Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday evening, April 9, 2000, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia.
THE PLACE OF PRAYER IN SOUL-WINNING
By Michael D. O’Neal Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church Albany, Georgia
Scripture Reading: Acts 11:4-18
Text: Acts 11:5
Acts 11:5 I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me:
Introduction: Although Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles, the apostle God actually chose to open the door to the Gentiles was Peter, with the conversion of Cornelius and his household. When God began to prepare his heart about reaching the Gentiles, Peter was praying.
I have tried to emphasize both prayer and soul-winning this year. Tonight I want to combine both topics and show the importance of prayer in soul-winning.
I. WE SHOULD PRAY FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE UNSAVED
Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
A. We should pray for the Spirit of God to work in their hearts
B. We should pray for situations to change 1. It would be better for a person to get into trouble (loss of job, health, money, family, or whatever), if it would soften his heart toward the gospel.
C. We should pray for saints to witness to them 1. If we are not there to win them, perhaps God will send someone to witness to our loved ones who live far away.
II. WE SHOULD PRAY FOR POWER FOR THE UNCERTAIN
Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
Paul asked the Ephesian saints to pray for him that he might be bold in his witness, in Eph. 6:18-20.
A. We need power to confront people 1. With more than just an invitation to church
B. We need power to conquer the devil’s obstacles
C. We need power to convey the truth in love
III. WE SHOULD PRAY FOR POSSIBILITIES FOR THE UNREACHED
Colossians 4:2-4 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; 3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: 4 That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
A. Let’s pray for new fields for evangelism 1. Outreach to different groups in our towns and different nearby towns 2. Foreign fields
B. Let’s pray for new forms of getting the gospel to people 1. New soul-winning incentives 2. TV, radio, newspaper, tracts, bus, etc.
C. Let’s pray for new fruit
IV. WE SHOULD PRAY FOR A PERCEPTION OF THE UNKNOWN
James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
A. We need God to show us the unknown hungry 1. Peter had no idea that Cornelius was ready for the gospel. God had to show him. 2. Phillip had no idea that the Ethiopian eunuch was ready for the gospel. God had to show him.
B. We need God to show us the unknown hurting
C. We need God to show us the unknown hell-bound
V. WE SHOULD PRAY FOR PARTNERS WHO ARE UNASHAMED
Matthew 9:37-38 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; 38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
A. Partners who are unashamed to groan 1. Praying 2. Persuading
B. Partners who are unashamed to give of tithes and offerings to missions
C. Partners who are unashamed to go to where the lost people are 1. With tears 2. With a testimony 3. With a territory — God desires to send some soul-winners to the foreign field