3 prayer requests for an effective witness

 

There is no need for any Christian to worry about whether his witness will be effective. Pray these three things and trust the Lord to do His work.

 

For the Holy Spirit to continue His work long after your witness.  If the Holy Spirit has led you with boldness to witness to someone, you can believe that He has also been ministering to that person—that is, all along the way He has been preparing that person’s heart to hear the gospel.  Bit by bit He has been liberating that one’s mind and heart from the power of Satan; He has been helping them to see their own lostness, to see that time is short, and to see God’s love.

Let me urge you to keep praying for that lost one. Pray that throughout your witness and even after you witness, that the Holy Spirit would continue His ministry of drawing that one to Christ.  Our witness may be short, or in some cases long and continuous; but prayer must continue even longer; and the ministry of the Holy Spirit will continue longer still.  So pray that way. Pray that the Holy Spirit would carry on His work long after our witness and prayers have ended.  

 

For the Holy Spirit to grant repentance to the ones you witness to.  This request I think should be the one we focus on most, for without repentance people remain in their sin.  But with repentance we leave the old life behind and we begin to trust in the Savior.  Repentance therefore is the key that unlocks the door to receive God’s grace.  Moreover, it is the way out of darkness and into the light.  According to 2 Timothy 2:26, repentance is what brings them to their senses so that they are able to escape the snare of the devil.

Let us pray then in this regard (as 2 Tim. 2:25 indicates), that God will grant them repentance so that they may know the truth. And let us take note of what Jerry Wiles has said: “You can lead people to the light.  But only the Holy Spirit can compel them to open their eyes.  You can speak words of truth to others.  But only the Holy Spirit can open their ears and their hearts to truly hear your message.”11  He does it through repentance, which He grants them.  Thus repentance is a gift of God.  It comes to us according to the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:7-9).  Praise God for His wonderful gift of repentance and grace, given to all those who will receive it.

 

For the Holy Spirit to help those you witness to, to make a decision for Christ.  I have often found in my witnessing experience that though the Holy Spirit has helped people to see the truth, they are not always willing to repent fully, because they still have doubts and fears about making a decision for Christ.  They will often express that the gospel “makes sense” and that they “want to” receive Christ but that they are just “not ready” or they just “don’t know for sure yet.”

Jerry Wiles, in his book, suggests that if this happens—and it almost always does—we should ask the person if we can pray with him that he would have the freedom to make the decision.  Here is his suggested prayer:

Heavenly Father, I ask You to free [the persons name], in the name of Jesus, from any tormenting thoughts or plaguing doubts that are keeping [the persons name] from making a decision to receive Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, in his heart as his Savior and Lord12

 

11 Jerry Wiles, How to Win Others to Christ, p. 30.

12 Ibid., p. 136.

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Pray for the Holy Spirit to Open Eyes to See Four Things

 

For those we are witnessing to, we should pray that the Holy Spirit would open their spiritual eyes to see these four things:

 

1  That they would see that they are lost.  By lost I mean those who are separated from God because of their sin—for the wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23).  They are lost not because they have sinned (for all have sinned), but because they have not found a remedy for their sin.  I think a good description of the lost are those who don’t know the truth and therefore can’t find their way to God.

Pray that the Holy Spirit would help them to see their sin and to see that God’s penalty for sin is eternal separation from Him.

 

2  That they would see the certainty of hell.  As we have already discussed, the horrors of hell are certain for all that don’t have a personal relationship with God and with His Son Jesus Christ.  Pray for all the lost, but especially for those you have witnessed to or will witness to, that they will see the certainty and the horrors of hell and that they are rapidly approaching that destination.

 

3  That they would see the urgency of the time.  Pray for non-believers to see the signs of the times, and that when they see these things—such as, the increase in ungodliness (2 Tim. 3:1-5), wars, famines, and earthquakes—they will realize that their time on earth is short, that judgment is coming soon, and that they will not escape it unless they repent (Heb. 9:27).

