Friendship Ablaze! Prays

The first step in Friendship Ablaze! is to pray for a friend who is spiritually lost or simply unchurched. It is God’s gracious answer to your prayers on behalf of your friend that opens the door to sharing the good news of the Gospel and extending an invitation to be part of your church.

It is important to remember that it is not prayer alone that brings a person into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit sets our friendships Ablaze!

In his explanation to the Third Article of the Apostles’ Creed in his Small Catechism, Martin Luther wrote: “I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel...”

In His grace the Holy Spirit works faith in the hearts of people as they hear the Gospel. Read Romans 10:17. A friend who is lost in sin, a friend who is unchurched, can be reached for Christ and His Church when a believing friend shares the truth of God’s love and the Holy Spirit creates a response of faith.

Take a moment to remember the beginning of your own faith or a time when your faith was especially real to you. How did God’s Word affect what was happening in your life or how did it help you understand what was happening? If you are studying this book in a group, take a moment to share your thoughts.

Though it is always the Holy Spirit working through the sharing of the Gospel that builds faith, it is prayer that prepares the way for your friend to hear and come to faith.

Think about the relationship of prayer and outreach as you read the following:

  1. Romans 10:1. Why might Paul’s prayer for the Israelites be called Ablaze?
  2. Matthew 9:38. Who is the Holy Spirit calling to the “harvest”?
  3. Acts 4:29-31. How did the apostles pray that they might be Ablaze! with the zeal to declare God’s Word?
  4. Acts 16:25-34. How does this text show Paul was Ablaze! with seeing an opportunity to share the Gospel in unusual and unexpected circumstances?
  5. Romans 10:9-15. How might you know that God has a passion for friendships Ablaze! and wants everyone to come to faith in Jesus Christ?

Summarize how these verses of Scripture become a prayer list for yourself as you seek to carry outFriendship Ablaze!

The Bible also helps us know how we can pray for a lost or unchurched friend to come to a place of interest concerning the Gospel or an invitation to your church. This “interest” is not faith. It is simply a time of change or disappointment or hurt when your friend has questions concerning the circumstances of life. You may want to pray that:

  1. Your friend begins to ask “honest” (or thoughtful) questions. For example: How can you know there is a God? How can you be sure Jesus rose from the dead? How can you believe in creation instead of evolution? Read Psalm 19:1. How can this verse help answer “honest”/thoughtful questions?
  2. Your friend will feel troubled because of sin. Examples might include feelings of guilt, fear, or anxiety, especially related toward God. Read Romans 2:15. How does the Gospel help calm feelings related to sin?
  3. Your friend would ask, “How can I deal with my troubles?” Examples might include issues related to family: trouble with a child, trouble in a marriage. Read Luke 17:13. How does your experience of faith help you in similar situations? What is the counsel of the Word of God for your friend’s difficulty?
  4. God will open your friend’s heart and mind to the Holy Spirit’s work. Read I Corinthians 12:3. Why is this declaration of faith significant?
  5. Satan's lies will not find intellectual acceptance. Examples include thoughts that represent cultural acceptance or personal rationalizations that are contrary to a relationship with Jesus Christ and the teachings of His Word: consensual sexual relationships outside marriage, substance abuse, pornography, abortion, etc. Read 2 Corinthians 4:4. How do you understand the mind as the battle ground of spiritual warfare?

Summarize how these verses might become a prayer list for your lost or unchurched friend. How do they help you focus on Friendship Ablaze?  Will you begin to pray for your friend each day about these things? Will you be available to your friend for times of support, encouragement, and witness that bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ into the context of your friend’s life?

A closing prayer:

Father, I have a special friend who is lost (or unchurched). Bless this friend and our friendship. Help me to be Ablaze! with the zeal to serve my friend. Help me love that friend with such passion that I am available for the moment when my friend’s heart and mind are open to receive my love and hear the wonderful Gospel of Your love. Let that moment be soon. May this friendship be a Friendship Ablaze! In the Name of my Friend, Jesus. Amen.