Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Prayer and Evangelism

It is apparently clear that many Christians don't evangelize, and even many leaders don't evangelize. This was touched on at a Desiring God Conference Q&A that I listened to today, though I wish it was moderated differently (breezing through too many questions). Much attention was given to Mark Dever's points on Evangelism, which seemed good, but naturally nothing new (especially for the ministers there).
I do believe the proper motivation must be there and it must be addressed. I believe a proper understanding of the gospel is great motivation. I believe a frequent understanding of the great mercy we have received will produce a desire to show mercy.
Yet something that doesn't receive enough attention is the grace of prayer as concerns evangelism. I'm not just speaking of prayer for salvations and prayer for boldness but much more. We must also diligently pray for divine opportunities, for divine enablement, and especially for divine compassion, without such we might have a correct view of the gospel and a proper view towards the glory of God but be quite void of a heart for souls.
Once again I would like to link how this relates to the local church. I do feel that as the local church and it's ministers are called to equip and lead by example, that the church must make a greater effort in this regard. I'm not suggesting events and witnessing teams, but heart work, that which will not be limited to a church function. Corporate prayer does play a major role in teaching individuals how to pray, think and live. Prayer that doesn't address spiritual concerns over and above natural is not a good model for the church. If the proportion of prayer time is given MOSTLY to health issues, economic concerns, and world crisis (like hunger) then it would seem only natural for the members to be primarily concerned with such things. Yet proper prayer should give greater attention to the REAL problems we face and society faces, the problems of sin and sinners.
Corporate prayer then should consistently seek God for salvations, for increase, for growth, for boldness, for revival, for a strong witness, for God to be exalted, for God to be seen and worshipped etc.. This way the church may be properly reminded of it's kingdom purpose, of the spiritual warfare present, where our focus should be and where our desires should be attached to. Not only does consistent prayer concerning evangelism give you a keener eye for opportunities, but it creates a God-given desire to see the lost saved.

My generation is not so heavenly minded that it is no earthly use, it is so earthly minded that it is of no heavenly use!-Leonard Ravenhill

2 comments:

Puritan

Amen, I've seen so many rush over prayer for what they consider more important duties.

One statement I disagree with though is "many Christians don't evangelize", I think I would add the word professing in there. When I hear figures like "only 2% of Christians share their faith", I think that's because 90-98% of them are not Christians.

Not everyone will go and preach or witness on the streets. But if we are following Jesus he makes us fishers of men, and people will be trying to reach family members, workmates, friends and neighbours.

It's impossible to love thy neighbour and be apathetic about where they're spending eternity.

Julius Mickel

Good point, I in general hate 'statistics say.'.
I'd would prefer to say then 'don't witness consistently' or 'don't witness enough' or/and 'don't witness well'.
Bless you bro

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