“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people.” {1 Timothy 2:1}

Paul was writing to the church at Ephesus and in chapter 3:15- he tells them how they “ought to conduct themselves in the church of the living God.”  In the verse before you he is writing to the church. And says, “First of all.” This has to do with priority. It is not first in a list, that is but a number beside an item to do. But “First” in the priority of things for the church ? The priority is to pray for the lost. We are here to advance the Gospel of the Lord Jesus. If it was “fellowship,” God could take us out of here to enjoy Him and unbroken fellowship. People are dead in their sin, without hope and without Christ. We have the truth that God uses to rescue, deliver people from His wrath and the penalty of sin. So, Paul writes and tells the congregation and indeed every congregation to pray for the lost.  They were neglecting to do so. A church, or believer that neglects paying for the lost has lost sight of the cross of Christ and glory of God, who is worthy to be worshiped!


Let’s look at 4 words he uses in evangelistic praying…or  “ Praying…for the lost.”      



This word comes from a verb which speaks of a “LACK”… a “N-E-E-D. To be deprived. To be without something.” 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 from being “held captives to do his{satan’s} will.” {2 Tim 2:24-26. Salvation from the penalty of sin. Rescued and delivered from the wrath of God. People are in terrible spiritual bondage and with each passing breath they take, they are a breath closer to eternal damnation apart from turning to Christ. They are spiritually “dead in sin” {Eph 2:1 } God gives us the privilege to come and talk to Him about these precious ones who were created in His image but have been marred by sin and in bondage to sin. How horrible the thought that  they face a devil’s Hell, where they are damned for all eternity. How tragic that they could know God and He is not glorified by them. What a privilege is ours! What privilege is yours! Compassion should move us to pray for them. Why pray for the lost? Because … they lack salvation.



This word in the original is only directed to God. He is the One we go to. 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. Pray for the lost, because He is deserving of their worship, and they do not! This is incentive to Pray…for the lost–  because they do not worship Him and He is deserving of their worship!  Everyone worships something or someone. When Jesus was being tempted in Matthew 4, by satan, we can see specifically what he wanted. It was “worship,”  he said “If you will bow down and worship me, all these things I will give you.”  We read that “The Father seeks those who will worship in spirit and in truth.” satan seeks worship, God the Father seeks it, and people are spiritually incapable of worshiping God because they are spiritually dead. So we go to the LORD directly for the lost person and over the desire to see God worshiped as He is worthy of their worship!



The word means “TO FALL IN WITH.” The verb form means “to fall in with a person.” It is to become close to someone, to become intimately involved with them.

The idea of intercession is to have an audience with the LORD on behalf of someone else, not in some cold, indifferent way but with personal empathy, warmth, compassion, concern for their welfare.

It is not like having a lawyer come in for someone as an advocate, but who has no interest in his client. No, as an advocate you come before God with a warmth, a genuine concern for them and you come to Him who can meet the need-the LORD.

To intercede for them is 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!

Why pray for the lost? Because God calls us to and we can stand before Him on their behalf to intercede, what a high and holy privilege we have! Everyone you meet is an opportunity for you to intercede for them.

I have a dear friend who in his basement has the biggest world globe I have ever seen. It is near a chair he sits in. It reminds him to intercede for NATIONS! The huge globe is a reminder to him to INTERCEDE before God on behalf of nations that may not know God!

Note Paul’s passionate praying and longing  for people as he himself would rather be accursed by God if it would save his own people. What passion, what intensity of focus, what selflessness he exhibits in his desire they come to know Jesus Christ. Here is a beautiful yet challenging call to us all to intercede for the lost! – O Israel, my people! O my Jewish brothers! How I long for you to come to Christ. My heart is heavy within me, and I grieve bitterly day and night because of you. Christ knows and the Holy Spirit knows that it is no mere pretense when I say that I would be willing to be forever damned if that would save you.” – {Romans 9:1-3.}



We pray with “thanksgiving” to Him because He is worthy of our gratitude. Thanksgiving should permeate our praying! Thankful for Who He is. Thankful He hears our prayers. Thankful He answers prayers. Thankful because it is His will for us and it glorifies Him. Thankful He has the heart and ability to save! -{Read 1 Thess 5:18; Luke 17:15-17; Matt 1:21}. Paul wrote in Philippians 4:6, “Be anxious about nothing but pray about everything…with thanksgiving…” We often leave out thanksgivings, could it be because we are not thankful people to God? Thanksgiving is a deliberate choice, a command. We must cultivate the attitude of gratitude. Thanksgiving because of His saving grace, because of His character and with gratitude we can stand before Him and intercede to Him for the lost. Be thankful for such a privilege. Thanks and Joy come from the same Greek word. Thanks is expressing joy. Giving thanks to God is to be cultivated. How do you do so? One way I do is for each letter in the alphabet, equating it to something true about Him, also people, also blessings and you find yourself developing an attitude of thanking Him.

