How prayer keeps the passion for evangelism alive?
Recently, I was listening to a podcast and it was mentioned that there are still 2 billion people who have never heard the name of Jesus. The numbers are distressing. Imagine, 2 billion people have no chance to accept or reject the love of Jesus! What is more grievous is that they’re on their way to eternal separation from God! In response to that, I prayed for a renewed passion and that God will break my heart even more for what breaks his. I knelt and prayed that I’ll be able to see through his eyes as he looks at the world with compassion.
I cried out for more opportunities for me to reach out to those people who need the redemptive power of God’s love. I submitted my humble request for the salvation of those people that I have already shared the gospel with. I prayed that those people who have accepted Christ will stay on the right path throughout their lives. I trusted God that he will bring more workers into the harvest field because he desires people to receive salvation and relish eternal fellowship with him.
A few days after that, I received an unexpected message from a person I had been able to share the gospel with. As to my knowledge, she was hesitant to receive Christ that time. I couldn’t believe what I read on her message because she asked for a prayer! She told me that she has been praying for a job that will allow her to help her husband financially to pay the mortgage of their house. She mentioned that it’ll be a great blessing if the job she gets will allow her to have a work-life balance, so she can still have time with their kids. I told her that as we believe, receive him and his message, he gives us an opportunity to repent, be baptised and receive the gift of forgiveness and the Holy Spirit, which makes it possible for us to be born as God’s children. Just as her heart is always ready to give her kids freely all the things that they desire, even more God wants to lavish his love on his children by answering their prayers (John 1:12). She didn’t reply to my message for more than 15 minutes. I prayed and believed right there and then that God was moving in her heart. Her next message to me was another subject not related to what we talked about. Although she didn’t respond when I shared the importance of receiving Christ into her life, I have peace in my heart that in God’s perfect timing, she will be ready to receive our Saviour whole-heartedly because prayer isn’t about the answer. It’s about the opportunity to see God at work.
This experience leads me to realise that the more I pray, the more that I recognise that this is not my battle but the Lord’s. I know that when I go down on my knees, the battle is not over but it has just begun. I become more dependent on God, not on my capabilities or even not in my own passion that can just as easily dampen when things go out of my control. The more I cry out to God that I always need him to take control of all my witnessing and that I can’t do this alone (John 15:5), the more my passion for reaching out to the lost souls is growing! As a survivor who was saved by God’s grace, I won’t just sit and put a tanning lotion on my body while I can see other people drowning right in front of me!
Without a shadow of a doubt, as you commit everything to prayer, it changes you from the inside out! Just like Leonard Ravenhill put it, “To be much for God, we must be much with God.” He was right. Your inner spiritual life determines your usefulness to God. Acknowledge that prayer is the breath of life. Just as you need to breathe without ceasing, I encourage you to pray without ceasing. Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, was always obedient and diligent in prayer. If he prayed as much as he could, certainly we should.
If you want to keep your passion for evangelism alive, bend your knees in fellowship with our Lord. You can even pray while confined to a bed or a wheelchair. Just like how C.S. Lewis once mentioned, “I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God, it changes me.”