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Prayer and Evangelism

by Dennis Fuqua

Everyone in the Christian world affirms the value of prayer as it relates to evangelism. But oftentimes when we pray we do not follow any biblical pattern. We pray more the way we have heard others pray or we pray about the way we think we should. There is nothing really wrong with that, but there may be a better route.

I have found only one place in the New Testament that give us an example of a believer praying for non-believers to become believers. In Romans 10:1, Paul says that his desire and prayer for his fellow Israelites is that they would be saved. This is a great example for us to follow. And we should follow it! But there are five other Biblical prayer instructions related to evangelism we should also be practicing. Our prayers will be more effective if we pray these themes as well.

Matthew 9:35-38 - In Matthew 9, after seeing the crowds as sheep without a shepherd, Jesus tells His followers to pray that the Lord of the harvest would raise up workers. Our evangelistic prayers should include that the Lord would raise up people who would be willing and able to “work” to present the Gospel. And notice that the next verses (Matthew 10:1ff) indicate that the ones praying this prayer are also to be the answer to this prayer.
Father, because we see the size and the seriousness of the harvest field, we ask you to raise up workers! Raise up people who will be willing to work as hard for the sake of Your profit as they would for their own profit. Also, Lord, make all of us who pray in this way willing and even desirous to be the answer to our prayers.

Colossians 4:3 – Paul’s primary request of the Colossians was that they would join him in asking God to give him opportunities to present the Gospel. Are we doing the same? Are we praying that God would give us open doors and are we asking other to make this request on our behalf?
Father, today as I accomplish the things on my agenda, let me see the doors you are opening for me to walk through. Bring me to where hungry people are. Let my steps intersect those who are looking for you. Open doors. Let me see those doors. And let me walk through them in your timing and power.

Colossians 4:4 – A second part of Paul’s request to the Colossians is that they would pray that Paul would present the Gospel clearly. What an interesting request from the man who wrote Romans! If Paul saw his need to always have a clear understanding of how to present the Gospel, how much more should we!
Father we know the Gospel. We have heard it and responded to it. But would you please let it be such a glorious message in us that we would see how to present it clearly in each situation we are in. May our thoughts about the Gospel reflect Your Gospel more than “our” gospel” Make it clear in my head and heart, so that it will be clear through my mouth.

Ephesians 6:19-20 –The most interesting request to me is the one Paul asks of the Ephesian church. He asks them to pray that he would present the Gospel boldly. Now, please note that this is not the “new convert” Saul. This is the mature Apostle Paul making this request! Again, if he saw this need in his life, how much more should we be willing to humble ourselves, recognize that we need boldness, and ask others to be praying for us?
Father, please make me bold to share the good news. Don’t let me shrink back. Without being obnoxious or misrepresenting You, let me be bold to share with others the best news of all time. And also let me follow the example of Paul to ask others to pray in this way for me too.

Philemon 1:6 – Finally, in Paul’s letter to Philemon, he prays specifically that he would be active in sharing his faith. And then Paul gives a reason why he is praying in this manner. He says, “so that you will have a full understanding of everything good we have in Christ.” Paul knew that when we share our faith, we become more aware of the wonderful things we have in Jesus!
Father, we want to have a fuller understanding of everything good we have in Christ. So help us to be active in sharing this faith you have given us. Let us not only wait until someone may ask us about our faith, but also let us be active to see when we may have an opportunity to share.

Are we praying that the Lord would raise up people (especially us) who would be willing to work to present the Gospel? Do we have people we have asked to pray that God would give us open doors, clarity, and boldness as we share our faith?

Originally from Gig Harbor, Washington, Dennis Fuqua received his Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Divinity degrees from Multnomah University. He served as a pastor of Peninsula Christian Fellowship in Gig Harbor for twenty-four years. Dennis began working as the director of International Renewal Ministries in February 2000. His leadership activities include facilitating prayer summits, equipping others, and developing and maintaining relationship connections with the network of people in IRM. He is also the author of Living Prayer: The Lord’s Prayer Alive in You. Dennis and his wife, Marilyn, have four grown children and five grandchildren.