Pray for the Salvation of All

St. Cyprian of Carthage who was martyred in 258AD writes:

“It may also be understood, dearest brothers, that just as the Lord commands and counsels us to love even our enemies and also to pray for those who persecute us (Mt 5.44), so we pray also for those who are still earth, and have not yet embarked upon being heavenly, and pray that the will of God be done among them, as did Christ in his salvation and restoration of humanity. For since the disciples are no longer called “earth” by him but “salt of the earth” (Mt 5.13), and the apostle states that the first man is from the dust of the earth, but that the second is from the heaven (1 Cor 15.47), it is fitting that we should be like God the Father, who causes the sun to rise on the good and the wicked, and rains on the just and the unjust (Mt 5.45); and so we should pray and intercede as Christ counsels us, and make intercession for the salvation of all, so that just as the will of God is done in heaven, that is in us, through our faith, with the result that we are in heaven, so also the will of God should be done on earth, that is among those who do not believe, so that those who are earthly from their original birth should begin to be heavenly, being born of water and the Spirit (Jn 3.5).”   (On The Lord’s Prayer, Kindle Loc. 1542-55)