There simply is no evangelistic strategy that can be fruitful without prayer, for ultimately salvation is God’s work. Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 3:6, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” Prayer, then, is fundamental to any approach to evangelism, but prayer itself is an unstoppable evangelistic strategy.
Here are five suggestions for becoming “God’s fellow workers” in prayer (1 Cor 3:9).
Pre-COVID-19, many believers were committing to pray daily for their ones, those who are close to us but as best we can discern still far from God. At least, we have not yet had a gospel conversation to know for sure. Why stop? You can join thousands of Baptists in committing to pray for your one by going to whosyourone.com.
Many of our ones are more open to the gospel right now than perhaps ever before. Keep praying that God might use this crisis to draw them to Him.
Every believer intuitively knows we should be praying by name for our lost friends and family members. It is not as intuitive to know how to pray evangelistically. In his book Serving in Your Church Prayer Ministry, Chuck Lawless provides a helpful acrostic. Here’s a summary for praying GOD’S HEART. You can also download a KBC prayer bookmark as a guide for praying evangelistically.
What better way to escape the house and yet maintain social distancing than prayer walking our neighborhoods? The math is simple. Warmer, longer days plus six weeks of the kids doing schoolwork at home equals a desperate need to get outside! I have been prayer walking my neighborhood using “A Pocket Guide to Prayer Walking.” You can order copies at kybaptist.org/prayer or download a PDF.
Last week I was able to share the gospel with three different families (from opposite sidewalks). After some chitchat, I held up the prayer guide and simply asked, “I am praying for our neighbors during this difficult time. Is there anything I can pray about for you?”
Christ Community Church is mobilizing to prayer walk all 500 streets in Shelbyville through #Pledge2Pray. Members text #P2Pray2020 and receive a link to a simple video training with Pastor Blake Lawyer. They then receive a street location and the aforementioned pocket guide. Once prayer walked, the street name is texted back and added to a Google map that helps the church celebrate during this online context. Lawyer celebrates the leadership of Darian Combs who helped the church prayer walk 100+ streets in 2019 but who is leading the church to pray for every street in 2020.
Crisis drives even the most skeptical hearts to prayer. Therefore, people are incredibly open and aware of their need for prayer right now. The Northern Kentucky Baptist Association, under the leadership of Associational Mission Strategist Jim Woolums, is providing a social media kit with bilingual customizable graphics for churches. They also set up praynky.org as a simple website where people can submit prayer requests. Social Media is a great place to provide daily prompts guiding believers in prayer, but initiatives such as #Pray4NKY remind us that those for whom we are praying are seeing the same feeds. Don’t make the mistake of never inviting them to join the conversation.
One of the keys to sharing the gospel more frequently is praying more faithfully and fervently. This is seen in Paul’s prayer request to the Ephesians, where he repeatedly asks for prayer that he would share “boldly, as I ought to speak” (Eph 6:19-20). I am praying for Kentucky Baptists. Please pray for me that we will share boldly, as we ought to speak.
ROB PATTERSON is the evangelism team leader for the Kentucky Baptist Convention.