Praying for Boldness
Did you know that the most popular foods in America are hamburgers? Hot dogs, French fries, and Oreo cookies fall in line right behind burgers. I’m sort of disappointed tacos did not make the top ten, but I find these statistical matters interesting. A researcher and question-asker, I am at the core, so it shouldn’t surprise you that today’s prayer focus resulted from hovering over some revealing data points. Today, more than ever, there is a need to pray for boldness.
In the past year, Pew released alarming findings on the number of people in the American population who have no religious affiliation. That segment has grown to 29%. This upswing results from an increasing secularization of society, which affects church attendance as well as beliefs and practices. In the past ten years, attendance has decreased by half. (I think those numbers might be askew considering Covid driving most to virtual participation, but I cannot ignore a significant decrease.)
With a rising percentage of those with no religious affiliation, there has never been more of a need to share our faith and be involved in discipleship. George Barna and his colleagues would agree. They found Christians avoid making disciples. A large percentage said they have never been asked, and another chunk confessed they had never given it much thought. Barna writes:
“Interestingly, a lack of external motivation becomes the chief obstacle for Christians who are being discipled themselves but aren’t helping someone else grow in the same way.”
In other words, they found Christians often just need a push to engage in relationships ripe for disciple-making. Among hesitations like feeling ill-equipped, they lack boldness. That’s where you and I come in.
How do we attain such boldness?
Boldness is not a magical quality in Christians just because you follow Jesus, but it is required. Paul and others recognized that to be a part of God’s work in making disciples, boldness was required and that they could not possess it on their own.
Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 1 Thessalonians 2:2
So how did they possess it? Paul gives us a clue in his letter to the church as Ephesus.
and also (pray) for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, Ephesians 6:19
I get the rub. This is easier to write on a blog in the safety of my office than to walk next door to get flat rejected. But here is what you and I must determine: If we truly believe that Jesus is Who He says He is, and He can do in others what He has done in us, then we cannot remain timid but ask God to do something in us that is supernatural.
Today, let us follow Paul’s example to pray for a boldness we do not possess to proclaim the gospel wherever and to whomever God chooses (even the difficult neighbor next door). Pray for me and I will pray for you.
Praying for Boldness
As we near the celebration of our national independence, please hear this prayer of our dependence. There are so many in our midst that do not know Who you are or what you can do. In fact, there may be more than ever before. So, today, we take your Word and lift up this request for you to make us bold. Specifically, I am requesting a supernatural boldness for my sweet friend to possess and know how to utilize. Give her a confidence to engage in spiritual conversations, have a willingness to ask and answer the difficult questions that arise, and point people to Jesus. Let her be a strategic part of turning the numbers back on themselves—bringing those in her sphere of influence to the saving power you, alone, offer. Help her trust that You can do this. Give her opportunities. Remove her timidity and reassure her with your presence that You are worth any risk.
In the glorious and unmatched name of Jesus.
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