Chase Smith, pastor Fellowship Baptist Church, Shelbyville
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
How do I pray for my friends and family who do not have saving faith in Christ?
My church has decided to do something for the people in our town that do not have Christ in their hearts; it is called Choose 2. The idea behind Choose 2 is that each person of the church chooses two people who do not have saving faith in Christ. These believers pray for their two unsaved friends or relatives twice a day and then to invite them to church twice this year. It is an initiative that Illinois Southern Baptist have put together to reach our state for Jesus. I am excited about this and this past Sunday I preached a sermon on how to pray for our friends and family to come to know Christ. Here is a summary of that sermon.
We are going to use the acronym REACH and with each letter we will be praying through scripture. ‘R’ stands for receptivity. In order to understand the Gospel and what Christ did on the cross, a lost person first needs to be willing to talk about Christ. If they are willing to listen to the Gospel, then they will be able to be changed by what it says. The scripture we used is 1 Cor. 1:18.
The ‘E’ stands for exposure. Not only is my church going to be praying for the lost, but also themselves. They will be praying that they will be bold in exposing the Gospel to their friends and family (Eph 6:18-20). We need God’s boldness and words when we are talking to people about the cross.
The ‘A’ stands for acceptance. We want our friends and family to accept Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. This is a huge step. This does not mean that they believe intellectually, but that they believe with all their heart and living out their faith (Rom 10:9-11).
The ‘C’ stands for commitment. After they have made a decision to follow Christ, we as a church need to disciple them in their new commitment. We need to teach them about prayer, scripture reading, living out the bible, and the importance of coming to church. The idea is that they will come to understand they are no longer living for themselves, but they are now living for Christ (2 Cor. 5:15).
Lastly is ‘H’, which stands for heart. We as believers need to have a heart for the unbelievers in our community and beyond. We need to be burdened that they do not have Christ (Rom 10:1), and doing everything in our power to present the Gospel so they can believe.
My church, Fellowship Baptist, is choosing to pray for the lost in our community, but we invite you all to do the same. If you want to join us in praying for the community, call me for more information on how we can do that together. Our community needs Christ, and together we can make a difference.
Chase Smith is the pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Shelbyville. For more information from Chase or the church call 774-3636 or visit www.fellowshipinshelbyville.com.