First Baptist Church, Huntsville, AL
Sunday, July 24, 2016

Week 13

Good News Notes - Week 13
The Message: Prayer and the Witness

 What role will prayer have in my effort to be used by God? Is prayer a necessary tool to use to reach people? It's very simple. If you want to do everything on your own strength - don't pray. If you don't want to see God moving before you in completely marvelous ways - don't pray. If you want to flounder around in your witness and be totally ineffective then don't pray.

 God has proven over and over again that prayer is essential in sharing our faith with a missing person. Perhaps there is nothing more important than praying that God will use us and go before us. We can never reduce the importance of God being actively involved in a missing person's life before we ever even consider building a relationship with them. I heard of an experiment that a church carried out one time to prove that prayer is at the heart of our work in this world. They took the phone book and divided it randomly into two parts. One group of people would take a section and call cold turkey to talk with people about their spiritual needs and if they had any prayer requests. The other group did the same thing except the names were prayed over by a group of intercessors. The second group who had prayer for the people were surprised when their group was 75% more responsive than the first group. Maybe we need to spend as much time or more praying for the missing as we do for those who are ill.

 Not a real scientific experiment but it proved to many people that prayer prepared the way for their calls. Maybe we need to conduct our own experiment. Pick out two friends that may be missing. Pray for one on a regular basis. Then become the best listener and good friend you can be. Plan and carry out some acts of kindness for both of them. See which one responds first with a spiritual question or provides an opening for you to say a short testimony or comment. Let me know how it turns out.

 The scripture for this week is very plain and forthright. If we keep our relationship right with God and seek his will he will give us what we ask. This is a wonderful promise of God. The hard part is our end of the prayer. Remember that God desires missing people to come into a loving relationship with him. That part of his will is certain. He wants people to be saved. We are just agreeing with him to be a partner in reaching out to them. It is a faith response to trust God in prayer.

Scripture - John 15:7 - If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.

Action - Make a list of people that you know are missing. It may include people at work, friends, relatives, or people you briefly come in contact with. In the book "Concentric Circles of Concern" the author suggests to draw 7 or 8 concentric circles. Label the innermost circles with the names of those who are closest to you who are missing. Start with family first, then friends, then co-workers/school mates, neighbors. Then move to other circles and list those who are not as close to you. As you move to the outermost circles you would list people that you don't even know. This technique will help you think of people to pray for. Trust God by praying for these missing people. Ask God to go before you.

Prayer - Lord, help me to depend on you for all things especially in these matters of faith. I know your hand will be upon my missing friends. I pray that you have already brought into their life things that have made them think about eternal matters. Make me available to my friend.

Next Week -