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Q I feel so inadequate and timid. I have read books on how to share my faith with others and have a sincere desire to declare that Jesus is for real. But I don’t want to mess it up. What should I do?

A When Jesus rose from the dead, he appeared to his disciples and said, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised. . . . For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:4-5, 8). The book of Acts goes on to explain that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and receiving his power came as the disciples devoted themselves to prayer. In prayer the disciples turned a key in the gates of heaven, and the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them. The Spirit empowered Jesus’ followers with the resources of divine power and transformation, turning them from a bunch of cowards into fearless witnesses to the resurrection of the Lord. What the church needs today is not so much “knowing how to do evangelism” as being on our knees in prayer for the power and outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Praying is the means through which we partner with the Holy Spirit in the work of outreach and witnessing.

Dr. John DeVries writes, “Prayer is also the key that unlocks the gates of Satan’s resistance to the spread of the gospel,” reminding us of the biblical truth that a spiritual warfare is being engaged. The apostle Paul empowers the church with this strong admonition: “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:4-5). What are these divine weapons? The Holy Scriptures and prayer!

I hear an old gospel song— “It's me, it's me, it's me, O Lord, standing in the need of prayer.”

 —Victor Ko is a church planter with mosaicHouse in Edmonton, Alberta.

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