Tim Challies has helpfully drawn together some ways in which the Bible can guide our prayers for unbelievers.
Here’s a summary:-
1. Praying for them
We begin with prayers for salvation. Each of these prayers seeks the same thing, but in a different way or from a different angle or using different language. Each of them is grounded in a specific text of Scripture.
‘Pray that God would circumcise their hearts,‘ Deut 30:6.
‘Pray that God would give them a heart of flesh,‘ Ezekiel 11:19.…
Is it possible so to emphasise Jesus’ Great Commission that we neglect his stress on the Great Commandment to love our neighbours (second only to loving God with our entire beings)?
John Stott thought so. Here’s what he wrote about it:-
‘I venture to say that sometime, perhaps because it was the last instruction Jesus gave us before returning to the Father, we give the Great Commission too prominent a place in our Christian thinking. Please do not misunderstand me. …
You might have heard it said that the faithful preaching of the gospel will inevitably cause offence. In fact, if your evangelism does not cause offense, you’re probably not doing it properly. You might as well measure your faithfulness to the gospel by the number of people who hate you. Count it as a badge of honour.
About this assertion I shall say nothing at the present time, except that any truth that might reside in the first of these claims is utterly negated by the attitude which it expresses.…
Writing in the Church Times, Miranda Threlfall-Holmes, rector of St. Bride’s Liverpool, says that she wants to reclaim evangelism for liberal, progressive Christians such as herself.
What is the gospel of liberal Christianity? ‘The belief that God’s love is unconditional, and is enough.’
That’s about it. For the rest, it is about ‘exploring spirituality’. Liberal theology ‘does not see our salvation as relying on our getting Christianity right.’ It does not believe in ‘original sin’, but in ‘original blessing.’ It is about ‘commitment to relationship and genuine dialogue’. …
Personal testimony. Telling people what God has done for you may well have a place in evangelism. But we are not truly evangelistic until we point away from ourselves to Jesus Christ, what he has done to save us, and how we can receive that salvation.
Social action. Caring for the poor, defending the weak, and working for justice are all close to the heart of God. By such means we commend the gospel, and demonstrate its outworking in every part of our lives and our world. …
II. Practical Aspect
A testimony is NOT (necessarily) a biography, i.e., sketch of circumstances of one’s conversion, BUT a recommendation of Christ. A testimony is a testimonial—recommending Christ from personal experience.
Its purpose is to advertise or uplift Christ as:
• Savior who found and forgave us
• Keeper who is holding us fast and leading us on
• Master who is teaching us His will
• Guide who is revealing His plan
• Friend who never leaves us