This summer the Evangelism Team invited us to read the book by Bill Hybels, “Just Walk Across the Room.” I hope you were able to read this wonderful book on evangelism. I especially hope you read the last chapter which talks about the importance of prayer and evangelism. In that last chapter Hyblels focuses on Colossians 4:2-6.
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”
Verse two says it all, “devote yourselves to prayer”. Hybels encourages us to pray, and to pray all the time. Wherever we may be, no matter what we may be doing, or how we may feel, we are encouraged to pray. Prayer needs to be our foundation for evangelism. He writes:
“Interestingly, in the short space of five verses, Paul gives away the secret to effective evangelism: if you ever hope to lead people to Christ, you have to be a person devoted to prayer. Prayer and effective evangelism, effective evangelism and prayer — the two are inextricably bound up. And in his [Paul’s] final instructions to the Colossians, he essentially says, ‘Don’t even think about doing the work of evangelism until you’re all prayed up!’”
Prayer and evangelism must go together. Of course, we could say that for all that we do here at ARPC. Prayer and Christian Education go together. Prayer and Music Ministry go together. Prayer and Missions go together. Prayer needs to be the foundation of all that we do. In just a few weeks Vacation Bible School will begin (July 16 — July 20). And just as Bill Hybles challenges us to pray and to be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit in the work of evangelism, I want to challenge you to pray for our VBS. Pray through Colossians 4:2-6 each and every day until the final day of Vacation Bible School.
- Pray that God will open doors during the week (vs 3). Pray that God will lead children in our community, our neighbors, and our family members to VBS.
- Pray that we proclaim the mystery of Christ and that we will proclaim it clearly (vs. 3 &4)! We may have several children and their families for whom English is not their native language. Let us pray that we can proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ in a way that everyone who comes can clearly understand the gospel.
- Pray that we will be wise in the way we act towards outsiders and that we will make the most of this opportunity (vs. 5). Pray for wisdom, pray for grace. We have an incredible opportunity to reach out to a specific group for one week. Let’s make the most of it!
- Pray that our conversations will always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that we may know how to answer everyone (vs. 6). Pray that we will be a church full of grace and love. Pray that we will know how to answer people’s questions about God.
- Pray about what God is calling you to do during the week of VBS. Maybe you are not involved in the life of ARP. Pray about joining us at VBS and at worship on Sunday mornings. Know that we are praying for you. If you are involved at ARP, pray about how God is calling you to serve him at VBS.
Pray, pray, pray! Pray that we will be used by God in whatever way he wants to use us for his glory. It’s exciting to think about what God can do through us. So please, each and every day, pray for Vacation Bible School. Pray for the children and their families who will join us for a week. Pray that doors will open. Pray that we will clearly preach the gospel. And pray that God’s grace may overflow from our hearts to those who have never experienced grace in their lives.
Let’s pray and see what God will do!