As true, growing believers we should regard evangelism as our duty and responsibility. Moreover, as Christians, we should grow to have a deep concern for the lost, and a joyful excitement about sharing our faith. If we lack these three qualities, that is, if you think you might be too casual and carefree in this area, you can always pray about it and expect God to change your heart. Here are three prayer requests for the casual Christian:
To see our duty and responsibility to witness. We must never think that God’s call to us is optional—He commands us to go and be witnesses (Matt. 28:19). This means that witnessing is our duty and responsibility. Yes, He has put a heavy weight on us. He has committed to us the ministry of reconciliation, by which we as His ambassadors are to reconcile the world to Himself (2 Cor. 5:18-19).
Pray that you will see your duty and responsibility to witness. But also, be encouraged that with your responsibility He will lighten your load and give you rest. For He says to us, “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt. 11:29-30).
To be concerned for the lost. If you want to have a bold witness to the lost, you must be lovingly concerned for them. Therefore, in your prayers for others, always seek the highest good for them as Jesus did—this, of course, is that people would find salvation so that they won’t perish (Jn. 3:16). And we must also pray that God would help us to lead them.
But in our prayers for them, let us never forget to pray for their felt needs, and that God would help us to meet those needs. This is so important for their sakes, so that they will sense that we care and that God cares. Accordingly, our intention and prayer is that these acts of kindness will serve as links to their salvation.
Let us, therefore, by faith put on the loving compassion of Christ. I like what Morris Chalfant has said in an article that he wrote entitled, Evangelism with a Passion. He said,
To put on Christ (Gal. 3:27) means to put on the sensitivity of Christ. It means concern, compassion, and a passion for the lost. It is good for us to compare our compassion and concern for others with that of Jesus. How long has it been since you wept over the community in which you live? How long since you wept over the spiritual needs of the church? It was Jesus’ deep, yearning, compassionate love for men, which drew them to Him. And to the extent this love and compassion motivates us, we will make our testimony felt. Every man understands the language of love on fire.2
So let us immediately pray for these things—that we would be concerned for the lost as Jesus was. Let us pray that we will seek the highest good for others; and in doing so, that we will seek to meet their felt needs. Thus let us pray for faith to put on Christ, so that He will give us His own compassion, along with a loving and holy boldness.
To be excited about witnessing. There is nothing more thrilling, more exhilarating than the experience of the power of the Holy Spirit in us when we witness. But, though witnessing is sometimes a struggle and can be quite difficult (e. g. warning people about hell), because it is a message of good news, the most exciting part, I think, is the joy of seeing a lost soul saved—delivered out of the power of darkness and conveyed into the Kingdom of the Son of God’s love (Col. 1:13).
How exciting is that? It’s wonderful! Witnessing I think is the most joyful, exciting assignment we have on this earth. So why are most Christians afraid of doing it, and shy away from it? What makes it so hard and unexciting?
Well, the answer is that we have been duped; Satan has told us a lie. He has convinced society, and society has told us that we ought not to get excited about religion. Even some of our church leaders say it to us. They say it by their lack of witness; and they say it by their own attitude regarding witnessing.
So what can we do? How can we get excited about witnessing? The answer is to pray for the Holy Spirit to excite us and to give us the desire for it. Pray also that He would give us the faith to just do it—regardless of the lack of desire we may have. If these are your prayer requests, you can be sure that God will answer you, for witnessing is always on His heart.
2 Morris Chalfant, “Evangelism with a Passion,” Herold of His Coming, July, 2000, p. 3.