Jesus instructed His followers in Acts 1 and Luke 24 to wait for power to be witnesses before they carried out the Great Commission. With all the packaged evangelism programs and methods being marketed to the church today, it’s easy to forget that we still need that power from the Holy Spirit before “going and telling,” even if we’re just involved in lifestyle evangelism, which is the most effective in my opinion. The best methods of canvasing a city or sharing a personal testimony can be destroyed by an ungodly lifestyle.
1 Peter 3:15 says, “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear.” The key to any kind of evangelism is for others to “see” enough of a unique hope in us to ask about it, and it takes a life empowered by the Holy Spirit to live that way.
While Christians bounce from one outreach method to another to bring people to Christ and into the church, the Holy Spirit is saying, “Let me help you.” Much more is needed than saying a prayer beforehand. Joyce Meyer comments that when we fail to wait for the Holy Spirit’s power we end up operating in the flesh.
Consider these quotes from Jim Cymbala in Fresh Power –
“Without seasons of prayerful waiting for fresh power, we will see little or no divine assistance in doing God’s work.”
“The other important key to their [Jesus’ followers] prayerful waiting on God was their regular practice of ‘praising and blessing God.’
“God can do more in one day than we can accomplish in ten years of human effort…far more is accomplished by persevering in prayer than in taking charge of things myself.”
Now more than ever we need supernatural help to evangelize the world around us. That supernatural help only comes through prayerful, worshipful waiting.