DISCIPLE MAKING

The Relationship between Prayer & Witness

Rick Burdett / Monday, March 22, 2021

 

Is my witness as a disciple of Jesus affected by my prayers; or are my prayers affected by my witness?

Chicken and egg arguments exist. They take different forms on myriads of topics. However, they cause us to think beyond our normal, casual consideration of such arguments.

We are commanded by the words of Jesus, in Acts 1:8, to be his witnesses “to the end of the earth”.

Very plain, concise, to the point. No ambiguity.

I confess my tendency when presented with the opportunity to speak out as a witness (for the salvation from my sin I have in Jesus), is to immediately consider possible consequences for engaging in the witness role.

Sometimes I engage the opportunity.

Sometimes I hit the mental pause button and continue on pause until the opportunity is no longer there.

Is it time to speak up?

My guilt in such moments is compounded by my knowledge of and memory of Scripture like Colossians 4:2-3, “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ …” In those moments of opportunity, Paul ties prayer and witness together. In verse 5, he writes, “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.” This is both reassuring and unsettling to us.

This is part of our mental debate. ‘Is this the time to speak up?’ we ask.

To the evangelist, the answer is a resounding yes! Seize the moment, “redeem the time” to be his witness. To others, we read on to verse 6, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.”

I am thankful for the variety of thinking and giftedness we have in the body of Christ. There is room for all of us, regardless of how we process these thoughts.

The relationship between Prayer & Witness

According to Colossians 4:2-6, my witness as a disciple must never be separated from my prayers. Paul explicitly instructs us that prayer precedes witness: “meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door”.

So much for the chicken or the egg argument.

Being a witness means being prepared to be the witness. Wisdom for the timing of being the witness comes from one place – prayer. Not in the moment, rather in preparation for the moment.

The Power of the Holy Spirit

Let us not forget the power we need to be his witness. It is found in prayer through the power of the Holy Spirit. Remember Jesus words in Acts 1:8, “you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you".

I am personally fortified by the Scriptures. I identify with the Apostle Paul, who writes in 1 Corinthians 2:3-5. "I was with you in weakness, in fear, in trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”

My witness is never dependant on my ability to speak.

It is never dependant on my ability to outthink another person.

It is never dependant on me being persuasive.

My witness is dependant solely and exclusively on the power of the Holy Spirit.

In this spiritual truth, I find rest. I find peace. I find I depend on God to help me be his witness on earth.

My role is to tell my story of how God is working in my life. The results of my telling the story rest with God alone.


When Rick Burdett was a kid, he dreamed of being a professional football player. Now, he’s the Chief Operations Officer at Outreach Canada. Before joining OC in 2019, Rick served as an executive pastor in two churches over 22 years. If Rick had a free afternoon, you might find him fishing, kayaking, bike riding or napping. Rick is passionate about working with and supporting people who are sacrificially loving lost people into the kingdom of God. He loves listening to the stories of how God is using team members to bless our culture & world.

 

 


print



Taste of Weavers Taste of Weavers

Is there someone who you have wished you could connect with God? The Weavers way of engaging others...
Read More..

8 Qualities of Shepherd-Leaders 8 Qualities of Shepherd-Leaders

Here are eight qualities of a shepherd-leader we can learn from the good shepherd in John 10.
Read More..

Trinitarian Hospitality Trinitarian Hospitality

I have coined the phrase “Trinitarian Hospitality” to describe the mysterious truth that the triune...
Read More..

The Joy of Evangelism The Joy of Evangelism

If you’re like me, when someone starts talking about the need to get more involved in evangelism, t...
Read More..

Mobilizing Movements: An Interview Mobilizing Movements: An Interview

An interview with Murray Moerman, about his new book Mobilizing Movements. Murray speaks from his p...
Read More..

Mobilizing Movements to Jesus Christ Mobilizing Movements to Jesus Christ

The need of Christ above all is the impetus for the Great Commission, and the Great Commission is t...
Read More..

How Should We Then Live? How Should We Then Live?

The question is asked, “How do we move forward as a moral and ethical minority in a secular and plu...
Read More..

Opportunities & Threats for the Canadian Church: Whats Next? Opportunities & Threats for the Canadian Church: What's Next?

"What’s next?" is a big question. We may not know the next step, but do we know the right direction...
Read More..

Four Components of Disciple Making Movements Four Components of Disciple Making Movements

How can a disciple-making group lead to more groups and, perhaps, even to a disciple-making movemen...
Read More..

Stop Training People Stop Training People

Stop training.  You are probably wasting your time and that of those you are training!  Seriou...
Read More..

Whats Next? Hope Amidst the Mess What's Next? Hope Amidst the Mess

As we move into this next season, let’s not be surprised when things are messy or challenging. We n...
Read More..

Living in Hope Living in Hope

We are clinging to any sign of hope. Yet, it does not take long before we realize that these hopes ...
Read More..

The Relationship between Prayer & Witness The Relationship between Prayer & Witness

What is the role of prayer as we look to share our faith with others? I confess my tendency wh...
Read More..