 

4  That they would see God’s love.  There are two ways to motivate a person to believe. One way is by showing him what will happen if he doesn’t believe—explaining to him the consequences of his sin.  The other way is by telling him what will happen if he does believe—unfolding to him the grace and mercy of God.  Some say, the only way to get a person to repent is by showing him the law—by scaring him!  Well, I think that will work up to a point; but through it all, we need to show him God’s love.  Love is always the supreme motivator.  I myself was motivated to receive Christ not by thinking of hell so much, but much more by thinking of heaven, by contemplating how exciting heaven will be.  And the one who talked to me about heaven (my camp counselor) did it out of love. 

Remember the story of the prodigal son (Lu. 15:11-32)?  There are two reasons why the son returned home.  One reason was because he was hungry, tired and disgusted with the way his life was going.  But the other reason, which I think was the prime motivator, was because he remembered how good he had it before—he remembered the love of his father.

In our witnessing and in all we do with people, we should always show love to them, especially to our own children and to those we spend time with—because love will draw people to Christ like nothing else will.

Pray that your lost friends will see God’s great compassion, and that He is slow to anger and abounding in love (Ps. 86:15).  Pray especially that they will see the love of God in you, and that they will recognize that you are one of His disciples (Jn. 13:34-35).  Then hopefully some day they will seek your help and counsel regarding spiritual matters.

 

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Pray about the Green New Deal

I was uncertain which of my blogs to put this under: my prophecy blog, my political blog, my nature blog or my prayer blog.  I chose this prayer blog (at least for a starter) because, well, I really don’t know how to consider it. I can’t take it seriously or I’ll go crazy. Yet I don’t want to take it too lightly, or it may just happen under my nose without me knowing it. So I think I will choose to pray over it. And no matter what happens, if I trust the Lord and leave it to Him, I won’t worry about it. Even if I think He wants me to fight it, I won’t worry about it, because it will be under His control.

So here is this Green New Deal—the Dem’s radical plan to save the world, or at least this country. It is a plan to combat climate change and eliminate all U. S. carbon emissions. The plan is most talked about by Ocasio-Cortez, and she has many Dem’s eating out of her hand. She is very excited about it, even though I’m not sure she knows what she is talking about.

 

Discontinue the use of all gas-powered engines.

  • No more gas powered cars.
  • No more airplanes.
  • No more gas-powered tractors and all farm equipment.
  • No more gas powered lawn mowers.
  • No more gas powered military vehicles.

Replace all gas powered cars and vehicles with electric power.

  • Must install electric charging stations all over the place.

Replace airplanes with electric or solar trains.

  • Must build train tracks all over the place. Think of it!

Rebuild and retrofit all buildings and houses. Now that will take some doing and will be quite expensive.

Will need to install windmills and solar panels everywhere. There will be a windmill in every back yard. Think of it!

Eliminate all farting cows. Don’t all cows fart? I think so. So we will have to kill them all. What about pigs and sheep and goats and horses. I think they all fart. Kill them all!

What about people? Don’t people pass gas? Yes they do. God forbid, we can’t kill people. We will have to teach people how not to fart. Yes, we will need to have anti-fart classes for all people.

Provide healthy food for everyone. Since most animals will be eliminated (killed), I think everyone will go vegetarian. There will be no choice. Oh there will still be fish. Thank God.

Nature access for all. There will be a nature park on every block. Yes we will see a lot of nature.

Free health care for all.

Free job training and education for all (grade school, high school, and college).

There will be government jobs for all.

Paid vacations for all.

The government will provide for everyone who is unable or unwilling to work.

 

Questions

  1. If we have no more airplanes how will we travel overseas?
  2. How will we be able to pay for all these changes?
  3. Even if we can eliminates all man made carbon emissions, what about nature made carbon, like from volcanoes and wild fires, etc.?
  4. What about all the people who aren’t crazy about this new plan? What if they don’t agree with it? How will it be enforced?
  5. If the military isn’t able to come up with all electric vehicles won’t that weaken our military strength? Won’t we be sitting ducks for other countries to invade us.
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Pray for Starving People in Venezuela

The illegitimate dictator of socialist Venezuela is starving the people. And he is refusing humanitarian aid from the U.S. and Canada. The Venezuelan military is now barricading a key bridge from Colombia that would allow millions of $ of food and medical shipments to aid the people. But Maduro will not allow it in. Why? Because he is too proud! Saying, Venezuela isn’t a nation of beggars. Clearly he has no regard for the welfare of his people, who are starving and going without badly needed medical aid.

