As I mentioned in my last post in this series on revival in Emporia, the hardest part of sharing the gospel is steering the conversation towards Christ. Think about it, we can’t jump from the Jayhawks to the Lake of Fire without jolting the conversation with awkward silence. In light of this, I want to introduce yet another conversation turning strategy – prayer.
When I was in college, a friend of mine asked me to pray for his exam. So I obliged and prayed that God would bless his efforts. While I was at it I also prayed for his soul. A week later he told me that he did not know what I did, but he rocked the exam. Predictably, I became his lucky rabbit’s foot and he ritually asked me to pray for every test. After the fifth time, I finally told him, “Bobby, I have been praying for your test as well as your soul. Tell me, how is your spiritual life going?” Naturally, this led into the gospel.
Many times we find ourselves in the position of consolers and counselors. Friends, family, and coworkers will share their concerns with us, and when they do they give us an opportunity. Tell them that you will pray for their concern. Then faithfully pray for them. And when you sense that the time is right follow up by telling them, “I have been praying for your mother’s health. How is that going?” And then follow up, “I have also been praying for your spiritual life in the midst of this trial. How’s it going?” Naturally, this opens a door for a conversation which can easily lead to the gospel echoing the words of Colossians 4:6 – “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person.”