In the Fall of 1997, I attended a Men’s conference with some guys I met through the golf shop. At the conference, I wound up in a breakout session with Dr. Ed Silvoso. He shared with us strategy used in Argentina that enabled them to win an entire city to the Lord within 30 days. They called it the Prayer of Evangelism.
If memory serves me correctly, the essence of the strategy was to take seventy to one hundred people to a pre-determined city in Argentina, divide the entire city up into sectors and assign two to four people to each sector. During the day an individual or a pair would canvas as many homes as they could within that sector. During those ten days they were asking one single question, “What is the greatest problem that you and your family are facing that seemingly only God could take care of?” They would leave with a promise to pray for those needs and an encouragement to watch for an answer. At the end of the day, the entire group would return to their assembly point and collectively pray for all the needs expressed.
On the eleventh day, they would return to each home previously visited and ask if there had been any movement regarding the need they had expressed. In many cases, there had indeed been answered prayer reported! From those conversations, they would extend a personal introduction to the One that met their needs. Many received the Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. If there was not yet an answered prayer, those visiting the city would ask if they could pray with them. Then they were encouraged again…to watch and see.
The group would also gather local pastors and their congregants to participate with them in this venture. You can read more about it in The Prayer Evangelism by Dr. Silvoso.
His presentation included stories of the many things they did, and a retold many of the miracles they encountered. Then, Dr. Silvoso said, “And this is how you Pastor an entire city.” With that pronouncement, the Holy Spirit hit me in the stomach so hard. I flew backward out of my metal folding chair and wound up flat on my back, with a vision of a full-color, highly detailed map of the greater Atlanta, Georgia area.
A couple weeks ago, a prophetic word was given by David Wagner to the church we attend in Franklin, Tennessee. (You can watch here: www.gracecenter.us/podcasts/2019/10/13. It begins at 1:14:15.) This word immediately resurrected to my memory that day in Florida.
In the week since, I have thought a great deal upon what happened that day back in ’97 and its implications for me today. As I did, I have begun to wonder why we don’t do the very same thing in our own neighborhood? No Bible-thumping. No tracts. No Four Spiritual Laws. No well-rehearsed scripts. Just a neighbor showing concern for his or her neighbors. Just asking them if they have a problem that they can’t seem to get around, and whether they would mind if I started praying for an answer for them. Just clearing a path for JESUS to make His introduction to them through answered prayer.
Jeremiah 29:7 “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”
Can you image the community impact if each of us simply went to ten or twelve of our local neighbors and began to pray for their personal needs? What would happen in our city if only half the members of your church decided to do the same? What would happen in those relationships? I start tomorrow. What will you do?
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