Keep Believing logo
Search KBM:
Video at Keep Believing

Should We Pray for the Jews to be Saved?



Questions about the sermon
Article 35 of 35 from the Ponder This - 1999 series

October 1999 – A few months ago the Southern Baptist Convention published a prayer guide urging Christians to pray for the followers of other religions to come to personal saving faith in Jesus Christ. The suggested guidelines included praying for your Jewish friends and acquaintances during the Jewish Holy Days (especially Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement).

Not surprisingly, the prayer guide elicited a firestorm of controversy in the secular media. Nothing could possibly be more politically incorrect than to believe that you have discovered Truth with a capital T. That alone is bad enough since we live in a postmodern age where truth is in the eye of the beholder, but the Southern Baptists went further and committed a cardinal sin when they prayed that Jews (and Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists) would be converted to Jesus Christ. This was nothing less than “religious genocide” (a phrase actually used by some critics) because it implies that one religion is somehow “superior” to another religion.

Two weeks ago I happened to catch a few minutes of a debate on “The O’Reilly Factor” between Bill O’Reilly (the host) and Paige Patterson, president of the Southern Baptist Convention. “Don’t you see how offensive this is to Jewish people?” said Mr. O’Reilly. Then he asked how anyone could believe that those who don’t believe in Jesus but happen to follow another religion won’t be in heaven. Dr. Patterson replied (quite appropriately, in my opinion) that we have no authority to talk about who goes to heaven or hell apart from what God has revealed in his Word. Then he quoted John 14:6 where Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

book graphic fade
Fire and Rain: The Wild-Hearted Faith of Elijah

The prophet Elijah was a rough and
complex mountain man whose
faith provides us with
powerful & important
lessons in leadership.

Get more details

Last Monday night I listened as John Piper (a noted author and speaker who pastors a church in Minneapolis) told about the reaction he received to an article he wrote defending the Southern Baptists. His point was simple. If Jesus is the Messiah of Israel, then praying for the Jews to come to Christ is an act of love. For saying that in print, he was branded “supremely arrogant” and “intolerably patronizing"-words meant to be intimidating. Piper’s comment: Christians must have courage to speak the truth and let the chips fall where they may.

He’s right and the Southern Baptists are right. Speaking the truth isn’t easy or popular, but it must be done. Before he left the earth Christ commanded his people to preach the gospel to everyone everywhere. That means praying for the Jews (and the Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and everyone else) to find eternal life in Jesus Christ. If some people are offended by that, let them be offended. We will do what God says and leave the results with him.

Subscribe to the weekly sermon from Keep Believing Ministries

Watch this Anchor Story and testimony from Nick Santiago

© Keep Believing Ministries

Permissions and restrictions: You are permitted and encouraged to use and distribute the content on Keep Believing Ministries free of charge. If you choose to publish excerpts from a sermon or article, please provide a link or attibution back to’s version of this article. The content of must not be redistributed at a fee beyond the cost of reproduction.

If you wish to support Keep Believing Ministries, your prayers and donations are appreciated, and further enable this worldwide ministry to distribute all materials free of charge.

ECFA Member

ECFA member

Follow Pastor Ray on:

follow Pastor Ray on Twitter follow Pastor Ray on Facebook

2013 KBM Winter Report