Prayer Begets Evangelism


The late Reinhard Bonnke, a mighty evangelist to Africa said, “Evangelism without intercession is like a bomb without a detonator. Intercession without evangelism is like a detonator without a bomb.” In the same way that it is impossible to separate the first commandment of loving God from the second commandment of loving our neighbor, so it is with prayer and evangelism.

As someone who leads a prayer ministry, one of the objections I often face in regard to spending time gathering for prayer is that we as Christians need to instead be spending our resources elsewhere into activities such as evangelism, discipleship, ministry programs, building projects, fundraisers, services and events that bring people. The list can go on. While I wholeheartedly agree that we as a Church need to be investing into all that Christ commanded and commissioned us to do, I do not believe we should put activities such as prayer and evangelism in competition with one another. To use the analogy of Jesus, to make such an objection is like trying to be fruitful apart from being connected to the vine (Jn. 15:1-5). In Luke 11, Jesus spoke a parable to teach His disciples about prayer describing someone who had nothing to set before a friend who came to him in need. How do we expect to evangelize, disciple and serve people when we have nothing to set before them? All throughout the days of the early Church, we see them repeatedly gathering for prayer unto multitudes being saved, healed, delivered, discipled and sent back out into the harvest fields. This is not an either – or issue, it is a first things first issue.

The more we give ourselves to prayer, the more we will desire to give ourselves to the Great Commission. In my experience and understanding of Scripture, prayer truly begets evangelism. It is nearly impossible to spend time with Jesus and not be moved with compassion and an intercessory groan for the Church and for the lost in our city, that things such as drug and alcohol addiciton would be eradicated, depression and anxiety would be abolished, sickness and disease would be healed, orphans would be adopted into Godly families, those in genuine need would be helped, that wrong things would be made right, and that all would be saved and discipled as children of God. Oswald Chambers said, “Prayer does not fit us for the greater works; prayer is the greater work.” If someone believes that prayer isn’t work, then they’ve never truly prayed. To spend long hours before the Lord, especially on behalf of others, is a genuine investment of faith sustained only by the power of His grace which mightily confronts our pride, selfishness and anxiety. The prayer meeting may seem lonely, uncomfortable and even unproductive at times, but then again, so did the cross.

24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.

John 12:24

And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?

I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

Luke 18:7-8


  • Get to the Prayer Meeting: Show up and keep showing up, even if there are only two or three. Set the attention on the Lord and who He is, worship Him, praise Him and thank Him. Be disciplined to pray the Bible, short phrases, and prepare your heart to hear from the Lord and to obey His voice. Let Him lead.
  • Get in the Field: Be watchful of the needs in your own community, among your family, friends, co-workers, co-students, neighbors, and strangers unto the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Ask the Lord to reveal opportunities to serve. Go to where the people are and come alongside them. Use your testimony to share the gospel, heal the sick, and obey the leading of the Spirit. Find ways to put action to your prayers. Use your skills and interests to meet these needs and create opportunities for the gospel to go forth.

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The Vaccinated Christian

Something that I’ve observed throughout my very short lifetime is how we are creatures who quickly learn to adapt to our surroundings. We like routine, we like familiarity, and we like consistency. Anytime we change up our lifestyle, diet, environment, job, etc, it is only natural for us to immediately try and revert back to what we know until new habits are established. After being married for almost two years, I can tell you that both my wife and I have had to learn to adapt! And if you’ve ever been a parent, I can guarantee that you have had to get used to some new routines 🙂

Now when I first became a follower of Jesus Christ, I was thrown so far out of my comfort zone that I learned to embrace it. It was definitely a “born again” experience for me. Although everything was unfamiliar, there was something about the spontaneity of encountering and obeying God that awakened my heart. But over time, even the presence of God became an environment I could adapt to. It weighs heavy on mind to know that this is the case for so many Christians who started out full of fresh faith with rivers of living water flowing from within them, but now after years of building dams out of religious routines, all that is left inside them is a stagnate pond that is quickly drying up. Many church leaders often discuss the amount of young people who leave the faith after they leave the home, but could it be that just like our modern medical methods, we have vaccinated a generation with just enough faith to make them immune to the real thing?

