Nick Swarthout is a good friend of mine, a fellow veteran turned pastor, and was the best man at my wedding, and he penned the following great article on the importance of prayer and passion as it relates to our evangelism fervor…Read, enjoy, and if you want more great content like the one below, please follow Nick at http://www.reachteachlead.com.
“If God decided to save every lost person you prayed for this week, how many lost people would end up getting saved?”
I don’t remember the first time I heard that question, but it’s a question I know I’ll never forget.
If the eternal fate of a select group of non-Christians was ever totally dependent on my prayerful concern for their soul, I’d be more than embarrassed about my prayer efforts for those far from God. I’d be appalled. And to be quite honest, I still don’t pray for those far from God as much as I think I should.
It’s a sad reality that we often get so consumed with the world around us that we forget that we’re all headed to an eternal destination one day. Yet, to be fair, I DO care about reaching lost people. I have witnessed and wept and prayed and shared and witnessed some more. I really like to think that I’m passionate about reaching people for Jesus.
But then there are the more typical days…days of busyness and worry over little things. Little things like how will we ever get from here to there and who’s going to think what about the way we did that? You know, those more self-absorbed days where we run around acting like God needs our help to get things done, or better yet, we’ll just show God how things ought to be done.
This sounds silly, I know. But truth be told, I think it may be a more honest assessment of our internal condition for more people like you and me than either of us would like to admit.
Thinking through all this has helped me though. It’s helped me track down what I believe is the root cause of complacency among many Christians today. We certainly don’t lack knowledge, and we really don’t even lack concern for those who are far from God. If we could just push a button to save everyone from hell, we would. I think the real issue lies in our human propensity toward distraction due to an internal lack of holy passion.
You see, passion for anything is the fuel to getting things done. With it, soldiers move into enemy territory to rescue hostages, firefighters run into burning buildings to save stranded children, doctors risk their lives to save people exposed to unknown viruses and police officers lay their lives on the line to serve and protect perfect strangers. Yes, and passion can even make an innocent man carry an instrument of torture to certain death to save the very people who spit in His face.
Without passion though, people chosen by God to carry His message of love to a dying world, people just like you and me, will let countless lives pass from this life into eternity without ever telling them about Jesus Christ. This isn’t meant to be a guilt trip. It’s just the reality for so many who claim to be following the Jesus of the Bible.
With enough distraction, well meaning Christians doing well meaning things for less meaningful purposes can totally neglect the true meaning of why they’re here in the first place. We don’t share Jesus because we don’t have passion.
But here’s hope…
Despite our reluctance to pass on the message entrusted to us, I am also convinced that the same God who saved us can give us the PASSION we need to go after others like eternity is at stake. I am also convinced that all we need to do is ask…