Mission Prayer—Because No One Can Do This Alone
An elderly pastor told me some of his story regarding his evangelism activity. Long retired but still active as a disciple, he would go to a bar at a ski lodge with regularity and sit at a table. His drink was sweetened water in a clear glass with three lemon slices.
He sat at his table with his drink and just waited. Some patrons of the bar would pass by and some would ask him, “What are you drinking? Is it vodka?” He would say, “Well, why don’t you ask the waitress what I am drinking. She knows.” She would come over and tell them about the drink because the pastor had taught the wait staff well.
She would say: “This is water and that reminds you of the water of baptism. There are three lemons that reminds you of the Trinity. And when you drink the water, it is sweet. This reminds you of the sweetness of Jesus.”
After that explanation, the pastor said it was unbelievable the conversations that were started about spiritual issues — about sin and death and life and forgiveness —and it all ended with talking about the love of Jesus. All of this happened because of a drink of sweet water and three lemon slices in a ski lodge bar.
Actually, there is one more thing to mention about the witnessing. The pastor said that he always prayed before he went in and sat down. He asked the Lord to open hearts and create the opportunity to talk about Jesus and His love for each person.
The ways and means by which we share our faith are as many as there are encounters with people. Whether it is at a table in a restaurant or in an airplane or at a coffee house or in a gym (you get the point), people struggle with life and with death. People wonder if there is meaning and purpose in all or even anything that they do. And more people than we might imagine really do want to talk about faith and Jesus.
I heard a comment about Jesus that reflects the culture. It went something like this: “Jesus is beautiful, but He is just too good to be true.” We have a beautiful message to share. We get to share it. But people can’t believe that it is true. That is why we pray. Our message is literally unbelieveable apart from the work of the Holy Spirit. That is why my retired pastor friend prayed before he witnessed.
That is why Paul prayed, and that is why Paul asked for prayer in his mission. Read just a few passages where Paul talked about and requested prayer: “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.” Rom. 10:1
Paul not only had a desire that people come to saving faith but he knew that apart from the movement of God in hearts and minds, his desire would never be realized.
“Pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ.” Col 4:2
“Pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you.” 2 Thess.3:1
Put another way, Paul is saying to pray so that others will come to faith by the Word just as you came to faith by the Word. “I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.” Philemon 6
Paul is not asking for prayer but is assuring another disciple that he is praying for him as he enters the mission.
That is why we pray for the mission. We are not in this alone. There is no effective movement of the Gospel without the effective movement of God. It is God that opens doors and turns hearts toward Himself.
I invite you to join hundreds of disciples in the Texas district who are praying for the mission. You can become one who simply asks God to draw people to Himself, using the many ways that Jesus can be communicated.
We pray because our message is literally unbelievable.
By: Rev. Steve Misch
Mission and Ministry Facilitator, Area A