Personal Evangelism is as much about the want to, than perhaps it is about the how to. More specifically, if we don’t have the want to, our knowledge of the how to will be of little use to us. It’s like putting the cart before the horse. So as we think about prayer as a key component of personal evangelism, we start with the issue of our heart.
1 Peter 3:15 puts it well, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”
This foundational verse for evangelism highlights the priority of heart alignment with God. For before we can prepare or be ready to tell someone about Jesus, ‘to give a defense’, we first need to sanctify the Lord God in our hearts.
How do we do that? As with any area of our life, we surrender and commit that area to the Lord and allow Him to conform our heart to His heart, as revealed in His Word.
And what is God’s heart for the lost? For one, He has compassion for them: “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd (Matthew 9:35-36).
Starting to pray for a right heart is to pray in this way: Lord, I surrender my heart to yours in the area of my personal witness. Give me a heart of compassion for the lost in my sphere of influence and beyond.