God’s Grace for us should make Him the Object of our Gratitude!

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 with thanksgiving, because of who God is and His kindness to allow us to o labor with Him in praying. …God is worthy and able to save any soul!


 “For ALL People” not some or a few…or of a certain class, nationality, culture or economical background but “All people”- 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. {John 16:8-9.} 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.”-{Acts17:30}. “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!

AMY CARMICHAEL WAS A MISSIONARY IN INDIA between the late 1800-1900.


She gives us this story to help awaken us and see souls are perishing  and  our lack of concern! She writes,

“The tom-toms thumped straight on all night and the darkness shuddered round me like a living, feeling thing. I could not go to sleep, so I lay awake and looked; and I saw, as it seemed, this:

That I stood on a grassy sward, and at my feet a precipice broke sheer down into infinite space. I looked, but saw no bottom; only cloud shapes, black and furiously coiled, and great shadow-shrouded hollows, and unfathomable depths. Back I drew, dizzy at the depth.

Then I saw forms of people moving single file along the grass. They were making for the edge. There was a woman with a baby in her arms and another little child holding on to her dress. She was on the very verge. Then I saw that she was blind. She lifted her foot for the next step . . . it trod air. She was over, and the children over with her. Oh, the cry as they went over!

Then I saw more streams of people flowing from all quarters. All were blind, stone blind; all made straight for the precipice edge. There were shrieks, as they suddenly knew themselves falling, and a tossing up of helpless arms, catching, clutching at empty air. But some went over quietly, and fell without a sound.

Then I wondered, with a wonder that was simply agony, why no one stopped them at the edge. I could not. I was glued to the ground, and I could only call; though I strained and tried, only whisper would come.

Then I saw that along the edge there were sentries set at intervals. But the intervals were too great; there were wide, unguarded gaps between. And over these gaps the people fell in their blindness, quite unwarned; and the green grass seemed blood-red to me, and the gulf yawned like the mouth of hell.

Then I saw, like a little picture of peace, a group of people under some trees with their backs turned toward the gulf. They were making daisy chains. Sometimes when a piercing shriek cut the quiet air and reached them, it disturbed them and they thought it a rather vulgar noise. And if one of their number started up and wanted to go and do something to help, then all the others would pull that one down. “Why should you get so excited about it? You must wait for a definite call to go! You haven’t finished your daisy chain yet. It would be really selfish,” they said, “to leave us to finish the work alone.”

There was another group. It was made up of people whose great desire was to get more sentries out; but they found that very few wanted to go, and sometimes there were no sentries set for miles and miles of the edge.

Once a girl stood alone in her place, waving the people back; but her mother and other relations called and reminded her that her furlough was due; she must not break the rules. And being tired and needing a change, she had to go and rest for awhile; but no one was sent to guard her gap, and over and over the people fell, like a waterfall of souls.

Once a child caught at a tuft of grass that grew at the very brink of the gulf; it clung convulsively, and it called-but nobody seemed to hear. Then the roots of the grass gave way, and with a cry the child went over, its two little hands still holding tight to the torn-off bunch of grass. And the girl who longed to be back in her gap thought she heard the little one cry, and she sprang up and wanted to go; at which they reproved her, reminding her that no one is necessary anywhere; the gap would be well taken care of, they knew. And then they sang a hymn.

Then through the hymn came another sound like the pain of a million broken hearts wrung out in one full drop, one sob. And a horror of great darkness was upon me, for I knew what it was-the Cry of the Blood.

Then thundered a voice, the voice of the Lord. “And He said, ‘What hast thou done, The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.'”

The tom-toms still beat heavily, the darkness still shuddered and shivered about me; I heard the yells of the devil-dancers and weird, wild shriek of the devil-possessed just outside the gate.

What does it matter, after all? It has gone on for years; it will go on for years. Why make such a fuss about it?

God forgive us! God arouse us! Shame us out of our callousness! Shame us out of our sin!”


                “Therefore beseech the Lord  of the harvest  to send out workers into His harvest .” – The words of the Lord Jesus upon seeing the multitudes tells the disciples to PRAY…-{Matthew 9:37-38}

Maybe you cannot speak to the person about God;

but you can always speak to God about that person.”


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

Does anyone come to mind whom you can pray for, now?

Pray, keep praying for the lost, knowing why you should. Pray on… Give yourself to prayer…