When was the last time you shared your faith with a clown? When I was serving on a Middle School retreat in New Orleans, I had prayed to God to give me wisdom in encouraging my group on how to be bold in sharing their faith one on one with others. I got my chance while our youth group headed to McDonald’s for a meal before heading back to our hotel. Circumstance had brought Ronald McDonald himself and his bodyguard to this particular restaurant that evening. It was a great opportunity and the kids watched, amused as I approached the painted faced, goofy guy with striped socks and huge red shoes. He seemed ‘safe’ to talk to behind his mask. “Hi, my name is Lisa, and we are here with a bunch of kids from my church in Chicago! I am just curious. Are clowns Christian?” He expressed how he was just there to make some money and it was not something he thought a lot about. I knew I was trying too hard for the kids’ sake who were watching wide-eyed from their booths, and I could tell from Ronald’s demeanor our conversation would be short. I shared John 3:16 with him and that Jesus loved him. He moved on to other patrons. I went and sat next to Ronald’s ‘spokesperson’, for lack of a better title. I asked him if he realized his need for Jesus as his Savior. He replied, yes he did, and that he had been a follower for many years. Long story short, we shared our testimonies and prayed for the clown together in that booth and it was a sacred moment believe it or not!
The commissioning of Abbie Case in our church service today inspires my writing, as she readies herself for a 5-month missions trip to a place unknown. We prayed for her to be a faithful able witness to those she encounters in this unknown place. This ‘Faithful Able Witness’ is actually MY prayer name. Do you have one? My husband’s is ‘Child of God’. He has great head knowledge of the Bible, but he wants more childlike faith. That’s for another story though. Back to the Prayerful, Faithful, Able Witness…
Sharing my faith is hard and scary sometimes……well, most of the time. But I want others to know this great Savior I’ve come to know! It was apparently hard for Paul, which is why he asked people—in almost every letter he wrote—to pray for him in this arena. And, it must be difficult because it is one of the most deficient areas of most Christian’s lives.
In Colossians 4:3 Paul asked his fellow believers to pray for his witness. He says, “pray also for us, that God may open for us a door for the Word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account on which I am in prison-that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.”
Throughout many of Pauls writings on prayer, he talks about praying for believers in their witness. When was the last time you were compelled to pray for someone in their witness to others? Who could you ask to commit to pray for your own witness to others? Do we pray in our life groups for our circle of relationships or key people we know? My circle of influence seems so small right now, as I seem to only congregate with other Christians. Can we pray together that God would open doors to connection with a neighbor, or with a work colleague?
Following along in Colossians 4, Paul prays, “that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.5 that I would walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 that all speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that we all may know how we ought to answer each person. (paraphrased)
If Paul needed this kind of praying, I truly need it and after Abby’s commissioning, I wanted it even more! How about you?
Everyone deserves to hear about Jesus sooner rather than later. The truth is we should never assume that someone else would do a much better job than we would. Our job is obedience. openbible.info has 100 verses that show our need to witness to the world. “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.” Mark 16:15 and “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!” Psalm 96:3. God’s job is results, so there is peace in that!
So here is Colossians 4:2-6 ESV in its full content
2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word,
to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—
4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.
6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt,
so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Do you feel compelled to committing this month to memorize these verses and to see how God will act on you praying His Word back to Him? Will you ask your life group to pray for you in your witnessing to others? As we are in our countdown phase to moving into the physical building at C.O.R., it seems all the more imperative to have a boldness to share our faith and our church home with others.
Lord, I pray for myself and for this congregation. I pray for Abby Lord. Would you open up doors for us to share your Word? Give us the boldness today to speak forth the mystery of Christ. And I pray that when you do you will make it clear exactly what we should say and how we should say it.
Help us to live before unbelievers with wisdom that doesn’t ruin the opportunity for the Gospel. And help us today to seize every opportunity you give. And fill our speech with grace, seasoned as with salt—that graciously responds to every person about everything and brings your grace into the conversation. Use us, Lord, in ways we have never been used for you! And we pray that unbelievers will be brought to You and will see You for the wonderful Savior that you are!”