Please pray for the people of Venezuela.

Pray also that the military will come to the senses and come to the side of Guaido, who if the legitimate leader.

Pray for the United States and the 40 countries who back Guaido—that God would give us wisdom to know what to do, How to take down Maduro and restore Guaido to full power.

Pray that many countries of the world will see this socialist government for what it is and to resolve never to have a socialist government.

Pray that we in America will resolve with President Trump that…

we will never be a Socialist Country!

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Two Things to Pray For Those We Intend To Witness To 

 Notice that these requests pertain to their liberty: that they would be free from the bonds of Satan—to hear and receive the gospel.

 

First request: that the Holy Spirit would prepare the soil of their heart for the seed of the gospel. 

 Preparation is so important.  As the farmer prepares the soil (as he turns the ground over with the plow, runs the disc and the rake over the ground, and fertilizes and waters the soil so that the seed he plants will germinate) so must the Holy Spirit prepare the heart of the lost soul to receive the seed of the gospel.  For the Word of God will not be heard, will not penetrate a heart that is hard and callused by sin.  Therefore, let us pray for the Holy Spirit to begin that process of preparing the soil of hearts, especially of those you plan to witness to. (Read Matt. 13:5-23, Acts 16:14, and Isa. 55:9-11; notice the preparation process here, how God prepares the heart.  Read also 1 Cor. 6:11, 2 Thess. 2:13, and 1 Pet. 1:2.  Notice in these verses the order of things: how sanctification comes before justification and salvation.  Thus God first sets apart the sinner and prepares the heart before salvation takes place.)

 

Second request: that they would be liberated from the power of Satan. 

 The first step in preparing one to hear and receive the gospel is to remove the barriers against him.  In the illustration of the farmer and the soil, those barriers would be the rocks, the hard unplowed and unwatered ground, the pesky weeds and thistles, and even the insects and the cut worms, hence, all the things that would keep the seed from germinating.  The real barriers that come against a potential convert are the demons, the evil world (and all the things in the world), and the sinful flesh.

By these things Satan keeps lost souls enslaved and held captive to do his will (2 Timothy 2:26).  In fact,  Luke 11:21 tells us that Satan, being fully armed, stands watch over them, guarding them day and night to make sure they don’t escape.

This captivity is seen vividly in 1 John 5:19.  Here it says, “…the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.”  According to Dunn, “The Greek verb translated ‘lies’ conveys the picture of a mother cradling her baby in her arms and rocking it to sleep.  That is a vivid picture of the lost—cradled in the arms of Satan, helplessly and hopelessly being lulled to sleep.”8  Therefore, Satan has his captives (all non-Christians) hypnotized, under his evil spell, empowered by him to do his evil deeds.

In Ephesians 2:2, Paul tells the Ephesians that when they were dead in their trespasses and sins, they “…walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.”  According to Dunn, “The word translated ‘works’ here is literally ‘energizes,’ and is used elsewhere of the Holy Spirit’s activity in the believer.   The unsaved person is therefore energized by the spirit of the devil.”9

I think it is quite interesting here, that the devil energizes the unsaved just as the Holy Spirit energizes the saved.  Thus there is a definite power in evil, and those who give themselves to the devil will be energized by that power—I suppose in proportion to how much they give themselves over to him.

So how should we pray for them so they will be liberated from the power of Satan?

First we need to claim in prayer the victory of Christ over Satan, and likewise the potential victory for all unsaved people.  And the reason that there is hope for all people to be saved is because Jesus died for all people, and He gained victory over Satan on behalf of all people.  1 John 2:2 tells us that “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world.”

Here are five wonderful things that happened at the moment of Jesus death and resurrection—things that we need to remember in prayer as we pray for the salvation of the lost:

(1)  God disarmed Satan and all the rulers and authorities under Him (Col. 2:15).

