Marks of Effective Evangelism - Prayer

God wants His people to pursue the lost.  We have been studying God's heart for the lost through Luke's gospel. We have seen God's heart in Luke 14:1-14 and Luke 14:15-24 and Luke 15:1-10.  God wants us to reach the lost. Therefore it would be wise to think on what makes evangelism effective.  The first mark of effective evangelism,

Prayer

All effective evangelism is rooted and grounded in prayer.  Repentance is a gift from God. So we must plead with God to grant repentance.  Paul encourages the church of the Colossians to pray for him and his ministry. Colossians 4:2-4

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

The prayer ministry of the church has to be more than just for physical needs.  We need to pray for physical needs, because our physical bodies affect our souls, but they should not be prayed for more than our spiritual needs.  Our bodies will one day perish, but souls will never perish.  If we are going to invest our money, we want to invest it in an area that is going to produce the biggest return. If our prayers for physical healing are answered, they will give us a temporary return.  If our prayers for lost souls are saved, they will give us an eternal return.  We need to be wise in our use of prayer. 

            We also pray because our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces of darkness in the heavenly realms.  The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers (2 Cor. 4:4).  If someone is blind, they need a miracle. Blindness requires supernatural work.  Prayer is supernatural work that pushes back the gates of hell.  It should never be regulated to the “all I can do” category.  It must always be front and center. We must bend the ear of the Holy One to grant us favor with the lost.  We must pray that God opens the eyes of the blind so they can see the light of the gospel in the face of Christ. Ephesians 6:18-20, 

Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.


Notice how Paul asks again for the church to pray for the preaching of the gospel.  We must not regulate prayer to an afterthought, but move it to the front of our ministry.  Gospel power comes through gospel saturated prayer.

Steven Brazzell

Charlotte, NC