Evangelism: it’s all about prayer
What comes to your mind when you hear the word “evangelism?” Do you think about overseas mission? Do you think about the need for strategy? Or perhaps you cringe at the word because it is something you really don’t think you do very well?Quite often when we think about evangelism, prayer is one of the last things to come to mind. Yet the reality is that nothing happens without the power of God. It is only with prayer and faith that the power of God is released into a situation. Last year, when we (the leaders of Cherrybrook Community Life Church) heard the word evangelism associated with the Jesus All About Life program, we were keen to be involved.
We wanted to unite with other churches across Sydney and be part of the campaign, but at the same time, we wanted to make sure that prayer was a very real and meaningful focus of whatever we did. When it came to evangelism, we wanted to shift the focus from strategy and programs and onto the power behind it all – prayer. Each week during the JAAL campaign we heard sermons on prayer. We also handed out prayer cards to help people focus their prayer for friends or connections who had not yet come to Jesus. We played DVD clips that featured people talking about the impact that prayer had made on their lives. These clips gave us all the chance to be encouraged by real stories of the power of prayer to change things.
One person spoke about the impact of knowing that his friend was praying for him before he had become a Christian. Another told a story about the breakthrough she had eventually seen in the life of a friend who was hardened towards Christianity and cynical about Christians. Still another told how the prayers of Christian friends in the midst of a terrible experience had radically changed her life and led to her conversion. Alongside the corporate focus on prayer in our Sunday services during the JAAL campaign, we developed and distributed devotional booklets so that people could focus on prayer and evangelism in their own time.
The devotions took people through a 21 day journey exploring what the Bible has to say about prayer and evangelism. The devotionals focused on topics such as the power of prayer, the witness that we are as Christians in our workplaces, the desire of God to reveal truth to not yet Christians, examining our own heart for the lost, as well as the action and persistence in prayer that is needed to bring change into a situation. Many people commented that the devotionals helped to bring them back to an important area that they had neglected to incorporate into their personal evangelistic strategy! Since our time of focus on prayer and evangelism, our church has had more people making prayer a priority when it comes to witnessing to their non-Christian friends. We “know” it is true but sometimes we need to be reminded – the prayer of the righteous is indeed powerful and elective!
Click here to check out Crossover’s Breaking Through Resource, an adapted version of this series for all churches!
Case Study (prac10): Evangelism – all about prayer. By Karina Kreminski, Senior Pastor at Cherrybrook Community Life Church.