“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
As we are joining together as a new church plant, I want to encourage you to make the most of every opportunity you have to share the love of Christ with people. There are going to be many opportunities to share your faith and tell others about the glorious good news of Jesus Christ. But for many of us these conversations that occur in the grocery check out or local coffee shop about God do not feel like opportunities at all—they become more like panic attacks! Many of us want to share our faith with our unsaved friends and people we meet, but have aren’t quite sure how to go about it. So I want to share with you a practical strategy that I just found a while back from dare2share.org on how to be an ambassador for Christ and share the gospel with your unsaved friends in a very practical way. There are three steps to this strategy: 1.Pray, 2.Pursue, and 3.Persuade. This first segment will address the first topic: PRAY!
This makes sense doesn’t it? There are so many promises from God’s Word (Matt 7:7-11; John 15:7; Phil 4:6-7; Luke 18:1; 1 Thes 5:17; James 5:15-18) that confirm the power of prayer, yet it seems that many of us (including myself) forget to go to God first about our situations and try to take control of them ourselves. We will try to talk to people about God without talking to Him first. In Romans 10:1 Paul said that his “heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.” The word in this verse literally means begged. Paul wanted so desperately for his friends and brothers to receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior that he begged God to save them from their sin. When was the last time you begged God to save one of your unsaved friends?
There was a study done to find out what made an effective student evangelist. After studying, they discovered that the most effective student evangelist (meaning that the student reached the most of their unsaved friends for Christ) prayed every single day for his unsaved friends to come to know Christ. We are not all students, but we can see the same principle at work in our lives whether we are professionals, parents, or students. Paul said to the Colossian Church to devote themselves to prayer and to pray for him to have an opportunity to share Christ clearly with those that have not received Him. Before we start sharing with our unsaved friends, we need to start praying for them! Andrew Murray, South African minister and author, wrote, “Reading a book about prayer, listening to lectures and talking about it is very good, but it won’t teach you to pray. You get nothing without exercise, without practice. I might listen for a year to a professor of music playing the most beautiful music, but that won’t teach me to play an instrument.” So even as I write this article now and am praying that you might receive it and apply it, it is up to you how you respond and make your request known to God. I challenge you to pray for at least one of your unsaved friends every day and wait to see how God answers your prayers!