Background; The context  of this passage from verses 1-8 is the church gathering together praying for the salvation of souls… and Paul address’s  a problem  here in the church at Ephesus, namely, they were not praying  for the salvation of  “all people.” They were NEGLECTING to! Paul is about to take them on a wonderful journey from v 1-8 on the value of ALL souls. So together let’s look at…

“PRAYING…for the lost”  {or the nature of Evangelistic praying…)

Note; straight way the phrase…

“FIRST OF ALL.” – Paul had written to Timothy to explain how the church “ought to conduct” itself as the church of the Living God”- 1 Tim 3:16… and he begins in 2:1 with these words “first of all.” This does not refer to time, but to, importance…when the believers gather together in public worship. What Paul is about to say is not to speak of the order of things as 1-2-3, But of THE PRIORITY, “Of First Importance,” of the church was TO BE and IS TO BE the praying for the salvation of souls- the spreading of the Gospel, from the emperor {king} on down 2:1-2! God is concerned and consumed about the souls of men to such an extent He sent His Son to the world to die for their sins that they need not die in their sins. “For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life,” The cross was not casual with God. It was heart rendering for the Son of God. “My God, my God why have you utterly forsaken and abandoned Me?”  To have a light attitude towards the cross will be manifested with an indifference, to the souls of men for whom the Savior died for! An uncaring church is a non-praying church for the souls of men… and the spread of God’s right to be honored! It is a disobedient church! Paul’s call is to evangelistic prayer in this passage v 1-8! God desires His people- be a praying people and of “first importance” – the PRIOROTY is the praying for the salvation of souls, for Jesus sake!  It seems like we take time and make time to pursue and prioritize everything except what is to be of first importance… namely prayer!”


Let’s look at 4 words he uses in evangelistic praying…or  “ Praying…for the souls of people…”

1. – “SUPPLICATIONS” – This word comes from a verb which speaks of a  “ LACK”… a “N-E-E-D.  The word comes forth from a sense of need.  Some translate it as “Entreaties.” Conscious of the need of people for salvation is to drive God’s people to make “supplication” to the One who can meet that need – God Himself. Their “lack” of ability to save themselves and their blindness to even care about being saved and our own “lack” of being able to save them compels us, as Paul says “urges” us with compassion to the One who knows “NO LACK” in ability to rescue and impart life giving salvation from spiritual death to eternal life which is to Know Him and Jesus Christ whom He has sent – John 17:3.

Their impotence and God’s sufficiency should give us Hope to pray for the lost! We make “supplications” because we are conscious they “lack” salvation and are lost…and we turn to God who can save them. What a privilege is ours!

Why pray for the lost? Because … they lack salvation.

2- “PRAYERS” –

This word refers to the act of worship. The word speaks of “adoration…reverence…worship” We pray for the lost because … God is worthy of their adoration, reverence, worship. God is worshipped, revered and rightly adored when the lost are saved. We read of such in the lives of the Thessalonians, “… how you turned to God from your idols to serve “”worship”, a living and true God.”- 1 Thess 1:9.
And He is deserving of their worship…so…this is incentive to  “Pray…for the lost,”- because  we want God to be worshipped. We pray with reverence in the presence of God, worshipping Him and desiring He be worshipped aright by the conversion of the lost!   We pray for the lost because they lack salvation and their need is to be saved…. Saved  FROM … Saved TO… WORSHIP GOD!

Why pray for the lost? Because… God  is worthy { deserves} of their Worship.

3- “INTERCESSIONS” – It refers to having an audience with God on behalf of others.” The word means “TO FALL IN WITH.” It refers to God’s church taking the needs of the lost before Him. STANDING IN THE GAP FOR THEM. It was used of someone who can go into the presence of the king and be able to speak freely with him on behalf of someone else. His people have right standing and called to do so! The word is not a cold, unfeeling word but a word that embodies compassion, empathy. Some translations use, “petitions.” It is to take the need of the lost into the presence of your Heavenly Father and speak to Him about them. Intercession has to do with a deep concern for someone and pleading on their behalf. It is with compassion to seek the well- being of another before and from God! Jesus Intercedes -Consider Jesus ; “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the One who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission.”- {Heb 5:7}. “Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for them.” –{Heb 7:25}. The Holy Spirit Intercedes- {Rom 8:26}. The church is to intercede!- {1 Timothy 2:1-8}.

