The Apostle Paul understood the necessity of prayer, especially in bearing witness of one’s faith. Paul reminds us that in any and all outreach, evangelism endeavors, we are to begin with prayer. He says, “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Colossians 1:9). Paul reminds us that we are to pray for our family and friends so that the Lord would send the Holy Spirit ahead of any witness he might make, to open their heart and minds to see and hear his life and words of faith.
And Paul continues encouraging us by saying, “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak” (Colossians 4:2-4). Here again, Paul reminds us that it is God who opens doors and hearts to see and hear the life of faith one lives and speaks. It is God who creates and gives faith. God is the one at work when and where He pleases.
As we think about the people we know, family and friends, and even those we may chance to meet in the day, we begin with prayer for those people. We begin by asking God to go ahead of us and open their hearts and minds. We also ask that God would help us to be the people, the witnesses, He would have us to be. And as we have the opportunity to bear witness we pray that God would keep His promise and give us the courage and the words to speak. And finally we pray that God would give us the patience to know that He will do the work He does, giving and creating faith, when and where He pleases so that we are not tempted to attempt to argue, convince or force someone into faith.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).