But we do not fight this war, this spiritual battle on our own. We fight it together with other Christians in the church and under the leadership and command of Christ. And we fight it with powerful weapons that God has provided for us. Prayer connects us with the unlimited resources of our Father in Heaven.
In evangelism we clearly see the need for prayer for this spiritual battle. When we read the Bible we see that prayer and evangelism are inextricably linked. This is because prayer fuels mission. Evangelism is a spiritual work, so we must pray for the Holy Spirit to open doors and hearts.
But how do we pray for evangelism? What do we pray for?
We are instructed by the Bible as to pray for gospel fruit. For example, we see the Apostle Paul, time and time again, asking for prayer so that the Gospel will advance. He prays that people would be converted to Christ.
And at this point we should be convicted. We might be a bit uncomfortable if we compared what we pray for with the focus of the Apostle’s prayers. Christians often bemoan the condition of society and even talk openly of the need for revival, while at the same time neglecting an essential ingredient in the recipe for gospel advancement: prayer.
Prayer fuels mission — because the Mission is God’s mission. We are simply asking him to do what we know he wants to do — and to do it through us.
Imagine what would happen in your life, your church family, your city, if you and other believers started praying like a missionary?
If we take the biblical narratives or the accounts from church history concerning revival we always see people praying. This is because gospel advancement is inextricably linked to Christians praying. It would be ignorant and arrogant for us to say that we want to see people won to Christ but not actually be praying for it.
Imagine what would happen if your church began to reflect the biblical priority of evangelistic prayer. People would begin talking and messaging each other with requests to pray for opportunities with neighbors, at work, with family and friends. The fabric of the church would be woven together with one ongoing prayer request for a revival of evangelical religion. We can do better than imagining this — Let’s find out!
Pray for laborers, pray for opportunities, pray for faithfulness and boldness, and pray for God’s blessing.
(This is an excerpt from Session 6 of Gospel Shaped Outreach which will be launched at the forthcoming Gospel Coalition conference in Florida. Click here for further details.)