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Why witnessing begins with prayer

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Who would you like to see give their lives to Jesus this year? A family member? A friend? Or perhaps the people you work with or those who live in your community? Whoever they are, you can be a part of introducing them to Christ by committing to pray for them every day.

We often say here at Evangelism Explosion that witnessing without prayer is presumption. The truth is, we cannot effectively share Jesus with others unless we begin with prayer. Prayer invites the Holy Spirit to go with us and lead the conversation. He’s the One who gives us the words to say. He’s the One who speaks to and ultimately changes hearts. Without Him, we go alone.

There’s no time better to begin praying for someone than today. You can even begin right now.

Make a list. Write down the names of people you would like to see give their hearts to Christ. Be specific. Don’t just write “my family” or “my neighborhood.” List them by name. If you only know their first name, that’s okay. Write that down. God knows who they are.

Post it. Put it somewhere visible where you will see it. You don’t have to put it somewhere where your whole family will see it, but don’t hide it in the back of your Bible either. Post it where you will see every single day as a reminder to pray.

Make time to pray. Set aside a specific period of time each day to pray for the people on your list. Pray for them by name. Ask the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts and send believers to share the Gospel with them. Pray that God will use you! Ask Him to open doors for you to share your testimony and even introduce them to Jesus.

Look for opportunities. As you pray, look for doors that God may be opening. We often don’t notice the opportunities that God is giving us to share our faith because we simply aren’t paying attention.

Continue to pray. Prayer doesn’t stop when a Gospel conversation begins. Continue praying before, during, and after the conversation. People rarely come to faith in Jesus Christ in a single moment in time. It’s a process. It takes time. Be patient and continue to meet with the people you share with, even after they make a commitment.

Prayer is critical in sharing our faith with others. Not only does prayer change the hearts of the people we know around us, but it also changes our hearts as well. It draws us closer to God. It helps us see the world through His eyes and heart. And, it increases our passion to reach the lost with the Good News. So, who will you start praying for today?

Rev. John B. Sorensen, D.D. is the President/CEO of Evangelism Explosion International, headquartered in Arden, N.C. EE has been a leader in equipping Christians to share their faith for more than 55 years. For more free tips and resources, visit

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