Prayer Evangelism

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Lauren, Sarah, Abby, Ava, Ethan, Jack and Sam are people you have never met and names that mean little to you. They are my grandchildren and mean everything to me. Since the day of their birth I have claimed each of them for Jesus. Almost daily I pray for them toward that end.

Every once in a while my theology kicks in and I wonder whether I can really do that, claim them for Jesus. I believe I can. I’m not sure that I can perfectly mesh together the sovereignty of God (election) and the choices we make, but I think there is reason to pray like this.

Remember the Lighthouse of Prayer movement we were involved with in the EFCC a few years ago? “A lighthouse is a person, family or small group committed to pray for, care for and share Christ with family members, friends, classmates, coworkers and neighbors, especially those who do not know him.” Hopefully some of us are still praying like this for our neighbors: five blessings for five people for five weeks. What if this became a way of life instead of a five-week program? What might happen if we claimed our neighbors for Jesus?

Read these biblical passages and ponder the following:

  1. What about authority to do this? (Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 1:8) Didn’t Jesus transfer some of his authority to his disciples and ultimately to us to make disciples in his name? Might not claiming others for Jesus in prayer be part of this?
  2. Need some motivation? (2 Peter 3:8-9) If God is this passionate about people coming to repentance, shouldn’t we be?
  3. What about some exhortation? (1 Timothy 2:1-4) Such praying is for everyone, ultimately with salvation in mind.
  4. What about expectations? (James 5:16-18) If Elijah could pray and stop the rain, shouldn’t we be able to powerfully pray and claim people for Jesus, expecting some to respond?

I see Peter and Cornelius in Acts 10 as an illustration of this. God connects us to people and calls us to respond to them. Cornelius was praying and God connected him to Peter (10:2, 30-31). Peter was praying and God connected him to Cornelius (10:9-10). True, God had to remove some barriers for salvation to happen, but it did.

So, if you are not already doing so, begin to pray for someone, and care for them and speak to them and claim them for Jesus.