Prompting of the Holy Spirit in the Early Church & our Neighbourhoods Prompting of the Holy Spirit in the Early Church & our Neighbourhoods

The early believers experienced the full scope of the Spirit’s working and speaking.  This sensitiv...
Read More..

7 Characteristics of Effective Witnesses 7 Characteristics of Effective Witnesses

Some of the most effective witnesses I've seen have surprised me. They don't look like what I imagi...
Read More..

What Crime Shows Teach Us about Being a Good Witness What Crime Shows Teach Us about Being a Good Witness

Growing up, I watched a lot of crime dramas and police shows and these days there are more of them ...
Read More..

How the Church can make Disciples...even in a Pandemic How the Church can make Disciples...even in a Pandemic

Disciple-Making Groups can be trained to function as small churches and can reproduce themselves mo...
Read More..

When You Feel like a Failure at Witnessing When You Feel like a Failure at Witnessing

Do you ever feel like me?  I know what I am supposed to do, but sometimes I feel guilty for not doi...
Read More..

Witness Witness

Being a witness to something extraordinary is nothing new. We witness the ordinary and extraordinar...
Read More..

What is The Church when it is not Meeting Publicly? What is The Church when it is not Meeting Publicly?

What does the church look like when no one is attending? Do we identify the church by the location,...
Read More..

Quebec: Presenting the Gospel to the Québécois Quebec: Presenting the Gospel to the Québécois

How to present the gospel to the Québécois without unnecessary religious trappings that can hide th...
Read More..

Fleshing out Two Principles for Making Disciples Fleshing out Two Principles for Making Disciples

How do disciple-makers model themselves after Jesus, and how do disciples identify with the first d...
Read More..

Singing and Living in Harmony Singing and Living in Harmony

Harmony and unity are costly, yet very worthwhile. It is SO worth it. In the long run we accomplish...
Read More..

3 Canadian Hymns 3 Canadian Hymns

Looking at the lyrics of 3 Canadian hymns, and reflecting on worship through music.  "It is no...
Read More..

A Community Living Toward Wholeness A Community Living Toward Wholeness

“Yes, I love Jesus Christ, but I don’t go to church.” Over the years, I’ve heard similar state...
Read More..

Why Canada Needs Biblical Hospitality Why Canada Needs Biblical Hospitality

Jesus demonstrated how one can balance the tension between pursuing holiness and being a friend of ...
Read More..

Hospitality in the Early Church Hospitality in the Early Church

Hospitality was one of the factors that led to the discipleship and rapid expansion of the early ch...
Read More..

...

Hospitality as Mission
"Our homes are becoming more and more important as a centre of mission. I would say, especially for our neighbours, our home is going to be the most important opportunity they have to meet Jesus." Chris explores ho...
Read more...
A Leader’s Personal Litmus Test
A ‘litmus test’ does not change the leader; it reveals the leader’s character. Here are three litmus tests a true leader can learn from Jesus. 
Read more...
Scripture Earth: Sharing the Gospel in Diverse Languages
The website, ScriptureEarth.org, containing one of the largest repositories of Bible resources available, is a hidden jewel in the toolbox for diaspora ministry in Canada!
Read more...
Taste of Weavers
Is there someone who you have wished you could connect with God? The Weavers way of engaging others in conversation may be what you’ve been looking for. Practical. Scripture Engagement. Oral learner-friendly. Conversati...
Read more...
8 Qualities of Shepherd-Leaders
Here are eight qualities of a shepherd-leader we can learn from the good shepherd in John 10.
Read more...
Trinitarian Hospitality
I have coined the phrase “Trinitarian Hospitality” to describe the mysterious truth that the triune God opens up His community to all who believe, and remarkably, God desires to be hosted by us. In a profound sense, God...
Read more...
The Joy of Evangelism
If you’re like me, when someone starts talking about the need to get more involved in evangelism, the first thought to come to mind isn’t ‘JOY’. Maybe its stress. Or guilt. Or shame. Or fear. Why do we feel that way? ...
Read more...
Mobilizing Movements: An Interview
An interview with Murray Moerman, about his new book Mobilizing Movements. Murray speaks from his personal experience as he shares wisdom for Christian leaders & ordinary Christians.
Read more...
Mobilizing Movements to Jesus Christ
The need of Christ above all is the impetus for the Great Commission, and the Great Commission is the reason for the church, her mission, and for the recent book Mobilizing Movements: Leadership Insights for Discipling...
Read more...
How Should We Then Live?
The question is asked, “How do we move forward as a moral and ethical minority in a secular and pluralistic society?” This is a good question for any generation. What does it mean to be “moral and ethical,” an...
Read more...
Opportunities & Threats for the Canadian Church: What's Next?
"What’s next?" is a big question. We may not know the next step, but do we know the right direction? We will move ahead whether we are prepared or not. But what are we expecting? Is it only our wish to see the “old...
Read more...
Four Components of Disciple Making Movements
How can a disciple-making group lead to more groups and, perhaps, even to a disciple-making movement in our culture?
Read more...
 

 

2 - 7201 72 Street Delta BC V4G 1M5