So now the general idea of prayer for unbelievers falls into the following categories:

  • Prayer to preserve an unbeliever from their due judgment and wrath from God.

  • Prayer for the unbeliever, particularly those who are especially evil, to be judge by God and receive their just rewards.

  • Prayers for physical healing.

  • Prayer for salvation for the unbeliever and for believing workers to go into the harvest.

So what are the prayers for unbelievers in the New Testament?

We pray for our enemies.

Matthew 5:44 (ESV) But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

The model prayer includes forgiving others.

Matthew 6:9-15 (ESV)
9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
12 and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,
15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Luke 11:2-4 (ESV)
2 And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread,
4 and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”

Prayer for workers to go out to the harvest.

Matthew 9:37-38 (ESV)
37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;
38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

Luke 10:2 (ESV) And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.

Prayer for those who abuse us.

Luke 6:27-28 (ESV)
27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.

Jesus’ prayer that does not include the world but only believers.

John 17:9 (ESV) I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.

Jesus Prayer of Father forgive them.

Luke 23:34 (ESV) And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Stephen’s prayer.

Acts 7:60 (ESV) And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Prayer for Physical Healing.

Acts 28:8 (ESV) It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery. And Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him healed him.  

Prayer for Salvation and Restoration.

Romans 10:1 (ESV) Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.

2 Corinthians 13:9 (ESV) Your restoration is what we pray for.

1 Timothy 2:1-4 (ESV)

1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,

2  for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,

4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

God again points out He does not listen to the prayers of those who do evil.

1 Peter 3:12 (ESV) For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

John 9:31 (ESV) We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.

Asking wrongly. While true this verse is directed to believers it is a principle we should remember when praying for anyone.

James 4:3 (ESV) You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

Surprisingly there are also imprecatory prayers in the NT.  I would have thought they were only in the OT.  (Imprecatory means curses or prayers for punishment.)

2 Timothy 4:14 (ESV)  Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.

But ultimately every single prayer uttered, whether for a believer or an unbeliever, has one goal – To Glorify The Lord.

John 14:13-15 (ESV)

13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.


Should We Be Praying For More Than an Unbeliever’s Salvation? (Part 1)

In Houston Has A Problem, I said this:

Now granted we are to pray for our leaders even if we disagree with them. But we are to pray for for their souls, their repentance and for their Salvation. We don’t pray that the Lord should prosper them or that the Lord will make their lives smooth and easy. If need be, we pray for the Lord to break their pride and arrogance and bring them to their knees in repentance. Not a pat on the back saying “Good job living in rebellion to the Lord.

Now by no means does this mean that we aren’t to bless and show mercy to even unbelievers, we are commanded to.

Luke 6:27-28 (ESV)

27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.

But what are we to pray for unbelievers?  So I started through the Bible just to see what we are to be praying for unbelievers.

From the Old Testament we have the following types of prayers:

  • Prayer to preserve an unbeliever from their due judgment and wrath from God.
  • Prayers for physical healing.
  • Prayer for the unbeliever, particularly those who are especially evil, to be judge by God and receive their just rewards.

The earliest accounts of prayers for unbelievers:

Abraham prayed for Abimelech in order for God to spare his life from the wrath of God.

Genesis 20:17 (ESV) Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, and also healed his wife and female slaves so that they bore children.

Moses prayed to the Lord for the Israelites in order to spare them from the wrath of God.

Numbers 21:7 (ESV) And the people came to Moses and said, “We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord, that he take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

Deuteronomy 9:27 (ESV) Remember your servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Do not regard the stubbornness of this people, or their wickedness or their sin,

Job prayed for his “friends”, whom the Lord accused of speaking wrongly, in order to spare them from the wrath of God.

Job 42:8-10 (ESV)
8 Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly. For you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.”
9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what the Lord had told them, and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.
10 And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.

David in the Psalms prayed for the enemies of God to get their just rewards.  Too many to list.

Proverbs stresses that the Lord hears the prayers of the upright and rejects the prayers of the wicked.

Proverbs 15:8 (ESV) The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him.

Proverbs 15:29 (ESV) The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous.

Proverbs 28:9 (ESV) If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.

Jeremiah was instructed to not pray for a particular people.

Jeremiah 7:16 (ESV) “As for you, do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer for them, and do not intercede with me, for I will not hear you.

Jeremiah 11:14 (ESV) “Therefore do not pray for this people, or lift up a cry or prayer on their behalf, for I will not listen when they call to me in the time of their trouble.

Jeremiah 14:11 (ESV) The Lord said to me: “Do not pray for the welfare of this people.

Jeremiah was instructed to pray for the welfare of the city he was sent to just because it would involve his welfare.

Jeremiah 29:7 (ESV) But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.

Hope you found that as interesting as I did. Next we’ll look at the NT prayers for unbelievers.