“Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us that God may open a door to us for the message, to speak the mystery of the Messiah, for which I am in prison, so that I may reveal it as I am required to speak” (Philippians 4:2-4).
The method of outreach ministry in churches is constantly changing. Sometimes, we continue to use old methods because they have proven to be effective, and there is nothing wrong with that. But mixing old and new methods is a way to guarantee that someone is always being reached and that a variety of church members are willing to get involved in outreach.
At my dad’s church, we had a weekly Saturday morning outreach. We would go out and hang church invitations on the doors of each house in the neighborhood we were hitting. It was a method that allowed us to reach many people in a short amount of time. Other groups would occasionally go out and actually knock on the doors, inviting people to church or asking if they were saved.
But no matter what method of outreach we used, one thing always stayed the same: before the teams went out, we met at the church for prayer.
Prayer is an essential part of evangelism, although many times it is easy to overlook. However, evangelism without the power of the Lord behind it is so ineffective that I daresay it would be better to not go out at all.
If we want to reach people with the gospel, we must do so after covering the venture in prayer. At its core, evangelism is first a work of prayer.
Here are three prayers for effective evangelism:
#1 – Pray for workers.Matthew 9:37-38 says, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.” We are to pray and ask God for workers who will go out to reach the lost.
How can an outreach ministry work if there are no believers to spread the gospel? Fear of rejection or public speaking or awkwardness often keep people from participating in an outreach ministry. But if the Lord places a call on their heart, they should be involved regardless of fear. If we pray for the workers to come, then the Lord will provide them.
#2 – Pray for words we should say. Luke 12:11-12 tells us that the Holy Spirit is capable of directing us in what to say in the hour we are supposed to say it. Praying for words to say can help ease our fears. If we are guided by the Holy Spirit, our words will not be awkward, and we cannot use the excuse that we do not know how to evangelize
#3 – Pray for the lost. The Bible tells us that no man can come to salvation unless God draws him (John 6:44). Before we go out to reach the lost, we should pray that God will draw those that need him. Without this prayer, our efforts would be in vain as human words alone cannot draw someone to Christ.
There are many other prayers that could–and should–be prayed when we tell others about Christ. The key thing is that we dopray. When we pray, God goes with us in our efforts. Without him, those efforts would be in vain.
by Jake Tyson