The following article is an excerpt from this book.
If you really want to share Christ with people and see them come to Christ you must have a plan. I suggest that you do these four things: first, prepare your heart with prayer; second, make a list of those you want to witness to; third, make for yourself the opportunity to witness; and fourth, pray regularly for those you have on your list.
KEEP YOURSELF PREPARED
I suppose the best strategy for evangelism is to keep yourself prepared. A good way to start is to regularly pray for yourself.
- Ask God to make you aware of the harvest, to make you a willing worker, and to send you out into His harvest field.
- Ask God to help you see the certainty of eternity and the horrors of hell.
- Ask God to help you feel the urgency of His call to witness.
- Ask God to help you see your responsibility to witness.
- Ask God to help you be concerned for the lost, that you would have the same love for them that Jesus had.
- Ask God to make you excited about witnessing—to give you positive thoughts about witnessing.
- Ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit and make you bold—filled with faith, hope and love.
- Ask God to guide you in witnessing—to lead you to those He has prepared, and to guide you in what to say, that you would speak with wisdom, compassion and grace.
- Ask God to help you believe Him for conversions—that you would have the faith to wait on His time and the persistence to keep loving and praying for those lost souls until He tells you to stop.
- Ask God to be close to you—to show you His will and His ways; and to show you how to witness (Read Matt. 4:19).
KEEP A LIST
Ask God to put on your mind those He wants you to witness to, those whom He will prepare for you. Usually they will be those whom He has placed within your sphere of personal influence. Thus, when He puts someone on your mind, put him or her on your prayer list and begin praying for them regularly and fervently. Your goal in praying for them is (1) that God would open a door for you (or for anyone) to witness to them, and (2) that they would receive Christ.
MAKE THE OPPORTUNITY
There is no excuse for any Christian not to witness, because we can actually make our own opportunities to witness. Here are five ways we can make opportunities to witness:
1. Be friendly and demonstrate a sincere interest in all people. Just as Jesus was a friend to all, even to publicans and sinners (Lu. 15:1), we too should be friendly to everyone. Loren Sanny said in his Art of Personal Witnessing, “A friendly attitude will open up many a door to our witness for Christ.”
2. Be helpful to people, especially when they have urgent needs. Again, be like the Lord Jesus who “went about doing good (Acts 10:38). Tell them you will pray for them about their needs. And don’t be concerned that they will reject you or think you odd for wanting to pray for them. In fact, they will probably appreciate it even if they aren’t “Christians, because prayer is common to all religions.
Furthermore, even if they don’t understand what true prayer is about, your wanting to pray for them may open up a door for you to witness, or at least to talk to them about prayer.
3. Find things in people that you admire and compliment them. When you genuinely appreciate something about a person they will know it, and they will thank you by opening a door to you.
4. Discover what people are interested in and seek to share their interests. If they sense you have a genuine interest in what they are interested in you will gain them as a friend and win their confidence in you.
5. Share with them your testimony. No one can argue with an honest testimony. It will make people curious to here more, and will bring power to your witness.
First, find out their felt needs and pray for those. As I mentioned above, if their needs are met and they suspect that God had a part in meeting them, it may open a door to your witness and help to turn them to God.
Next, pray for them these nine things:
- That the Holy Spirit would prepare them to hear and receive the gospel.
- That the strongholds of Satan would be torn down in their life; that is, that Satan would be bound and that they would be released from captivity—liberated from his power. Claim in prayer the victory of Christ over Satan and the potential victory for every lost soul.
- That the Holy Spirit would help them to see their lostness—that because of their sin they are eternally separated from God.
- That they would see the awful horrors of hell and that they are fast headed there.
- That they would see the signs of the times and that God’s judgment is coming soon.
- Pray that the Holy Spirit would help them to see God’s great love and that His love would compel them to repent.
- That the Holy Spirit would continue His ministry before your witness, during your witness, and long after your witness.
- That the Holy Spirit would grant them the gift of repentance.
- That the Holy Spirit would help them to make a decision for Christ, that He would free them from any tormenting doubts.
This information is an excerpt from my book Prayer A to Z.