Who do you know who doesn’t know Jesus? Are you praying for them? Have you ever asked if you could pray with them?
Jesus said that He came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). By God’s grace, we used to be lost but now have been found by the one and only Savior. That’s good news for you and me, and now, Jesus sends us out to share good news with others and help them find their way home to the God who loves them.
The mission to seek and save the lost begins with and is fueled by our prayers.
During April and May, a group of church members gathered to discuss how we can grow in our moti-vation and ability to reach out to those who don’t yet know Jesus as their Savior. We read and discussed Or-ganic Outreach for Ordinary People, written by Kevin Harney, a pastor who has encouraged thousands of be-lievers to engage personally and comfortably in evangelism.
Evangelism might not sound like your cup of tea. Many believers struggle to know where to begin with sharing our faith or how to invite someone to follow Jesus. Let me encourage you to start with prayer.
We can all pray. We know how to lift up our own needs to God and how to trust Him with the needs of family and church friends. Many of us pause regularly throughout our days to pray for specific needs of the people we care about. We pray because we believe it makes a difference and that God changes lives in re-sponse to our prayers.
Prayer is essential to evangelism, and I believe you will see God work through you to reach the lost as you engage in two simple forms of outreach prayer.
First, spend a few minutes each day praying by name for the specific needs of people you know who aren’t yet followers of Jesus. Pray that their hearts will open to the Savior, but also pray for their daily needs. Pray that God will protect and provide for them. If you know of a specific burden they carry, ask God to help them. If they are ill, pray for healing. If they experience blessings, give thanks to God on their behalf. In other words, pray for the lost just as you pray for your family and church friends.
Second, be daring enough to offer to pray with your lost friends. If someone tells you they are facing a hard moment in life, ask if you could say a prayer for them. If you are daring enough to offer, they will almost certainly accept. Pray out loud, in Jesus’ name, just for a few seconds, using simple and faithful words.
“When you pray with an unbeliever,” Harney writes (p. 118), “all kinds of amazing things can happen. God’s presence can be felt as he draws near in the power of the Spirit. God’s power can be seen as prayers are answered. Spiritual seekers can see that your faith is real and you have a relationship (a friendship) with God.”
You already know how to pray, and you believe that prayer unleashes God’s power to change lives. By offering to pray with someone in need, you not only show them genuine faith in action, but you also open the door for real, Spirit-given blessings to flow into their lives.
Before you know it, you will be doing your part to share the love and message of Jesus with people in need.