Many of you might know about the garden of Gethsemane as the place where Jesus prayed while His disciples fell asleep before He was betrayed by one of them and sentenced to be crucified (Matt. 26:36-56; Mk. 14:32-42; Lk. 22:39-53). Something interesting though is that the gospels also tell us that this was a place where Jesus often met with His disciples (Jn. 18:2; Lk 22:39). If only His disciples knew that this would be the last prayer meeting they would have with their Messiah before He went to the cross, then they might not have fallen asleep. But just like us, these disciples became so over-familiar with their surroundings that they were immune to His presence and the urgency of the moment.

If you feel you are at this place, then don’t give up because there is still hope! I believe Jesus’ remedy for a Christian who has been immunized from having a burning heart is the same remedy that He gave His disciples in the garden of Gethsemane: “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”  It’s not enough to be faithful if we are not FULL of FAITH. Of course it’s good and right to implement healthy routines into our life such as gathering with other believers, studying the Bible, eating healthy, going to work on time, and so on. Jesus Himself did things as was His custom, but even in keeping a routine, He modeled how to live in a spontaneous, living and breathing relationship with the Father. At the end of the day, His food was to do His Father’s will (Jn. 4:34).

To be watchful is to be attentive or actively engaged with what is going on around us. To be prayerful is to be attentive or actively engaged with what is going on within us. God is calling us to keep the internal conversation going with Him as well as the external conversation about Him. Don’t settle for a Sunday-only-faith or a crisis-only-faith. Don’t settle for being vaccinated with small doses of the presence of God and life of obedience to Him even if it means some people put you under quarantine.

Like I said about marriage earlier, I know my wife and I have had to make some post-honeymoon lifestyle adaptations, but I also know that what is going to help keep our love alive is that we’re making every effort to keep the conversation going! I have to be willing to walk through new experiences with her outside of my comfortable shell just like God wants to walk through new experiences with us. It’s the tension of faithfully remaining on the potter’s wheel, yet being consistently vulnerable to the potter’s hands. If you are spiritually bored and dull, it’s not as much about needing a change in scenery as much as it is needing a change in vision.

LORD, would you break our immunity to your presence today. Make us tender to your voice. As we draw near to you, would you fill us with a fresh faith. Break down the dams of pride that we’ve built up and let you rivers flow again. Help us to see the urgency of the hour. Help us to see how beautiful you are. Help us to take our focus off of familiar language and scenery, and revive our expectancy by placing our focus on you and what you are doing. Teach us how to raise our children and the next generation without vaccinating them from genuinely encountering and knowing you. In Jesus’ name, amen.


The Pursuit of Holiness

Pursue peace will all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. (Heb. 12:14)

If the slogan of our American society has to do with pursuing what makes us happy, then why are so many people still disillusioned with life? Why is it that when we set out to chase what we believe will make us happy, we feel as though we are chasing after the wind? The Bible tells us it’s because we are doing just that: chasing the wind (Ecc. 2:11). I remember how I couldn’t wait to get my license when I turned sixteen. I was so ready to obtain the freedom and legal right to drive a car of my own, believing I would achieve happiness once I received it. I was excited for about a week until that flame flickered out. But isn’t that what we do? We think, well, once I get married, when I have kids, buy my own house, get that great job, or win the lottery, THEN I will find true happiness. The truth is, when we spend our strength pursuing happiness on our terms, we are investing in a lifetime of disappointment.

We were created, fashioned and formed to pursue holiness. I’m not talking about our typical idea of this ball and chain religion where we attempt to stay off the naughty list and do just enough to make those around us believe we are good Christian people. For Christians, holiness is not about maintaining a perfect resume or position, but it is the pursuit of a person. Deep down we are all wired to go after something with our all, to be utterly fascinated and consumed, living with something to die for. I’m simply saying that this something is a someone—Jesus Christ, the Holy One, our Creator (Col. 1:15-16). Pursuing holiness is our personal expression of love for Him that overflows in response to experiencing His holy love for us. It’s less about us and more about Him, and accepting the invitation to walk near to Him and to experience all He is. This requires us to allow Him in the door of our hearts and cooperate with His Holy Spirit as He passionately conforms our lives to His Word and His ways.

