1. Ask God to give you Divine Appointments.
Effective outreach starts before you ever hit the streets. Christ is the vine, we are only the branches. Fruitfulness comes as Christ works through us. Jesus said "I am the vine; you are the branaches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5
Before you start your outreach ask God to prepare you to be his vessel and to prepare people who he will draw to the prayer stand so you can minister the word to them and pray with them. These are God given 'Divine Appointments.'
2. Get Started - Keep Going!
Jesus said Christians are the light of the world. No man lights a candle and puts it under a basket. Don't keep your Prayer Stand in storage. Be like a candle on a candlestick that gives light unto all, and like a city set on a hill that cannot be hid. Go into the world and proclaim the gospel.
Good seed doesn't bring forth good fruit if the chocking cares of life allow no room for it. If you use your Prayer Stand you will have good success. Make it a priority. Keep it in the trunk of your car. Then when you have some spare minutes you can easily put it to use. Get started and keep going.
Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. (Titus 2:7-8 ESV)
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. (Titus 3:1-2 ESV)
And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:24-26 ESV)
Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. (1 Peter 3:13-16 ESV)
3. Ask people "Do you have any needs you would like me to pray for?"
When people share needs for prayer don't be afraid to ask for details. You want to really understand the nature of the request so that you can pray with understanding. Consider what this request means to the person who shared it. 'Read between the lines.' How would you feel if you were this person? What would it mean to you and others around you?
Ask the person their name right before you pray and then use their name when you pray. Remember, the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous person avails much. The greatest asset a Christian has is their access to God. Let God work through you as you bring needs to him in prayer. Don't forget that the most important need of the person you are praying with is to have their sins forgiven and their heart and life changed by the grace of God. Whether they mentioned it or not, as God leads, talk to God about it.
God in his marvelous wisdom and grace sometimes answers prayers in dynamic ways to awaken faith and draw people to himself. Your Prayer time with people is of the utmost importance. The Prayer Stand is not a bait and switch tool. You are there to pray with people and to share the gospel. Not just to evangelize and maybe pray.
Sometimes I pray with people and don't have time or opportunity to share the gospel with them. That is fine. Prayer changes things. As people in your community get to know you some who at first are closed will open up and give you opportunities to share at a later time. If you earn people's trust the power of the gospel will change lives.
Biblical Evangelism uses God's law to humble the proud and offers the grace of God to the humble. When a proud man thinks he's good enough to go to heaven he won't see his need for Christ's atonement and life. For your ministry to have maximum effect you must help souls come to repentance and faith in Christ. It is important for you to understand the principle of 'Law to the Proud and Grace to the Humble.'
The law cannot save anyone, it's proper God given use is to open the sinner's eyes to his lost condition and convince him that he must receive mercy and salvation through Jesus Christ alone.
The law was our schoolmaster to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. Romans 3:24
4. Share the Gospel.
Not everyone who comes by will have time for you to do anything other than pray for their request. That is fine. Prayer is one of the greatest ministries you can be involved in. But if you pray for Divine appointments God will give them. People's prayer requests easily lead into talking about life's deepest need: Salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. The needs in peoples lives and the opportunity for sharing are much greater than most people imagine. It is common to have someone come up to the Prayer Stand and become engaged in a conversation that lasts for 30 minutes or more.
Satan blinds people in pride and selfishness. You must help them to see the real needs of their lives. Use the law of God (The 10 Commandments) to help them see their lost condition and need of forgiveness. Then they can understand salvation by grace through Jesus Christ. Share the grace of Jesus Christ to people awakened to their lost spiritual condition and pray with them.
Never underestimate the power of your witness to bring people to repentance and faith. I was saved in 1969 at the Reynolds Indiana 4-H Fair because a man set up a table with a sign on it that read: "If you died tonight do you know you would go to heaven?" That questioned compelled me to speak to this wise witness and the word he shared brought me to repentance, prayer and faith that very hour. I have been walking with God ever since and began witnessing for Christ that very day because the man challenged me that confessing Christ with my mouth was a part of being saved.
View our Evangelism Training Video to learn how you can use the 10 commandments to help a person see they are lost and clearly understand their need of the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
5. At the conclusion of fruitful times of prayer and sharing with someone ask: “Would you like me to continue to pray for your need?”
The person will say yes. Reply “Great. I need to get information so I can contact you and find out if God has answered and how things are going.” Then take out a note pad or contact card and ask:
How do you spell your name?
What is your address?
What is the best phone number for me to reach you at? Put down notes about your encounter and their requests.
Write down the information yourself because you may not be able to read their writing or they may skip information that you need. Ask them for the information, expect them to give it to you and they usually will.
I don't get contact info from everyone that I pray with because some prayer needs are not urgent and I don't have time to pray for every person on an ongoing basis. I pray for Divine appointments and when I see the need for ongoing prayer and discipleship I offer further prayer and help.
6. Start Praying for them, enlist others to pray and then call them up to find out what God is doing. This will open great doors for making disciples!
Your commitment should be to the entire Great Commission. That means your ministry should involve going into the world to share the gospel and also making disciples. Don't get scared, discipleship doesn't need to be difficult. In order to be workable you need to keep it simple.
If you only aim at 'drive by evangelism' you will not have much lasting fruit. The aim of your evangelism at the Prayer Stand needs to go beyond the initial contact and on into relationships with people wanting to learn of Jesus and obey him. Aim to obey the full great commission of sharing the gospel and then helping those who respond become disciples who are commited to obeying Christ (including evangelizing and making more disciples). Do this and God will be behind your efforts and help you. This is the very heart of God.
So what should you do when someone is open to learning more about Christ?