Prayer is something that we at tWTL Ministries take seriously. At some point, each of our series takes on this important subject. We believe that by examining prayer, we can come to understand its power more completely. Like any other tool or idea, the more you study and practice it, the more effective you become using it. This week, we will study prayer as a witnessing tool. How can prayer help us to reach a lost and dying world? Find out the first part of this answer below.
Devoted Prayer Prepares Our Witness
Continual Is Key
In Colossians 4:2, Paul tells the young church to devote themselves to prayer (NLT). In the KJV, the term used for devote is continue. It is important to see both of these words together because it gives us insight into what effective prayer is. It is something that is devoted, or from the heart and passions of our souls. However, it is also something that is regularly done and, according to the second part of the scripture, it is done with thanksgiving. Thankful, passionate and consistent prayer is a keystone to our commitment to following Christ and in our calling as a witness.
Sharing in Witness
This is all great you say, but what does that have to do with witnessing? Look at the scriptures that follow this passage. Verses 3 and 4 are requests of prayer that Paul and his companions would be able to spread the gospel. This shows us that we can pray for those already in the field witnessing that doors would be open to them. This may seem like several degrees too many for some, but prayers for those witnessing makes us a witness, too. When we pray protection over a missionary who is going into a dangerous or hostile area and they come out not only alive but a fresh harvest of souls, we have shared in that witness. When we pray for revival in our churches and the power of God falls in a service and people are baptized and receive the Holy Ghost, we are sharing in witness. When we pray for our loved ones to turn their hearts to God and they suddenly come around without our direct intervention, our prayers have gone up as a witness unto them. Imagine if we got a list of people who needed salvation, missionaries who needed support and churches in need of revival. If all we did was devote ourselves to consistent prayer and thanking God in advance of the blessing, we would be sending out a witness that could never be carried by our feet.
Finding Your Own Witness Through Prayer
Look forward a couple more verses and you'll see that Paul is challenging the young church of Colossea to go out and witness on their own, too:
Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
That sounds like great guidelines to somebody who is about to go out into the field and witness for the first time. Don't walk in your own understanding, but the wisdom of God. That way you can make the most of every opportunity. Then, let your speech be guided by grace and working to preserve others from the world. That's how you can witness to anyone. Note, this method of wisdom is geared to how we speak. It also comes after a request to pray regularly and to pray for those already witnessing. When we do that, we will be ready to go out and witness ourselves. We'll have not only the words to speak to every individual we cross, but also the tenor and tone with which we should speak.
To those of you hoping and praying that God would use you as a witness, practice the outline found here in Colossians 4. A young church with excited and ready to be used individuals aren't tasked with going first to conquer the world. They are asked to simply pray consistently and with thankfulness knowing that God will answer as He sees fit. Before we can expect to be witnesses ourselves, too, we must take on the task of praying for those already in the field. They have given themselves to the cause of Christ, but have also opened themselves up to the attacks of the enemy and the world. They need a covering of prayer from the saints. As we prepare to be witnesses ourselves, we should pray for those who are witnessing. Finally, once we've learned to pray consistently and prayed for others already serving the Kingdom, we'll find our own commission. Not surprisingly, all of that prayer stored up will serve us well. We'll glean wisdom from our devotion to God and grace and boldness from our praying for others. We can be great witnesses. It just takes a commitment to prayer, first.
How else can we devote ourselves to prayer as a witness? Let us know in the comments or share with us on our Facebook page.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.