President's Spring Convocation - February 4

The Role of Prayer in Evangelism

 “Instead of telling His disciples to work harder when He saw the crowds, Jesus told them to pray for more people to help bring in the harvest,” said Jeff Iorg, president of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. Referring to Matthew 9:35-38, Iorg urged the students, faculty, and staff attending the President’s Convocation to do the same: pray for more people to move into the midst of those with a great need of Him.

“When you pray for more people to witness,” Iorg explained, “Be aware most of the people who respond will know very little about sharing their faith. They will not be fully formed seminary graduates. When you pray this prayer, and people volunteer, you have the responsibility to train and equip them.”

The president further challenged the seminary community to pray for more opportunities to share the Gospel - to ask God to open doors, as stated in Colossians 4:3-4 – and take advantage of them when they open. “Ask God for opportunities and for spiritual alertness to recognize and take advantage of these opportunities.” He encouraged greater spiritual sensitivity and determination “to speak up for Jesus when you have the chance.”

Iorg asked his listeners to consider how they know when God is giving an opportunity to share the Gospel. He noted, “there are three experiences that often result in people being spiritually open: people die, relationships fail and things break.” When those events happen, Iorg continued, “Be prepared to step in and share the Gospel.”

Praying for bold insight for how to witness is another aspect of prayer related to evangelism. “Pray to witness clearly in a convoluted world,” Iorg urged based on Ephesians 6:19-20, “particularly when the needs of people are so varied.” He encouraged his listeners to “learn the core Gospel message and trust that God will enable you to do your best in every situation.”

“I also challenge you to pray for the Gospel to spread rapidly, and for it to be honored,” said Iorg, quoting 2Thessalonians 3:1. “Here in the Western United States, this prayer is a difficult one of which to feel confident,” Iorg said. “But no matter how impossible you may feel your prayers are, ask God anyway. He delights in answering impossible prayers.”

Iorg also added, “Since Romans 10:1 records a prayer specifically for a group of people to be saved, Christians may use this as a model. Whether praying for a nation, a neighborhood or a neighbor – pray for them by name.” Throughout spring chapel services students, faculty, and staff will be encouraged to report the results of the seminary’s renewed emphasis on prayer related to evangelism.

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