Why pray for the lost?  Because… we CAN! We have access to God, on behalf of them.

4, – “THANKSGIVINGS” – What an unusual word now appears, it would appear-“thanksgiving” while pleading for the souls of men! But…God’s Grace for us should make Him the Object of our Gratitude!  We can thank God, that we can turn to Him who is gracious and able to save. We can thank Him because He is approachable and gives us access and cares for your loved ones, their souls and the souls of people. We can thank God for… “He is good”- {Psalm 118:1}. We can thank God that… …“it is a trustworthy statement that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”- {1 Timothy 1:15}.  We can thank God that… “Jesus came to seek and save the lost.”- {Luke 19:10}.   We can thank God that…“ Christ died for the ungodly…for sinners.”- Rom 5:6,8

·         We can thank God that… “He is able to save to the uttermost.”- Heb 7:25

·         We can thank God that… we can pray for…the Lost!- 1 Timothy 2:1-2

Why pray for the lost? Because …God is able to save them!

THE  SCOPE OF SUCH PRAYING? – “For ALL People” -Some translations say “All Men”- “{MEN” – anthropos, a generic word for “people”}. Oh my, what a beautiful statement!  “All people” not some or a few…or of a certain class, nationality, culture or economical background but “All men”- neither Jew nor Greek had or has exclusivity on salvation! “All people” warrant the church’s praying for their lost soul’s! There is no soul that has gone so far that He has not and is not able to save. “Salvation belongs to the Lord” He is not inhibited to save by many or few! So be encouraged…take your loved ones to Him for prayer for their souls, take the souls of people you have not met, from countries you have not been to…persevere in praying for them, that He would do as He did for Lydia and open their heart to understand and RECEIVE the Word-Acts 16 That the Holy Spirit would convict of sin and righteousness- John16:8-9. And cause them to be born again to a living hope- 1 Peter 1:3.Indeed that they would “repent towards God and place their faith In Jesus Christ.” “ALL PEOPLE” are candidates for you to speak to God on their behalf!

There is never a person you will see or meet, hear about, whom you cannot pray for!

“Maybe you cannot speak to the person about God; but you can always speak to God about that person.”

So the nature of “PRAYING…FOR THE LOST” or evangelistic praying can be summed up in these 4 words, “Supplication, Prayers, Intercession, Thanksgiving.” And the scope is for “All people”… in the words of my youngest child who once called me and his brother aside and said,…“LET’S PRAY…”

LET THE CHURCH  NOT NEGLECT TO GATHER IN CORPORATE WORSHIP…KNOWING GOD’S DESIRE… TO CONTINUE, “PRAYING…FOR THE LOST.” All.. lost people are candidates for the church’s praying! We should never run out of people to pray for… AS LONG AS SOULS ARE LOST AND GOD STILL SAVES- AND WE STILL BREATHE..!


Why continue “Praying… for the lost?”


1.-… they lack salvation- {Supplications}

2. – … God is worthy of their worship {Prayer’s }

3.- … we can come before God on their behalf {Intercessions}

4. – …God is able to save them.  God loves them…{Thanksgivings}

“Men may spurn our appeals, reject our message, oppose our arguments, despise our persons, but they are helpless against our prayers.” – J. Sidlow Baxter



“Do you corporately and privately pray for the lost, as of “First Importance?” or like the church at Ephesus- neglect to do so?

MEMORIZE IT – 1 Tim 2:1. –  Hide the verse in your heart. Place on a 3 by 5 card. Place on your bathroom mirror, kitchen mirror, in your purse, wallet and when you have read, re read and pray it.

EXPLAIN-   Why pray for the lost? { At the end of each word used for prayer in RED is the answer }Know and be able to Explain what each word used for praying in the  VERSE means.

APPLY IT. –  PRAY.., the verse for lost people.
Does Anyone come to mind whom you can pray for-now?

SHARE- This verse with someone else this week to stimulate then to love and good deeds,  in “Praying… for the lost” and …