Sermon Audio & Review
Pastor Tim Potter
- Category: Not Ashamed (Romans)
- January 22, 2017
The Power of Prayer in Evangelism.
We will take our church theme for 2017 from Romans 1:16-17: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, ‘But the righteous man shall live by faith.’”
Virtually every Christian faces fear and hesitance in sharing the Gospel. What is the pathway to personal confidence in sharing Christ? The Bible teaches that an ingathering of souls is always predicated by prayer. The book of Acts is replete with instances of the miraculous salvation of souls on the heels of intercession by God’s people.
The apostles’ prayer in Acts 1:12-14 led to the pouring out of the Holy Spirit and the ingathering of souls in Acts 2:4-15 and 2:38-42. People governed by the Holy Spirit pray as a normal habit. In response, God works to orchestrate opportunities to share His Word.
Colossians 4:2-6 clarifies that prayer is the key to sharing the Gospel. There is no effective evangelism without fervent prayer. If there are few laborers winning souls, there are few people praying for lost souls (Luke 10:2). Our efforts to reach our nation and the world for Christ will only be as effective as our efforts to reach our local harvest here in Mentor.
Out of 315,000 churches in the United States, 260,000 of them have plateaued or are declining in attendance. About 152,000 did not see a single member added in 2016. Churches must decide how they will sustain themselves: building their church around style or let Jesus build His church through the Gospel in preaching and personal relationships.
Many churches, including ours in the past, have left evangelism to institutions and events while neglecting to challenge each individual in the church that the Great Commission is their opportunity. Biblically, individuals living Great Commission lifestyles are the primary way the Gospel is spread. God’s work through personal witness comes before opportunities for corporate preaching.
We should never be uncomfortable when a high number of people are saved and added to the church. This does not make a “mega-church.” Mega-church growth is a philosophy of ministry. God will bless with new spiritual birth when a church is praying for it and ready to disciple new believers.
How would God have you be part of reaching the lost with the Light of the Gospel?
- What are your priorities? Are you praying for people who don’t know Christ? Are you praying for opportunities to introduce them to him? God works after seasons of prayer. Repent if this has not been your priority. Start praying. Then invest time relating to people in your community who do not yet know Christ. No matter your age, God has prepared someone for you to win to Christ.
Tools for Further Study
Cross References to Explore
- 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 – Paul modeled a pure approach to evangelism.
- 2 Corinthians 4:1-6 – Pray for God to open eyes.
A Hymn to Encourage: "Jesus, I Am Resting, Resting"
Jesus, I am resting, resting, in the joy of what Thou art;
I am finding out the greatness of Thy loving heart.
Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee, and Thy beauty fills my soul,
For by Thy transforming power, Thou hast made me whole.
O, how great Thy loving kindness, vaster, broader than the sea!
O, how marvelous Thy goodness, lavished all on me!
Yes, I rest in Thee, Beloved, know what wealth of grace is Thine,
Know Thy certainty of promise, and have made it mine.
Simply trusting Thee, Lord Jesus, I behold Thee as Thou art;
And Thy love, so pure, so changeless, satisfies my heart,
Satisfies its deepest longings, meets, supplies its every need,
Compasseth me round with blessings: Thine is love indeed!
Ever lift Thy face upon me as I work and wait for Thee;
Resting ’neath Thy smile, Lord Jesus, earth’s dark shadows flee.
Brightness of my Father’s glory, sunshine of my Father’s face,
Keep me ever trusting, resting; fill me with Thy grace.