Boldness, Peace, Protection

Newsflash! We’re at war! It’s not a battle of flesh and blood. It’s spiritual in nature, although it manifests in the physical. Yes, that’s a bit complicated. Yet, it is your reality and mine.

Maybe that’s old news, but it’s also today’s story and relevant, very relevant, to our evangelistic efforts, or lack thereof!

As you well know, the battle rages within and without. For within, the flesh rages against the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-18). From the outside, our enemy Satan and his minions seek to oppose our efforts in sharing the gospel while keeping unbelievers blind to the truth (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).

And while prayer is only one aspect of the spiritual war as it relates to evangelism, it is an important one. And this submission, due to our format limitation, only touches upon some basic elements of evangelistic prayer.

So, when it comes to evangelism amidst opposition, we do need the Lord. Therefore we pray.

As we continue our series on prayer and evangelism, we briefly touch upon these connected elements: praying for boldness and courage, praying for peace, and praying for protection.

Praying for Boldness and Courage

We are opposed in our efforts to do the work of evangelism. While fear is part of that opposition, boldness and courage are the tonic to help us overcome the fear that can debilitate our efforts in reaching out to the lost.

First of all, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Two keys to acquiring boldness and courage in the spiritual I want us to ponder are preparation and perspective.

Preparation involves prayer. After healing a lame man and preaching the gospel at the Temple in Acts 3, Peter and John are arrested in Acts 4. They are interrogated by the Sanhedrin and commanded to not speak in Jesus name again. Then Peter and John are released under great threats. How do they respond to this pressure? They join the believers and simply pray for boldness. In verse 29, they pray, “Now, Lord look on their threats, and grant your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word.”

Notice the Lord’s powerful response to their passionate plea.

And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and they spoke the word with great boldness” (Acts 4:31).

The threats didn’t change. The risk didn’t change. They simply prayed for boldness and boldness they received.

Acts 4:13 states, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.” 

In the area of personal evangelism, do you feel unqualified? Are you uneducated and untrained? Good, you’ll do just fine. Spend time with Jesus as did the disciples, for we can’t overemphasize the power of prayer and time in the Word.

Another key to acquiring boldness and courage to engage the evangelistic process is perspective. One perspective I want to highlight is this: their salvation is more important than my safety!  Now if I were to ask if you agree with that statement in principle, I believe most of you would agree with no struggle. Yet, the struggle comes when God calls us to live out that principle, which looks different for each of us.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17), for people must hear the gospel message in order to come to faith. And who does God send to deliver that message? You and me.

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher” (Romans 10:14)?

We would also do well to follow Paul’s exhortation to the Ephesian church in praying for boldness, not only for each other, but for ourselves: “… and [pray] for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:19-20).

Praying for Protection

In Ephesians 6:10-18, the Apostle Paul describes the spiritual war that the devil and demons wage against us. In this section of Scripture, Paul also describes the whole armor of God we are to put on in this fight, including:

– Girding your waist with truth

– Putting on the breastplate of righteousness

– Shodding your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace

– Taking the shield of faith in order to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one

– Donning the helmet of salvation

– And taking the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God

As we pray in preparation to engage the battle that is evangelism, put on the whole armor of God. Lord Jesus, please help us daily to put on the whole armor of God, daily, as we fight to get the gospel to people who desperately need the truth the sets men and women free – namely the gospel. Amen.

Praying for Peace in our Witness

Fear is a powerful emotion and in the witnessing endeavor, one that can debilitate and demotivate us from sharing our faith and sometimes keep us from engaging others.

In fact, fear is perhaps one of biggest reasons people don’t witness to others about Jesus.

So we need peace, the peace of God!

Note these helpful Scriptures we can memorize and apply: 

Isaiah 26:3 – “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”

Philippians 4:6 – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

As we pray for the peace of God prior to our engaging the lost, know that this peace is something we not only experience internally but manifest externally. Interestingly, the peace of God can also be a powerful witness.  

As an unbelieving college student at the University of Florida in the mid-1980’s, I remember seeing an old hometown friend named Mark while walking through campus one day. I hadn’t seen Mark in several years. He told me he’d become a Christian. 

I remember vividly the peace that flowed out of Mark. It was striking and I knew there was something very different about him. You see, the peace of God he expressed was a powerful testimony.

Lord, please grant us peace as we witness to others. May we not only experience your peace, but allow those to whom we witness to also experience Your peace, that the Prince of Peace be glorified and revealed to them. Amen.

As we go forth into our respective mission fields, may we pray for boldness and courage, protection and peace – to the end that the gospel go forth and people are saved. And God is faithful!

Recent Posts