So he got into a boat, crossed over, and came to his own town. Just then some men brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher. Seeing their faith, Jesus told the paralytic, “Have courage, son, your sins are forgiven.” MATTHEW 9:1–2, CSB
Father, the Bible tells many stories of unnamed men and women who brought their friends to Jesus. I long to bring _____ to You as well. Like the paralytic in this story, I know You are capable of doing far more than merely addressing his/her external needs. You know his/her heart, and You are the only One who is able to forgive his/her sins. _____ may not even sense his/her need for forgiveness at this time, but I understand all people are dead in their sins and are hopeless and helpless apart from the forgiveness You offer. As I strive to bring _____ to You, do what only You are capable of doing and save him/her.
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord’s glory, as the water covers the sea. HABAKKUK 2:14, CSB
God, You have promised there will be a day when Your glory is seen and known throughout the earth. Right now, _____ does not have knowledge of Your glory. He/she is lost. I know Your glory already fills the earth. It’s seen in amazing sunrises, powerful thunderstorms and the laughter of children. Everywhere I look, I see things that cause me to praise You! _____ is blind to Your glory. He/she sees beauty and does not attribute it to You. He/she experiences joy and fails to understand You created it. Change his/her heart so he/she can know the Source of all that is great in this life.
So the Lord said, “You cared about the plant, which you did not labor over and did not grow. It appeared in a night and perished in a night. But may I not care about the great city of Nineveh, which has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot distinguish between their right and their left, as well as many animals?” JONAH 4:10–11, CSB
Father, I know You are a kind God who cares about the lost and those destined for destruction. Like Nineveh of old, our world is filled with people who don’t know their right from their left. People like _____ live in sinful rebellion to You. You’ve appointed men and women to be Your mouthpiece to a dying world, just as Jonah was. Spare _____ from destruction, and use my words as a tool to call him/her to repentance. Allow me to speak clearly and boldly about the realities of hell and Your eternal wrath and call _____ to repent before it is too late.
For when there are many words, they increase futility. What is the advantage for mankind? For who knows what is good for anyone in life, in the few days of his futile life that he spends like a shadow? Who can tell anyone what will happen after him under the sun? ECCLESIASTES 6:11–12, CSB
Lord, the wisdom of Ecclesiastes points out consistently that life in this world is futile apart from You. No wisdom, wealth or pleasure will satisfy. People like _____ pursue these very things with their lives, only to find that they overpromise and under-deliver. Nothing on this earth provides lasting meaning. Only You can do that. In Your mercy, allow _____ to see the futility of life without You. When he/she does, don’t allow him/her to despair, but cause him/her to direct his/her desperation to You. Make the futility of this life cause him/her to see that the only hope is You. Your salvation and the hope that comes from Jesus is the only thing that will never let him/her down.
Sing a new song to the Lord; let the whole earth sing to the Lord. Sing to the Lord, bless his name; proclaim his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his wondrous works among all peoples. PSALM 96:1–3, CSB
God, the psalmist calls me to sing to the Lord and declare His salvation among all people. Cause my life to overflow with Your joy. Make me sing Your praises day-to-day. Bring to mind consistent evidence of Your grace in my life. As You do, make these realities spill over into the words I speak to _____. Allow me to testify to the wondrous works You’ve performed in my life. When I experience Your blessings, compel me to testify to the fact that God alone is the source of my joy and the only basis for my hope.
The Lord—the Lord is a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love and truth, maintaining faithful love to a thousand generations, forgiving iniquity, rebellion, and sin. EXODUS 34:6–7, CSB
God, I know You as One who is compassionate, gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. You have shown these characteristics to me time and time again. My heart breaks for the countless number of men and women who haven’t experienced Your character as I have. In particular, I pray for _____. I know he/she has some concepts of who You are many of them probably inadequate or altogether faulty. I want him/her to know You as You truly are. Cause _____ to see You as the great God You are, and use me to reflect Your attributes.
The Lord said to Abram: Go out from your land, your relatives, and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you, I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, I will curse anyone who treats you with contempt, and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you. GENESIS 12:1–3, CSB
Father, when I read the story of the call of Abram, I’m reminded that Your heart has always been for all the people and nations of the earth. You blessed Abram and gave him Your great promises so he could serve as a blessing to the nations. The same is true for all those who are heirs of these promises through salvation in Christ Jesus. We are all blessed to be a blessing to others—most importantly, to bless them by pointing them to their only hope in life and death. Make me a blessing to _____. Cause me to make Your name great as I declare and demonstrate the blessing of salvation in such a way that _____ will see Your glory.
The Lord does not delay his promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance. 2 PETER 3:9, CSB
Father, You have been patient with _____ up to this point in his/her life. Every day he/she lives is a testimony to the fact that You long for all people to hear the gospel and come to saving faith. Continue to show mercy and extend _____’s life. In Your kindness, allow him/her to experience the beautiful things You’ve created and that display Your glory. Protect him/her from the full extent of the consequences of his/her sin, and allow the consequences that he/she does experience to point him/her to the need for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.
Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. For this I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I might be bold enough to speak about it as I should. EPHESIANS 6:19–20, CSB
God, I need boldness in order to share the gospel with _____. I know the message of the gospel is a mystery to those who are lost in their trespasses and sins. At one time, the gospel was a mystery to me as well. Your plan is that people would see and hear of Jesus through the witness of those who have experienced His grace and now see the gospel for the treasure it is. Grant me boldness to speak to _____ of the hope of the gospel. I need unwavering confidence that You will use my frail words to speak of You as I should.
Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God concerning them is for their salvation. I can testify about them that they have zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. Since they are ignorant of the righteousness of God and attempted to establish their own righteousness, they have not submitted to God’s righteousness. ROMANS 10:1–3, CSB
Lord, I know it is possible for people to pursue meaningful things in this life in the vain hope that their zeal for what is perceived as good will somehow work to their eternal benefit. Far too often, those who are far from You assume things will work out in the end because they have been fairly good people in this life and given their time and energy to do what they consider good. Sadly, many are like those Paul prays for in this passage. They have zeal but lack knowledge of God’s righteousness seen in Jesus Christ. Awaken _____ to Your offer of salvation, and help him/her see the futility of anything other than You as a hope for eternal salvation.