Exercise in Evangelism 01 - Pray Before You Speak (Col. 4:2-3)
Exercise in Evangelism (01): Prayer and Evangelism
Col. 4:2–6 - Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; 3 praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; 4 that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak. 5 Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. 6 Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.
01) We must pray if we are to be obedient in evangelism (v2). Prayer is the spiritual foundation for sharing the Gospel. Evangelism should be done in a way consistent with the Gospel. Jesus is Lord and in control of all things. Therefore, our approach to sharing Christ with others must take this into account. We should be dependent on the Lord and ask Him to open hearts. Pray that God would open the heart of a new friend.
02) We must express thankfulness if we are to be obedient in evangelism (v2b). Such prayers are to overflow with gratitude. The Gospel calls people who are alienated from Christ and His people into a new way of living as part of His Body, therefore evangelism is essentially relational and must convey truth meaningfully to persons. As we express our faith with gratitude, then we distinguish ourselves from those without hope (1Pt. 3:15). Pray for an outsider with gratitude.
03) We must ask for an open door if we are to be obedient in evangelism (v3). Prayer opens the door for timely opportunities for evangelism.
The Order of the Mustard Seed founded by Count Zinzendorf had three guiding principles, namely:
1. Be kind to all people. 2. Seek their welfare. 3. Win them to Christ.
Paul asked specifically for an “open door” and thus recognized that God provides fruit at a harvest of His choosing (Acts 16:6-9). Be faithful to walk through the open doors with those whom God has put in your life.
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more