by Alvin Reid
Evangelist D.L. Moody died in 1899, but his legacy lives on in a school named for him and through a vanguard of urban evangelists who followed his lead, preaching the gospel in the cities of America and the world. But to see Moody as only a preacher to the masses misses a central aspect of his life.
R.A. Torrey, in a famous address describing why God used Moody, noted Moody’s conviction that he would not go to bed at night without sharing Christ with someone.
Sharing Christ every day––even in a culture like ours filled with people who do not know our Savior––can prove to be quite daunting. This Fall, many of my colleagues and students at Southeastern Seminary are participating in what we call “30 Days of Going,” in which we are seeking to share Christ at least once daily every day in the month of September.
As a part of this effort, I shared this threefold prayer for our daily witness. I don’t know where I first heard of this prayer, but I have been using it for many years now:
God, give me an OPPORTUNITY today to speak to someone about Christ;
Give me WISDOM to see it;
Give me the BOLDNESS to seize it.
Give me an OPPORTUNITY. We believe the Holy Spirit works all around us and through us daily. God is here and He is not silent. We seek to join the Spirit in His work in the lives of others. Thus, the first prayer seeks divine appointments.
People who share Christ more seem to have more divine opportunities, by the way!
The reason some have never trusted Christ is because no one has taken the time to share the good news with them. Like the Eunuch in Acts 8, Cornelius in Acts 10, or Lydia in Acts 16, they need a messenger. We pray God will connect us with them.
We need WISDOM because we can’t speak about Jesus to everyone we meet. However, we desire never to miss those times we can and should share. We have GOOD NEWS to tell people! If you ever feel compelled to speak to someone about Christ, it’s probably not the world, the flesh, or the devil leading you to do that.
Finally, ask God for BOLDNESS. The early Church did (read Acts 4:29-31). Faced with persecution, they asked not that God would remove their adversaries, but that He would give them boldness (literally “all speech”) to speak the word to them. And the Lord did just that.
The question is not: Do we believe in prayer? The question is: Do we pray believing? And, will we act on our prayers? I hope you will join in making this a daily prayer.
Alvin L. Reid (@alvinreid) is professor of evangelism and student ministry and Bailey Smith chair of evangelism at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is author of As You Go: Creating a Missional Culture of Gospel-Centered Students. He loves encouraging the younger generation to live for Jesus. Learn more: www.alvinreid.com