How to Pray for Lost/Backslidden Loved One(s)
Do you have somebody in your family that is lost or away from the Lord? Maybe there is a person at work or school that needs Jesus in their lives and you feel a burden for them. What do we do with that? We may ask them to come to church with the hopes that they will accept Jesus. We may give them a gospel tract. …Or we may witness to them about their need to accept Jesus as their Lord, only to find that now they have withdrawn from us.
There is nothing wrong with any of these approaches, but I have found that prefacing what we do in prayer is vital. Obviously, there are times that there may not be much time for us to preface that moment with a specific prayer, but we certainly can whisper a prayer to the Lord from our hearts to anoint us as we minister. We should prepare daily asking the Lord to use us as a witness. Jesus was very clear in His Word in Matthew 4:19, “And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” A daily prayer could be something like, “Father, in Jesus’ name, use me as a witness wherever I may go. Prepare hearts for their need for you and draw me to them. Please give me the Words of life that will minister to them their need for You.” I, then, pray in my prayer language by the Holy Spirit. Remember, that is allowing God to pray through us. Wow!!! That is a perfect prayer on the behalf of another. As the Lord allows us to sow into someone else’s life, we can believe for the harvest of salvation for our loved ones and friends (Gal.6:7).
How do we preface our witness in prayer? I want to talk about nine simple things that are important in our believing for the salvation of the lost and backslidden:
First of all, you must be convinced that the Lord is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).
Now, that we see that it is God’s will for all to be saved and repent of sin, we have the promise in 1 John 5:14&15, “And this is the confidence (faith) that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know (faith) that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know (faith) that we have the petitions (formal requests) that we desired of him.” We ask the Father in Jesus’ name in faith believing for the salvation of someone because we know it is God’s will for the “whosoever” to be saved (Jn. 3:16). “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest” (Mt. 9:38).
After we ask, we believe that we receive. Yes, faith chooses to believe before we see the answers to our prayers. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1). Then, in Mark 11:24, Jesus says, “…What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Truly “believing” happens when we continually speak the Word of God out loud (Rom.10:17).
“…but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God” (Phil. 4:6 Amp.). Thank the Lord that the person is saved or coming back to the Lord.
Fast and declare the Promises out loud in Isaiah 58.
“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Cor. 4:4). We need to demand and bind the demons off of our loved ones in Jesus’ name (Mt. 18:18; Lk. 10:19).
Don’t worry. “Be careful (anxious; fretful) for nothing…” (Phil. 4:6). “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Pet. 5:7).
If possible, pray over a prayer cloth believing that the Lord’s anointing is flowing into that cloth and place it where the lost person sleeps, sits, in a shoe, etc. (Acts 19:11&12 & Is. 10:27).
Let there be more than one that will agree with you in prayer for the salvation/rededication of someone. (Mt.18:19&20).
Now, if you have liberty to witness to that person, do so. If not, minister love to them. “Charity (love) never faileth…” (1 Cor. 13:8). “…for charity (love) shall cover the multitude of sins.” Now, I call your loved one born again and dedicated to Jesus. Amen!!!