If you want to know what your priorities are, what is important to you, what you’re concerned about or what your passions are, just think about your prayer life — you will always pray about the things that matter to you. Likewise, if you want to realign your priorities, change what is important to you or increase your passion for evangelism you must refocus your prayer life. Consider taking these few steps:
- Ask people to pray for your witness.
In Colossians 4:3 the apostle Paul asks his fellow believers to pray for his witness.
He says, “pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—4that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.”
The apostle Paul knew that God was the only one who could provide the opportunity for him to share the good news of Jesus. He also knew he was sent by God to be a witness for Christ and valued the prayers of his brothers and sisters in Christ. In fact, in almost all of the Apostle Paul’s teaching concerning prayer he talks about praying for the believer in their witness. Who could you ask today to commit to praying for your witness?
- Pray with others about their witness
When was the last time you prayed with a brother or sister in Christ about their witness to their friends or family who don’t know Jesus? When did you last pray with the people in your small group for their circle of relationships or key people they know?
When you pray together that God would open a door to connect with a neighbor, or when you pray together for God to provide an opportunity to have a spiritual conversation with a work colleague and those opportunities present themselves, what do you think this does to your faith? Suddenly the reality of God at work through your prayers in the lives of others ignites a flame that is not easily extinguished; the impossible now seems possible. The result? Your faith in God grows, your passion for evangelism increases and you find yourself looking for encounters to engage with people who don’t know Jesus.
- Pray before you encounter others that God would use you to help others encounter Him.
Time and time again in the gospels we see Jesus rising early to spend time with the father in prayer. I wonder what those conversations were like between the Father and the Son. I could imagine that Jesus would be seeking his Father’s will and asking for opportunities that day to help people encounter him.
Praying before we encounter others who don’t know Jesus does a few things. It aligns us with what God desires to do through us today. It helps us to seek the opportunities God has orchestrated for us, and it prepares us for when those opportunities come.
How often have you had the situation when someone asked you a question about your faith and you just froze and thought later, “Ah! I could have said this… or that!” How could those situations have been different if you had been preparing yourself prayerfully before that encounter presented itself? Instead of freezing, maybe you would have realised “OK God, you have given me this opportunity, how do you want me to respond?”
If you want to keep your passion for evangelism:
- Ask people to pray for your witness,
- pray with others about their witness, and
- pray before you encounter others that God would use you to help them encounter him.
When you pray in this way, it become a priority, something important to you, and you become passionate about evangelism.