SPRINGFIELD – Ed Stetzer believes a main reason more people are not witnessing to the lost is a lack of compassion.
Stetzer, executive director for the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton College, indicated many people have a saving faith in Jesus Christ, and many believe those without faith should be reached, but lack their own conviction in carrying out personal evangelism.
Stetzer shared Matthew 9:35-38 where Jesus told the disciples to pray to the Lord of the harvest for the workers for the harvest.
“Prayer for people to join the work is the bridge. Prayer changes the heart and the situation,” Stetzer said. “In Matthew 9, Jesus told the disciples to pray to the Lord of the harvest for workers and in Matthew 10, Jesus said ‘You are the workers.’”
“A recurring theme of prayer moves us to compassion. Stetzer said. “I don’t see a future for a church that isn’t prayed for.”
He presented various statistics of what people prayed, and noted the statistics presented – more people (21%) prayed to God to win the lottery than those who prayed for those in other religions (20%).
“If we pray how Jesus wants us to pray, he’ll almost always answer and will include us,”
Stetzer’s prayer emphasis struck a chord with Matthew Culbertson, pastor of Faith Baptist, Festus.
“I appreciated he called us back to prayer. The issue is the heart is not where it is supposed to be. Prayer is so important. We can try to do it on our own power for so long and then we’ll fail,” Culbertson said.