George Bullard shared this chart from the Pew Forum about the prayer habits of Americans.
The key take away for me is that this data from 2007 shows that nearly 6 out of 10 Americans pray daily.
There are factors based on age, gender, and income levels.
Prayer is evidence of spiritual thirst
One core principle in my evangelism training work is looking for spiritual thirst.
Prayer is evidence of people seeking to connect with God. That’s thirst.
The data also suggests that nearly 1 out of 2 people you meet have a daily prayer habit.
Prayer reflects a desire to connect with God.
Let me give you an example.
I was meeting with a friend to talk about the Bible.
He was a seeker, and spiritually thirsty to know more of the God of the Bible. In his spiritual journey, he was clearly on his way towards Christ.
The Holy Spirit was drawing him to Christ.
One night, we were talking about prayer, and he began to share a few attempts at prayer he had made.
For him, each one felt unsatisfactory – no results, no mystical encounter, no sense of ever being heard by whatever deity he was trying to reach. Something was clearly missing.
We talked about how Jesus is the Way to the Father, and I shared my own experiences of prayer as a following of Jesus.
I saw the light bulb go off in his mind.
To connect with God in prayer, one needs to follow Jesus. That night, he offered his life to the Lord and is now growing in his new found faith.
This decision had not been made in a vacuum, there had been lots of prior conversations and this was one more piece in his decision making process. This conversation was just one link in the evangelism chain
Prayer and Evangelism Skills
If 6 out of 10 Americans have a daily prayer habit, then perhaps one safe conversational avenue to talk with people about their level of spiritual thirst is to ask them friendly and appropriate questions about their prayer life.
- Do they pray regularly?
- How often?
- Why do they pray?
- How do you benefit from prayer?
From that kind of starting point, you’ll likely learn a lot about their journey and potentially see where God is at work.
This week, look for a conversational opportunity to talk about prayer with some unchurched friends.