Family and Relationships
How to Pray for Unsaved Family Members
Dec 19, 2016

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As we gather with family to celebrate Christmas this week, it can be both a joyful and challenging time—joyful as we reflect on what the birth of the Savior means and challenging as we face the reality that many of our own family members don’t know the joy of this Good News.

Family walking in a field

You may see the fruit of your prayers immediately, or you may never see the full impact of your intercession.




No matter how impossible your family situation may feel, it’s amazing what God can do when we invite Him into our family time, ask Him to give us opportunities to share the Gospel, and pray for Him to soften the hearts of our family members. In our prayers, we must remember that God “wants all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth,” and His desire to save the lost is far greater than ours (1 Timothy 2:4). We are not praying to a reluctant God, but a God who is eager to save and redeem.

As you prepare to see family this week, take some time to pray for them, and consider inviting your spouse or another Christian friend or family member to join you in prayer. There is great power when two or more gather in Christ’s name and pray for His will to be done (see Matthew 18:20).

There are countless verses in the Bible through which you can pray for your family members by name. Here are a few to help guide you in your prayers:

  1. Father God, I know that “no one can come to [Jesus] unless the Father . . . draws them” (John 6:44). I ask that You draw _____________ to Your Son, that he/she may know You personally and spend eternity with You.

  2. Lord God, I ask that You move upon _____________’s heart to accept the Truth of Christ. “Give them a heart to know [You], that [You are] the Lord, [so that] they will be [Your] people, and [You] will be their God,” and may they “return to [You] with all their heart” (Jeremiah 24:7).

  3. Overwhelm _____________ with the reality of Your love for him/her, that he/she may “grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:18-19).

  4. Lord, use me to “open _____________’s eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in [You]” (Acts 26:18).

  5. Holy Spirit, show me specifically how to minister to each member of my family—whether I should “be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; [or] show mercy, mixed with fear” (Jude 1:23). Reveal opportunities to share about You, and give me the strength to obey when You open the door.

  6. Father God, Your Word says that “godly sorrow brings repentance which leads to salvation and leaves no regret” (2 Corinthians 7:10). Only You can open our eyes to the reality that all have sinned and fallen short of Your glory. Come upon _____________ with a sense of godly sorrow for his/her sin, that he/she may repent, surrender to You, and be saved.

As we pray, God readies our hearts to do His will, while also inviting us to rest in the fact that only He can change hearts.

You may see the fruit of your prayers immediately, or you may never see the full impact of your intercession. Either way, don’t give up praying for your unsaved family members. Remember, we are engaged in a spiritual battle (see Ephesians 6:12-20), and one of our greatest weapons is prayer. God is in the business of doing the impossible, and He can change even the hardest of hearts.