…all things were created through Him and for Him. (Col. 1:16)

Holiness is very much a relational word emphasizing the gap between God and man, along with our purpose and need for redemption. In fact, the Hebrew word for “holy” is “qadowsh” or “qadosh” which means brightness or separatedness. It is the fundamental quality of God that emphasizes the uniqueness of His nature and all His attributes – His love, wisdom, power and so forth – these are all holy aspects of God that are incomparable to any other being. He alone is the standard, the sole definition of something such as love.

Our God is holy, completely pure and transcendent, dwelling in unapproachable light, yet He draws near to us. He yearns to dwell with us in all His glory (Jn. 17:24). He has the highest quality of life, and He wants to share it with us forever! The entire Bible is telling the story of how the One holy God relentlessly pursues and progressively reveals Himself to fallen humans, for the sake of love and relationship. That’s why He had a salvation plan. How can the holy God share His holy life with His unholy creation without violating His nature? He justly purchased our righteousness (our legal position) by way of the cross and He offers it to us free of charge. Still, He invites us to pursue holiness that we might experience the reality of this truth in our present living condition. We don’t earn holiness, we choose it. In other words, the finished work of the cross did not excuse us from living holy but rather made a way for the Holy One to be pursued and known; freeing us from the requirement of perfection according to the law and giving us the privilege of pursuit according to love. It no longer means we have to be holy to earn salvation but we get to be holy because of salvation, for the sake of His glory. Our holiness, therefore, is a reflection of His holiness as we draw near to Him.

He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love… (Eph. 1:4)

…but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct…(1 Pet. 1:16)

The pursuit of holiness and complete obedience to God must be fueled by the love and fear of God, both working together like the pedals of a car. The love of God being the gas pedal that presses us forward, and the fear of God being the brake that helps us stop before we drive into compromise. Without His love, we burn out while going nowhere. Without the fear of God, we become reckless putting ourselves and others around us in danger. We need to earnestly ask Him to give us both of these. We were created to reach a destination! Don’t gaze in the rear view mirror for too long (your past), but only use it as a reference point to see where you are at, to learn from your mistakes and to thank God for all He has done. Be careful who you open your doors to, and always drive under the influence of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18).

There is something far more noble and fulfilling than the American Dream, and it is becoming the dream of the Father; a holy people belonging completely to Him. I long for the day when ‘just enough’ Christianity is nowhere to be found. We must wake up from the swaying cradle of western Christianity that tells us to live on the edges of a religious system to see how much we can get away with and still call ourselves Christians. I’m convinced that there is a generation arising who is done with lukewarm, cruise-control Christianity. If I understand the words of Christ correctly, we are either ALL in or we are NOT in (Mark 8:34-37). There is no in between. He didn’t die to make us happy, He died to make us holy, and when we get this, we will find happiness. Happiness is a side-effect of pursuing holiness.

Practical holy living is only legalism if we see it as a means of attaining salvation or a “higher-position” in God’s sight. On the contrary, practical holy living does not earn us anything relating to our salvation or eternal status, for we are “seated with Christ” by grace through faith (Eph. 1-2). Neither does this mean our decisions to continue or not continue in sin don’t matter. Rather, our lifestyle choices begin to reflect our new position, thus as a means of experiencing more of our relationship with Him.

I want to highlight 7 areas we can practically pursue holiness:

  1. Our eyes – what are we looking at?
  2. Our ears – what are we listening to?
  3. Our mouths – what are we talking about?
  4. Our hands – what are we giving our time, energy and money to?
  5. Our feet – what environments are we placing ourselves in?
  6. Our minds  – what are we thinking about?
  7. Our hearts – what are we giving our affection to?

…in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world…(Phil. 2:15)

You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created. (Rev. 4:11)

All things were created through Him and for Him. (Col. 1:16)

Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. (Matt. 5:48)

Blessed (Happy) are the pure in heart for they shall see God. (Matt. 5:8)