In doing personal evangelism coaching with some pastors these last few days, I found myself recommending one thing very often.
Make a prayer list of friends whom you’d like to see following Jesus.
We might mentally agree to the the idea, but to actually make the list and use it may still be a challenge.
So let me give you a practical model to make your friends prayer list today.
The format of the prayer list I use
I use a leather bound journal for my devotional times.
A half sheet from an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper fits loosely in the back.
The journal’s clasp keeps it in place.
I choose this loose leaf format so that the list can change as life circumstances change.
I also choose the loose leaf format as I can move it around as a book mark in the journal.
This format also keeps it from being “forgotten” in a prior section of my journal.
Make A Prayer List of Friends
Here is one process to create your list, through filtering down one particular set of questions.
(From the post Do you have any non-Christian Friendships?)
Take a moment to look at your significant relationships. Think of people you choose to spend time with on somewhat of a regular basis.
On a scratch sheet of paper, make a list of friends who immediately come to mind. Try to name as many as possible in the next 60 seconds.
Write those names down.
Now look over the list.
- Who goes to church with you? Cross them off this list.
- Who attends another church regularly? Cross them off.
- Who shows evidence of a relationship with Christ? Cross them off.
- Who is left?
- Do you have anyone left on the list?
You may find that you know some people who go to church with you, yet have no evidence of a relationship with Christ. Feel free to add them or keep them on your list.
Write your prayer list for your journal
I then take this list and create the “clean” list for my journal.
As I write each name, I also ask God for how to pray for them.
Prayer is cooperating with God in a sense, and I want to pray in accordance with God’s will, so I ask the Lord for guidance about how to pray for my friends.
Beside the names on the prayer list, I’ll note specific prayer requests.
The idea is to get beyond the generic “I pray for Jose and Martha” and into more specific areas.
- Give me eyes to see their spiritual thirst.
- Give me opportunity to speak with them.
- Give them a thirst, help me to see it.
- Is God inviting me to spend a little more time with them?
- What is the next “do” with them? Call? Coffee? Cookout?
- Help them move another step closer to you.
- Reveal yourself to them in undeniable ways.
People are in different places in their spiritual journey. As I write each name, I ponder what might their next step be?
If they are hostile to God, how I can pray that they may start seeking God?
If they are seeking God, how can I pray they would talk with me about how I found God?
If they are studying the Bible in their search, I’d like to pray that God’s word would speak.
In other words, I try to pray in accordance with the work that God might be doing in their spiritual life already.
Watch for answers on your prayer list
Going beyond the generic and into specifics prepares me to cooperate with what God might be inviting me into.
It sensitizes me to be more observant about their spiritual journey and how I might be able to be a positive influence. Along the way, I may discover new information that may change how I pray for them and what for.
As God answers some of those specific petitions on my prayer list, I’ll update the list from time to time. Updating my prayer list helps me to see progress in a person’s journey towards Christ.
Make you prayer list today.
Spend the next 30 days praying for the individuals by name on that list.
If you want to grow in some simple next steps in personal evangelism, start here with this MP3 Download on Evangelism Training from the store ($10) to help you see where you need to grow. It’s a 80 minute audio file that takes just a few minutes to download, but it may help you answer the question:
What can you do in the next 90 days to grow in your evangelism skills?