Last week Cyndi and I were in Spokane for the Whitworth Board meeting. It was a great time of connecting with many of our Chapel Hill kids and being reminded, once again, of the important ministry taking place in that university. It might also have been a high point, meeting-wise, for many of my colleagues since I was stricken with laryngitis and could not utter more than a squeaky peep the whole time. As one of my (former) friends exclaimed when he discovered I would be unable to speak, “Our prayers have been answered!” Not nice.
We got back Saturday in time for worship and Ellis’s fine sermon on evangelism. He suggested one simple tool. When someone shares a personal need, make the following offer: “Can I pray for you about that, right now?” He’s right! It is a surprisingly simple and effective way to witness to your faith in Christ. People rarely turn down an offer of prayer. Problem is, we say, “I’ll pray for you about that” and maybe we pray, maybe we don’t. But we miss out on the immediate opportunity of praying with that person about their need.
I had teachers in high school who always telegraphed what was going to be on the next test. They would underline it on the chalkboard (yes, that’s what they used) and say something like, “You might really want to remember this.” If we did, we did great on the test.
So, I’m telegraphing the answer to you right now. This weekend, during my message, I am going to ask how many of you took Ellis at his word and offered to a friend, “Can I pray for you about that, right now?” Who knows, I might even ask you to share how it went! Fair warning, then! I’m going to ask. And I hope that many of us will be able to say, “Yes, I did, and it was a remarkable moment with my friend and with the Lord.”
See you in worship.
P.S. if you are a young family with kids up through 5th grade, please join Cyndi and me Sunday night for our quarterly gathering. The Toones, along with John and Thelma Hanson, will form a panel to answer any question you might have about life in this exciting stage. It’s a potluck, so bring something and come along. 4:30 Sunday in the Gathering Place.