A Prayer To Use BEFORE You Evangelize

photoThe Church is infamous for using what some call “The Sinner’s Prayer.”  It is often a prayer used to “seal the evangelism deal.”  While extremely effective in producing short-lived converts, it remains disastrous in making life long disciples.  In my upcoming book “The Gospel Rock in my Pocket,” I use an unconventional process for beginning an evangelism/discipleship journey with people you know, and those you might not know so well.

The entire process for a new evangelism encounter begins with Matthew 5:8

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

 

Once peace has been established through conversation (Luke 10:5) or an act of Justice (Micah 6:8), a sliding time scale of relationship building follows, along with some defining of terms. Finally, or as the Spirit leads, I ask them if they would like to pray before going further.  

This is that prayer:

Father Almighty, make of heaven and earth.

Help us to see and realize your Kingdom in our midst.

~

Lord Jesus, Son of the living God

Look upon us with mercy, and by Your Grace,

Help us to look upon You.

~

Holy Spirit, breath of the living God;

Renew us and widen the eyes of our hearts.

 

It is after this prayer where the evangelism framework in the book is outlined and developed.  The prayer has recently been written.  For me, it’s genuine, slightly didactic, and bridge building.  It is not meant to be a rote oration, or used in a “repeat after me” sort of way.  It is not compulsory.

Afterwards, and for however long appropriate, I’ll continue on with an evangelism/discipleship process laid out in the book that varies in scope and duration.  I have used this process in over 30 cultural contexts and it has been extremely effective  For more than 3 years now, I have not used the “sinner’s prayer” at the end of an evangelism event, but I have seen more than a dozen generations of disciples come to life.  This prayer, when used BEFORE evangelism can change and dispose hearts to receive Christ and His message.  

 

A few Questions:

1.  What do you think of that prayer?

2.  Would you use it or something similar?

3.  Does the book sound like something you’s like to read and use?

Because of the unique publishing hurdles involved with this book, I’m asking for donations to kickstart it.  If you’re interested in joining with me in this project, visit this link

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    1. It is difficult to make a “disciple-making outline” or “process” something that is reproducible, especially in various cultural contexts. I have been struggling to find the balance between the uniqueness of every person, with the techniques and tools that I have seen used, such as Gospel-storytelling, tracts, relationships, etc.
      In God’s word we find the model for making disciples, but this seems to play out in radically different processes each time. Each person has a unique experience with their relationship with God, and I think that evangelism should always stem from our personal relationship with God, our lives being the means we use for sharing this, and not just a one time handout.
      We need to be able to exercise wisdom and discernment when knowing when to share and when to listen, and the only way we get wisdom is from our individual relationship with God. I think we are all on different pages as far as wisdom goes, because we are all on different pages with our relationship with God. Since these are inseparable, it is helpful to understand that regardless of the technique or process that you have found to work best, it probably will not work for everyone, at least not in the same way.
      I do think that reading your book will help me to understand more and learn from you, keeping in mind that making disciples may look a bit different in my own life.
      I just wanted to share some of my thoughts.
      God Bless!


      • Jonathan, Thanks for your comment…

        This book will be more of an open-ended framework of evangelism. I agree, and in part, I almost hesitate to release this book for fear of turning into just another formulaic proclamation. But, I have tried the approach I outline in the book in many cultures. In prisons, on buses, in churches, and on different continents. When it’s released, you’ll see what I mean. No method works everywhere, and I even hate calling it a method. I prefer to think of it as a “quiver full of gospel options.”

        On the manner of making disciples, I’ve written extensively on this, but you might find some interest in this Article:

        WHOLLY SHIFT! What’s Going on in Disciple Making?

        In there, I, along with others lay out some thought shifting approaches that have a wide breadth of application.


    2. might didactic prayer be of liturgy?

      temptation persists toward effective substitution of a more successful method for a less ideal one. And as to the book-izing of methods, sincerely, we are already awash today in printed how-to guides (for which there seems no end).

      Apparent or obvious success ought not be directing us to its elements, but rather we remain at the beckon of the Spirit of God in every hour. For centuries, men have been reporting powerful techniques with the gospel; methods that have since effectively carried some away from Christ, if only because the good report became method rather than praise.


      • Marshall, thanks for your comment…

        I’m not completely opposed to liturgy. “But now Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a liturgy that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises.” Hebrews 8:6

        Yes, I know… methodologies abound and books too. But this is more than a book. Consider it a diary of the many evangelism encounters I’ve had along the way and it, to me, is what I’ve been directed to write by the Spirit Himself.

        The book does come with a warning in the introduction that speaks to some of your concerns. As always, I appreciate your participation in these discussions.

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