Three weeks ago my pastor challenged our church to pray for lost people. He introduced a tool, the 3-1-6 Card (from the North American Mission Board) which reminds us to pray for 3 people 1 time a day for 6 days a week. Immediately, he had to update his card because one of the people on his card made a public profession of faith that Sunday morning. Since then, he’s had to update his card again, because another of his people has since accepted Christ. The experience has been a great encouragement to our Sunday School classes to pray specifically for lost people.
Missional Sunday School classes pray specifically for lost people. The content of our prayers reflect our hearts. If we have a heart for people to be saved, we will pray for them by name. How can you encourage your class to pray for lost people?
- Model prayer for lost people. If you share with your class the names (first names will do) of lost people for whom you are praying, they will begin to follow your example.
- Ask for prayer for lost people. As you share class prayer requests, ask members to name lost people for whom they are praying. Hold members gently accountable.
- Provide tools to encourage prayer for lost people. The 3-1-6 Prayer Card is one example. Members need a way to record the names of lost people. It helps them identify lost people whom they know and reminds them to pray for those people.
- Publically highlight prayer for lost people. Display the names of lost people so that the class can see them and be reminded to pray.
1) One church writes the names on the wall. (Get permission before you do this!)
2) To protect the walls, write names on a tear sheet attached to the wall, on a white board, or on a chalk board.
3) Use a prayer target. Attach a target to the wall (an archery target works well). Put the names of lost people on notes that can be attached to the target. The names begin on the outermost ring. As they come to church, move their name in to an inner ring. As they accept Jesus, move their name to the bulls-eye.
You’re creative. What other ideas can you think of to encourage your members to pray for lost persons?
Bob Wood is the Church Growth Ministries Team Leader, Baptist State Convention of Michigan.