Without thinking too hard, can you name two people you are praying for their salvation? It’s not a trick question. In fact, all of us probably know someone close to us that doesn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The question is “What are you doing about it?” As a leader in Sunday School, it is vital that you model a habit of leading your class in evangelistic prayer, week after week. I have heard of some classes that have made of list of names (first and last) in bold letters on a bulletin board and made a point to end every class session in evangelistic prayer for the people on that list who need salvation. The simple act of prayer will move hearts to action. Your members will be challenged to do something tangible that will bring the person they are praying for to a point of making a decision to follow Christ. Seeing the names in front of them will be a constant reminder of one of the core reasons that class exist; to equip one another to fulfill the Great Commission and live out the Great Commandment.
David Francis shares in his book, Connect3, the story of what happened in his church, Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, TN, when members began to write the names of lost friends and family members on the walls of their worship center with permanent markers. “There are literally names on every paintable surface in that room. And I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to paint over them! Long Hollow seldom has a worship service at which someone is not baptized and is consistently among the leading churches in the Southern Baptist Convention in baptisms. Wonder if it has anything to do with prayer?” NAMB has an article on their website entitled “Praying Your Friends to Christ” and in it, they share a simple acrostic that you can use to guide your class in having a H.E.A.R.T for the lost. Pray for:
- Receptive Heart
We need to pray that God would prepare the heart of the lost so that the seed of the gospel would take root.
- Spiritual Eyes and Ears Opened
The lost person is blinded by Satan and needs God to open their eyes and ears
- God’s Attitude Toward Sin
When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8 HCSB)
- Released to Believe
Pray God would grant repentance and that the lost will come to their senses and escape the trap of unbelief.
- Transforming Life
Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2 HCSB)
Jason McNair is the Religious Education and Collegiate Consultant for the Utah Idaho Southern Baptist Convention. He has served in the area of Youth, Collegiate and Education ministry for eighteen years in Florida, Texas, Utah and Georgia before joining the staff of the UISBC in 2009.