“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” (Hebrews 5:7).
There is something about the chemistry of prayer when mixed with evangelism that forms a solution for the problems of lost people that our gifts and ingenuity alone can never provide. When prayer and evangelism come together, the power of God is manifested. It brings conviction to the empty and passion to the unconcerned.
The great man of prayer, E. M. Bounds, said, “Prayer does not stand alone. . . . It lives in fellowship with other Christian duties.” This is particularly true about evangelism. You cannot evangelize effectively on a consistent basis without prayer. In his research of growing churches, Thom Rainer discovered prayer ranked with biblical preaching and teaching as one of the major reasons churches in the survey reached lost people.
Too often believers compartmentalize their faith, separating prayer from evangelism in an unhealthy manner. I have met people passionate for prayer who seem to have little if any concern for those without Christ. I have also known believers who burn for the salvation of the lost, but whose focus rarely notes the place of prayer. While prayer and evangelism are separate disciplines at one level, they both gain vitality when linked together.
Lord Jesus, teach me to seek the Father as You did when You walked on earth as a man. Give me such a heart of love for the lost that I am moved to weep for them. May I never lose sight of the importance of passionate prayer linked with compassionate action as a reflection of Your life-giving love!
–Adapted from Chapter 63 of Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Prayer and Evangelism) by Alvin L. Reid. This resource is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.
Praise God, who calls believers into his kingdom. Thank him for giving you eyes to see and ears to hear the Word (Mt. 13:1-23). Confess that no matter how old you are, you have more to learn. Commit yourself to increasing your knowledge of the faith. Ask God where you should start—personal or group Bible study, church courses, support groups, memorization, singing through a hymnal . . .
Pray for a willing spirit among family and friends to let God into their lives.
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