(2)  He not only disarmed them; He made a public display of them, triumphing over them, through Christ (Col. 2:15).

(3) He, having overcome all time-barriers, delivered from the captivity of Satan all who have and will repent, bringing them into a life of freedom in Christ (Eph. 4:8).

(4)  He also has cancelled out the debt of sin for those who have and will repent, having nailed it to the cross (Col. 2:14).

(5)  He continues to lead all believers in His triumph as they emit a sweet aroma of victory in Him (2 Cor. 2:14).

I should note here that Satan and his demons and all the powers of evil were not eliminated at the cross, but the cross sealed their doom.10  For now, however, in order for that power to be actually broken we must appropriate the victory that is ours in Christ.  Thus we can claim that if God has bound Satan in heaven (in our life and for others) then we can bind Satan in our prayers (for ourselves and for others) on earth.  And if He has already loosed us from captivity in His own mind in heaven, then we can do it in our prayers (for ourselves and for others) on earth (Matt. 6:10; 18:18).

Therefore, let us pray according to the victory of Christ and according to the authority of the Word of God, that Satan would be bound and that the lost souls who are suffering in captivity would be released.

Moreover, as we pray for captives to be released we can pray more specifically that the strongholds of Satan be torn down.  These strongholds may be viewed as the bars of the cage that Satan has them in, or as the chains that bind them, or as the spell that he has them under.  Thus let us pray that the chains be broken off, and that the spell on them be broken.  Let us pray that their blindness be removed; hence, that they would see the error of false doctrine, and that all false teachers would be exposed for what they are.

 

8 Ronald Dunn, Don’t just Stand Their Pray Something (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1959), p. 120.

9 Ibid., p. 120.

10 Everett Harrison, Colossians Christ All-Sufficient (Chicago: Moody Press, 1971), p. 63.

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Prayer for Three Essentials in Witnessing

 

Three absolute essentials for witnessing are these: guidance, faith, and to keep a close relationship with God.

 For guidance in witnessing.  As we go out, boldly, into the world to witness, we need guidance.  Many (including myself) have witnessed boldly but have miserably failed because they lacked guidance.

In this regard, I urge you fellow believers to make Christ Lord in your heart, and pray that He would prepare your heart to witness—that He would make you willing and able to witness (1 Pet. 3:15); also, that He would fill you with knowledge and discernment, and that you would be so full of the love and compassion of Christ that others would see it and give glory to God (Matt. 5:16).

Secondly, with your heart more prepared, pray for the Holy Spirit to lead you to those He wants you to witness to—to those He has prepared and made ready to hear the gospel.  Moreover, pray that He would open doors, and that He would allow your eyes to see those open doors as the opportunities He has given you—in fact, as divine appointments He has prepared for you.

Last, pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you in exactly what to say, that you would speak according to the discernment He gives you, but also according to the love and compassion He puts in you, speaking every word with grace, seasoned with salt (Col. 4:6).

As to discernment, I think it would be beneficial to know how much effect the Word of God has had on the person’s life over the years.  Jesus’ parable of the soils may be of some help here (Luke 8:4-15).  If you can find out (according to the parable) if their heart has been either hard, rocky or thorny you may be able to discern what effect the Word has had on their life and what has happened to the Word.  It may help to talk to the person and ask them why they regard the Word as they do and why they believe as they do, that is, ask them if there was anything or any event that influenced their beliefs.    

For faith in witnessing.  Besides boldness and guidance there remains one more thing we need, faith—faith to believe God for conversions.  This is not just a blind trust; it is a faith that is patient and waits on Him, and is persistent in works—for faith without works is dead.  Therefore, in our faith, believe God to save lost souls, waiting on Him to give them new life, but also be busy loving them and praying for them.

To keep a close relationship with God.  As we seek God regarding how to witness, I would say that we ought to pray mainly to be faithful in our relationship to Him.  It is the best way to know His heart on witnessing, therefore, the best way to get good results.

