Prayer is one of the greatest blessings with which God has blessed us as Christians. The apostle Paul exhorted, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…” (Eph. 6:18), and “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). Prayer should be a continual feature of our daily lives.
Prayer is also one of the most potentially powerful blessings with which God has blessed us. James wrote, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” (Jas. 5:16). The RSV translates that last statement, “The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.” Nothing is impossible for God (Lk. 1:37), and prayer is our hot-line to His throne room. Prayer can change things!
A few weeks ago we finished an approximately year long study on evangelism. It was not a study in theory. We dug deep into the message of the gospel and looked at easy to use methodology by which we can help lead lost souls to salvation in Christ. At the end of the study I encouraged everyone in the class to pray for God to send them a soul- someone they can reach out to with the gospel.
I’ve spoken to a number of members of the congregation who have shared with me that they have, indeed, been praying that prayer. A number of others have told me that they’ve shared with family members, friends and work associates copies of the book “Muscle And A Shovel.” Many precious souls have been baptized over the past twenty months, or so.
I believe, without question, that more studies are being conducted, and more members of the congregation are involved in Bible studies with others, than I have ever seen to be the case here at Sunny Slope. That is very encouraging!
At the same time, the jail ministry continues to go strong, with inmates regularly asking to be baptized after studying with us, both through correspondence courses and through personal studies with a number of our men involved in that ministry. One of our men just informed me that they’re actually getting such an increased number of requests from inmates for personal studies that they need help in being able to handle all of the studies. Here’s another opportunity for members to get involved in teaching souls the saving message of the gospel of Christ.
There are many, many more souls that need to be taught. We continue to have visitors from the community come our way, almost every week. They need to be welcomed, invited back and approached with an opportunity to study further. Are you willing to do that? There are many others right out there in our communities who are looking for direction in their lives.
Jesus said, “Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” (Jn. 4:35). On another occasion He stated, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Lk. 10:2). Will you be one of those laborers? Have you been praying for God to send a soul your way? If not, why not? Pray for a soul…
Gary L. Hutchens