THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN presuming and assuming—but neither is very helpful when it comes to prayer. When we presume, we operate as if something has happened—when it may not have happened. When we assume, we take responsibility for making something happen. We must not presume God will work through us apart from prayer or assume someone else will do our praying. Each of us must take responsibility for praying strategically and specifically for effectiveness in sharing the gospel. Fervent prayer is essential for personal evangelism. Since life is unscripted—you never know what a day will bring—you have to pray much and often for God’s guidance and power for witnessing.
This has been a hard lesson for me. I’m too self-sufficient for my own good. Writing about prayer is like me teaching a golf lesson. My skill level, described in golf jargon as a hacker, means I’m acquainted with the game but not qualified to teach it. I feel the same way about prayer. I pray, but I always feel inadequate in this area. I’m not a prayer warrior or great intercessor. Thankfully, you don’t have to depend on my insights or example (or anyone else’s for that matter) to learn how to pray related to evangelizing others. The Bible has clear instructions and timeless examples to help us in this important area.
When you pray about sharing your faith, you want to pray in a way you can be sure God hears and answers. Is this possible? Absolutely. The Bible says:
Now this is the confidence we have before Him: whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for (1 JOHN 5:14–15).
The key to powerful prayer is praying according to God’s will. The simplest and surest way to pray according to God’s will is to pray biblical prayers. If instructions to pray, requests for prayer, or actual prayers are found in the Bible, you can be sure they pass the “God’s will” test. When you base your praying on the following models, you can be confident God hears and answers. There’s no subject more important to God than reaching the lost. He wants unbelievers to become believers, so much He sent Jesus to redeem them and left us here to tell them about Jesus. People being converted are definitely God’s will. The New Testament has five specific prayer requests, instructions about prayer, and transcribed prayers modeling how to pray related to evangelism. Let’s look at these examples as we develop greater capacity to pray according to God’s will on the crucial issue of leading the lost to Jesus.
Jeff Iorg, Unscripted: Sharing the Gospel as Life Happens (Ashland, OH: New Hope Publishers, 2014).
Check out our Bible Study on the book by Jeff Iorg, Unscripted: Sharing the Gospel as Life Happens.
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