Yesterday we went to a service to honor the passing of the mother of a great friend of ours into the presence of our Lord Jesus. As we were getting ready, Keri's grandmother offered to buy take out, so that we would not be delayed and could still eat lunch together. When I was ordering the food at the take out counter I asked the young lady if there was a way that I could pray for her. She just looked at me in stunned silence for what seemed like an eternity. I am learning to not get antsy during these times but allow God to do whatever it is that God is doing. She finally said, "I just learned my whole family is moving out of state and I am in school and I having to stay here by myself and I am scared and stressed. Will you pray for me?" So I began praying over her there at the counter. It was not a long prayer but as I prayed I seemed to be carried along in terms of what to say and how to pray for her encouragement. When I was finished praying she thanked me quite profusely through tears. I have found that it is times like this I get to explain why I am eager to pray for people because of what God has done in my life through Jesus and what Jesus has done on their behalf.
Because we live currently live in the Bible Belt every person believes they know God. Every person considers themselves Christian. You will run into exceptions but not that often. So what do you do in a situation like this?
It is best to NOT ask a question like "are you a believer" or "do you know Jesus?" At least not in the Bible Belt. It has been most effective, in my opinion, to ask a question of relation. "Do you consider yourself near or far from God?" You will be surprised by the answers because most people, while professing see themselves as far from God. Then you can say something to the effect, "Jesus came to bring those who are far from God near to Him. Let me tell you how He did that for me and how Jesus made this possible."
The Lord has called us to make disciples and be based, for a time, in Berlin, Germany. While He has called us there we hear, often, that people say they are "confident" that God has called them to be "here." My intent is not to debate that confidence but rather to encourage you, if that is you, to be effective where you are. Seek these people out. Jesus said that He is working right now, your job is to find it. Ask Him and see who is open to hearing more. What might happen if every day you shared Jesus this way with at least one person?
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