Conversely, if we do not keep a close relationship with Him, and pray about it, it is prove that we are just going through the motions of witnessing—not doing it to please Him but to glorify ourselves, to make ourselves look righteous or religious.  Moreover, if our relationship is not right with Him, ultimately all our prayers and attempts at witnessing will break down, and our self-righteousness will eventually become evident.

 

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Three Ways to Be Bolder In Witnessing

 

All the things we have discussed so far in previous blogs, with the resolve to pray over them, will help us with boldness.  Being aware of the harvest will make us more compassionate in our boldness.  Seeing the horrors of hell, the shortness of the time, and our grave responsibility to witness will make us more urgent in our boldness.  But I think the most helpful thing is to have a Christ-like love for the lost and to be excited to share with them. This is what I think we should really concentrate on.

With that said, I would like to talk more now on love, then on hope, and last on faith in an effort to make us bolder in witnessing.

 

Boldness by love.  Jerry Wiles says that boldness is “born of love.”  He says, “Lack of boldness is very likely related to a lack of love for others.”3

Wiles quotes from 1 John 4:17-18: “Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts our fear, because fear involves torment.  But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”4

How can we be made perfect in love?  The only way I know of is by accepting or putting on the love of Christ, because His love is a love that is perfect.  It is a selfless love, which is a sacrificial love.  It is a love, says Andrew Murray, “[that] will become in us the spirit of intercession…”5  Hence, it is a love that is always sacrificially praying for others.  We get this love through reading the Bible and by observing His love, next by accepting it and by obeying it.  The greatest way Christ loved us is by dying for us on the cross.  And that is the way we must love God and others—by giving up our life as He did.

Moishe Rosen has written about this sacrificial love and how it helps us with boldness.  He writes,

Those of us who have encountered that passionate Calvary love and wholeheartedly desire to serve Him must do likewise.  We must take up the cross and be crucified with Christ.  Success in serving God demands a willingness to endure rejection, ignominy, humiliation and death to self.  A crucified person can afford to be bold.  Some of the greatest truths have come from the lips of those who awaited the hangman’s noose or stood lashed to a burning stake.  One’s own death is a great incentive to speak directly and truthfully, even concisely.  Those soon to be dead have no trouble telling the truth with proper zeal.  Boldness springs not only from being right, but from having nothing to loose by stating what is right.  The consciousness of eternity’s value structure rather that our earthly value structure gives us the courage to act boldly.6

 

Boldness by hope.  Rosen later goes on to say, “[Though boldness is always] willing to suffer loss and to risk pain,…it does not allow its possessor to dwell morbidly on thoughts of pain, loss or death.  It sees beyond the present life, beyond the curtains of tears.  It sees into eternity, where there is victory, triumph and unending joy in the presence of our loving God.”7  Thus boldness is always full of hope, hope that God will remain with us as our advocate—to help us out of any trouble.

Listen to David, from Psalms 59:16-17, as he sings this beautiful song of hope and boldness:   “…I will sing of Your power; Yes, I will sing aloud of Your mercy in the morning; for You have been my defense and refuge in the day of trouble.  To You, O My Strength, I will sing praise; for God is my defense, My God of mercy.”

 

Boldness by faith.  Ultimately boldness requires faith, faith because we must believe that when we pray for God to fill us with the Holy Spirit and make us bold, He will actually do it.  And we must believe that when He fills us He will also help us to overcome the satanic powers against us, and will empower us with courage and with the great love of God for others.  We have a wonderful example of this in Acts 4:29-31.  Here, Peter, John, and all those who were gathered for prayer prayed for boldness to speak the Word of God.  And verse 31 says, “And when they prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the Word of God with boldness.”  Let us pray with faith for this same boldness.

 

3 Jerry Wiles, How to Win Others to Christ, p. 56.

4 Ibid., p. 56.

5 Wesley Duewel, Mighty Prevailing Prayer (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Francis Asbury Press, of Zondervan Publishing House, 1990), p. 74.

6 Moishe Rosen, “Holy Boldness – Toward Bolder Witnessing,” Harold of His Coming, Oct., 1997, p. 3.

7 Ibid., p.3.

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