Believers must not underestimate the necessity of prayer in evangelism. Jesus’s life was marked by prayer (Luke 5:16), and although in most cases we do not know the precise content of His prayers, His persistence in prayer demonstrated His dependence on the Father. A careful examination of the book of Acts also reveals how central and vital prayer was to the apostles and early church (Acts 1:14; 2:42; 4:23-31; 12:5; 16:25ff.).
In evangelism, prayer also demonstrates the believer’s dependence on God and the believer’s faith in God’s sovereignty in salvation. Thus, believers must petition God on their behalf and on behalf of unbelievers. They can also thank God for the privilege of being ambassadors for Jesus Christ. The following Scriptures reveal the importance of prayer in the believer’s evangelistic efforts and as it applies to the salvation of unbelievers:
1. Pray that God would help you to exhibit compassion for lost people when you have the opportunity (Matthew 9:36-10:1ff). Keep in mind that we can display compassion by meeting peoples’ spiritual needs (Mark 6:34) and physical needs (vv.35-44).
2. Pray for God to send forth laborers to the harvest. Then, be prepared for the possibility that God might use you as one of the laborers whom He sends (Matthew 9:36-10:1ff).
3. Pray that God would grant you the boldness to speak the gospel (Acts 4:24-31; Ephesians 6:19-20).
4. Pray that God would grant you opportunities to evangelize (Colossians 4:3). This prayer may entail God enabling you to be more aware of evangelistic opportunities and prompting you to seize them.
5. Pray that God would enable you to speak the gospel clearly (Colossians 4:3-4).
6. Pray for the salvation of unbelievers including those you evangelize (Romans 10:1).
7. Pray that God would cause you to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit in all your evangelistic interactions (Galatians 5:16, 22-23).
8. Pray that God would cause you to sanctify Christ as Lord in your heart, always being ready to explain to those who ask you about the hope that you possess, doing so with gentleness and reverence (1 Peter 3:15).
9. Pray that God would help you to live in a manner that reflects the saving power of the gospel. Although godly conduct is not evangelism, godly conduct causes unbelievers to glorify God (Matthew 5:16; 1 Peter 2:12), it reveals who Christ’s disciples are (John 13:35), and it puts revilers to shame (1 Peter 3:16).
Prayer and Evangelism