Now more than ever what we have been discovering over the past 15 years is true. The church is not a building, or a place we go. The church is the body of Christ living out the mission of connecting people to life in Jesus wherever we are. We need to be the church. The world needs us. Our city and neighbors need us. Each person needs us. What do we have that they need? Simply put, Jesus. They need the peace that the presence of Jesus brings. They need the hope that does not disappoint. They need the power that the Holy Spirit brings. There is no mistake where you live and who you interact with, and the impact you can make as you are your authentic Jesus following self and bring Jesus with you wherever you go.
We need to keep learning to discern who God has purposely placed in our circle of influence. And learn to discern who God is calling you to develop a spiritual friendship with.
Once we have discerned the names, we then can begin to intentionally pray for those people and develop relationships that allow us to share Jesus. Prayer is vital in asking God to prepare their hearts and make them ready to receive the truth about the Gospel. Prayer is what is needed to prepare ourselves as well, to listen well and know what to say and what not to say and to have opportunities to share about Jesus.
We use the term impact list to refer to a short list of people in our lives with whom we are intentional in cultivating a spiritual friendship. Ask God who he wants you to be intentional with. When you have discerned who it is, write their names down on a 3x5 card or on your phone so you frequently are reminded about them, and then pray for them. Perhaps you already have a list like this, ask God if there is someone else he wants you to be praying for. Watch God at work. Trust him with those people you listed, seeing them like God does, as dearly loved people made in His image in need of a relationship with their Creator, not as a project.
Here are some scripture verses to pray for those people, place their name in the blank and daily pray for them.
Although _____________ has been spiritually blind, please give him/her eyes to see
Jesus. (John 9:25)
Lord, may ____________ know that You desire for him/her to be saved and come to the
knowledge of Your truth. (1 Timothy 2:4)
As _______________ begins to hear Your voice, may he/she not harden his/her heart.
Jesus, I pray ____________ will be pierced to the heart when he/she hears the good
news about You. (Acts 2:37)
May _______________ know his/her sins have caused a separation between him/her
and You, God. (Isaiah 59:2)
Help ________________ to understand that he/she can have forgiveness through the
blood of Christ. (Ephesians 1:7)
Jesus, may you make your home in ______________’s heart as he/she learns to trust
in you. May his/her roots grow down into your love. Help ___________ to have the
power to understand, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep God’s love is and
be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from you.
Awesome God, by your power, rescue __________ from the kingdom of darkness and
move him/her to your Kingdom so that ____________ can share in the inheritance that
belongs to all your people who live in light. (Colossians 1:12-14)
Perhaps there are other verses that you have been praying for those on your Impact List, there are certainly more than are listed here. We have the greatest news to share, and there are countless ways we can be a part of the work that God is doing RIGHT NOW.
“...enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.”