This is part two in a series on missional living made simple.
My tendency is to jump into mission headfirst. “We’re supposed to be on mission- LET’S DO IT!” Many times I fall flat on my face and don’t see any fruit when I approach this way. Or I’m just anxious to see progress and results and jump ahead of things. When this happens, I’m reminded of Jesus words to the crowds around him in John 6:44:
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.”
I’m reminded that God is the one who works to draw people to his son. That his spirit is continually calling people to come to Jesus. Calling people isn’t my job. My job is to listen to the Spirit of God and respond to his leading (John 16:13). His leading could be any one of these small steps, and prayer helps me tune into the spirit and his leading! Prayer asks God to draw specific people to himself. It’s so vital to begin with prayer, because without prayer, we might think we’re “on mission” when we’re only serving ourselves (Matthew 7:21-23).
Challenge: Begin to pray for a few people that God has placed in your life. Think of people who are far from God, hurt, lonely, confused, bitter. They could be co-workers, neighbors, baristas, relatives. Last week, I made sure to get the first names of workers at the deli, coffee shop, and a restaurant that I visit often. I wrote down their names and begin to pray for them each day this week. Here are 10 simple prayers used by Neil Cole’s Life Transformation Groups that you can pray for the people you identify:
Lord, I pray that you draw _______ to Yourself. (John 6:44)
Lord, I pray that _______ hear and believe the Word of God for what it really is. (1 Thess. 2:13)
Lord, I pray that _______ seek to know You. (Acts 17:27)
Lord, I ask You prevent Satan from blinding _______ to the truth. (2 Cor. 4:4, 2 Tim. 2:25-26)
Holy Spirit, I ask you to convict _______ of his/her sin and need for Christ’s redemption. (John 16:7-14)
Lord, I ask that you send someone who will share the gospel with _______. (Col. 4:3-6)
Lord, I also ask that You give me the opportunity, the courage and the right words to share with _______. (Col. 4:3-6)
Lord, I pray that _______ turn from his/her sin and follow You. (Acts 17:30-31; 1 Thess. 1:9-10)
Lord, I pray that _______ would put all of his/her trust in Christ. (John 1:12; 5:24)
Lord, I pray that _______ confess Christ as Lord, take root and grow in faith and bear fruit for your glory. (Rom. 10:9-10; Col. 2:6-7; Luke 8:15)
I’ve got a few people on my list to pray for. Let’s begin with prayer and see how God begins to move in our lives and theirs!