The best evangelistic conversation I had last year wasn’t when I’d worked myself up to bravely mentioning the gospel. It was part of a normal chat while walking a friend back to her bus stop. She happened to ask me how long I’d been at my church (only a few years) which led to asking why I’d chosen that one when I moved (where I live, there are plenty to choose from). So I told her it was because of the prayer meeting…
I discovered years ago that you can tell a lot about a person by the way they pray, and it turns out that’s true about a church as well. So while trying to make a wise choice about a church to join, I visited the monthly prayer meeting. My church grew from a student ministry and the average age is still very young (30 years younger than me). So when I visited, many of the church family were quite new Christians. Did it show at the prayer meeting. Oh Yes!
The room was bursting at the seams with so many eager to be there. And they were practically falling over themselves to jump in as soon as someone else finished praying. No long awkward pauses here. But the thing that struck me the most was that these lovely young Christians, eager about their faith and their Lord, fully expected their prayers to be answered. There were very few ifs and buts—just loads of eager requests, and an expectation that the Lord would do great things.
I described this honestly to my friend, not particularly trying to be evangelistic—but afterwards I realised what a gospel heart there had been in what I said. I had described people who had been transformed by Christ—and who were so eager about being Christians that they couldn’t wait to bring their prayers to the Lord. They believed that he is a great God—and they expected him to do great things.I quite often find myself discussing evidence when speaking to non-Christians—evidence for Jesus being a real person in history for example. But without even thinking about it I was talking about another kind of evidence here—changed lives. Our secular world likes to encourage change—often as a result of some kind of self-help approach—but it also seems to expect that most of us will fail to change as we want. Here instead, without even thinking about it, I was describing real change—and change that lasts. On our walk to the bus stop, it was “accidental” that I talked about the prayer meeting (planned by the Lord no doubt, but not by me). But it won’t be the last time I take this approach to sharing evidence for the truth of Christianity – and maybe it’s an approach you’ll find helpful too.