This is a guest blog post by Tim Burke, Northshore’s Pastor of Outreach & Local Mission
A few months ago I started praying differently. I felt like God was challenging me to open my eyes and heart to the unbelievers who I brush shoulders with every day. On my way home from work one night, I stopped by Subway and the TCBY to pick up a frozen yogurt. As I was standing in line to pay for my dessert, I noticed a man next to me who was in a parallel line waiting to pay for his sandwich. As I watched him reach into his pocket for his wallet it was apparent he had not brought it with him. Just at that moment I looked at the cashier and said, “Put his sandwich on my card”. The man was speechless. The first words that came out of his mouth were, “Who are you?” That was a perfect open door for me to introduce myself and tell him about my new job as a Pastor at Northshore. The man thanked me and disappeared quickly. A moment later, he returned from his car with a business card. Written on the card was “one free home improvement” from his business. In turn, I gave him my card and invited him to join me sometime for church. He smiled and said he’d like that.
I share this story to encourage you. I also want to help you remember that when we open our hearts to reaching those who don’t know God in our community, He creates wonderful opportunities for us to love them. I don’t think there’s any big secret to loving those closest to us or inviting them to church. However, I have been praying in my devotional time this specific prayer from Colossians 4:3-4, “And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.”
I want to encourage you to pray this way with me. Here’s how you can structure your prayers from Colossians 4:3-4.
Open a door: provide a natural opportunity for me to share the gospel today.
Open their heart: prepare the hearts of those who don’t know you to be receptive to Jesus.
Open my mouth: give me the words to say and confidence to speak to the lost.
I’d love to hear some of your stories about how God is using you to love those in our community who are far from Him. Send me an email at email@example.com