And I sought for a man among them that would make up the hedge and stand in the gap before me for the land, so that I should not destroy it: but I found none. — Ezekiel 22:30
Recently, I read a blog post by James Goll, about a vision that God gave him. He saw the letters SHOP hanging in mid-air in front of him. The Lord spoke to Mr. Goll that SHOP stood for Salvation House of Prayer. He commented that although there are many houses of prayer, few of them pray for souls. God is desiring for our emphasis to change. He is asking His intercessors to be involved in prayer evangelism.
My heart was so stirred by Mr. Goll’s vision. The prayer gathering of which I am a part is patiently and faithfully laying the groundwork for revival and awakening to take place in our region. Revival and awakening result in radical transformation in the lives of individuals and whole communities. Revival speaks of the Church rising up out of its stupor and returning to a passionate love for Jesus — holiness, reverence for the Lord, walking in His ways and in His power. Awakening is about those who do not yet know the Lord coming to receive Him in droves. Although our group already prays for these things, I made a mental note that in the future, we will be even more diligent to pray for the lost — for a great harvest to be brought in.
What is prayer evangelism?
To evangelize is to spread the good news of Jesus to others. Someone has to do the actual speaking of the gospel message — whether through the oral or written word. Those who function strongly as evangelists are gifted in sharing Jesus with nearly everyone with whom they come in contact. They are effective in leading others to the Lord. And it is as natural as breathing to them.
But there are those of us who do not have as many social contacts or opportunities to evangelize, or who do not do as well at direct evangelism. Many intercessors find themselves in this category. Yet, we have a way of reaching the lost which we are perhaps not taking as seriously as we should. We can participate in evangelism through prayer.
Although someone has to do the actual speaking to the lost, it is equally true that someone has to prepare the soil of their hearts to receive that word. That is the place of intercessors. Our prayers for nonbelievers are a prerequisite to them recognizing their need for salvation. Mankind is incapable of desiring God without the aid of the Holy Spirit. We can partner with God’s plan to reach them by praying softened hearts into them. We can beseech the Lord to release the Holy Spirit upon their lives, to deliver them from Satan’s influence and to implant in them a hunger to know Jesus.
As we gather together to intercede concerning all the other important needs, let’s no longer neglect the unsaved. (Let’s not neglect them in our personal prayer times either.) The Father’s heart breaks over those who are steadily marching the highway to hell. Some of them are our own loved ones. We must catch His heart and His compassion for them. Only the Holy Spirit can do such a work in us, but if we will ask, He will fuel our prayers for souls. And He will answer.
We must understand that prayer is the most powerful tool God has given to His Church to advance His Kingdom. Without prayer, nothing changes. Through prayer, all things are possible. We rule the world through prayer — but only if we pray.
May God raise up those salvation houses of prayer.