This afternoon I received by e-mail a link to a free downloadable prayer guide designed to focus prayer on outreach. It was from Curt Gunz of Great Commission Resources. The resource begins with these words:
If there was only one thing you could do for reaching your community, it would be…prayer. We are blessed because there is not just “one thing.” God gives us a lot of tools and blessings to reach our communities. But having more tools should never mean we overlook the most important tool.
So true! And too often we try to reach out in our own strength neglecting the very One whose power is essential. The prayer guide is so simple…but prayer is such a powerful tool that I am convinced that it could revolutionize many Sunday Schools. Want to try it? I encourage you to visit the site and check it out: Prayer Guide. I especially like his “chart” which is a three ring circle on which the names of three categories of people for whom we should be praying can be listed. Here are Gunz’s three categories:
1. PEOPLE GOD HAS BROUGHT TO YOU:
nonmembers who have visited your congregation [or class] in the last four weeks,
people you are already talking to about spiritual things,
church members’ family who have expressed interest,
2. PEOPLE YOU THINK YOU CAN REACH:
people with whom you are consciously building a relationship,
people who approached you to know more about the gospel,
3. PEOPLE YOU WOULD LIKE TO REACH BUT DO NOT KNOW HOW TO APPROACH, YET and PEOPLE GOD WILL BRING INTO YOUR LIFE WHOM YOU CAN REACH (BUT YOU DO NOT KNOW WHO THEY ARE, YET).
I dare you to lead your class or Sunday School as a whole to focus on praying for unreached, unchurched, and lost people by name. I dare you to make a simple index size prayer card with space for names under each of these categories and give it to every member of your class or Sunday School. I dare you to ask members to write down names and pray. I dare you to prepare for God to respond to your prayers! Pray. Believe. Relate. Be intentional. Minister. Invite. Be revolutionary!