Shawn Anderson’s research into the conversion process reveals some interesting statistics about evangelism through personal relationships. (Read: Living Dangerously: Seven Keys to Intentional Discipleship)
Looking at the time from when Jesus is first mentioned in relationship to the point of a person following Jesus:
Fifty-one percent of the time this process took over a year.
It took 25 percent of unbelievers three months or less to give their lives to Jesus, and 15 percent of them took from six months to a year to give their lives to him.
Only 9 percent gave their lives to Jesus between four and six months.
It is intriguing that the discipling process took so long. (Living Dangerously: Seven Keys to Intentional Discipleship, 33)
As you pray for the relationships on your prayer list today (read how to Make a Prayer list of friends), think about how long it might take to introduce them into a relationship with Christ.
You might be praying for them for a long time.
But as you go through this prayer experiment, you might also notice they have a greater openness to talk about faith.
Ask God today for the sensitivity to see those moments of potential conversation and that you’d have the wisdom to know what to say at that time.
I was with a group of teens for one week. I prayed for them each morning during that week.
During my prayer time, I would often sense the Lord focus my direction on two of the group for that day. In that time of prayer, I’d wait for the Lord to show me something that I could speak into their life.
Each day, that happened.
Then I’d look for the opportunity that day to speak with that teen. Most all those conversations were normal, natural, and easy. Sometimes, the teen initiated the conversation.
My favorite one is when the teen I prayed for that morning approached me with “Pastor, do the non-elect go to hell?” That led to a significant conversation that touched up on his spiritual thirst and led to a mystical encounter with God that night.
Prayer had prepared the way.
Lord, you’ve placed me in this circle of influence to be salt and light for the friends you have brought into my life. They each have a spiritual need, even if they don’t know it.
I pray that today, you might give me an opportunity to speak into their life, without being obnoxious nor abrupt. Help me to see the natural conversation openers into their spiritual thirst
Take your prayer list of friends and pray for each one by name. If you haven’t made one yet, please make one and stick it with your bible. You’ll need to refer to this regularly.
Mention their name in prayer, ask the Lord to show you an opportunity in your schedule to meet with them, and then wait in silence for what the Lord might choose to share.
If you are directed to move forward and meet with one of them, make that appointment.