By Laura Bailey, Crosswalk.com
A Prayer to Be Bold for the Gospel
By Laura Bailey
"For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die." Philippians 1:20 NLT
Every morning I say the same prayer, "Lord, open my eyes and heart to see people who need to hear the Gospel today. Give me the courage to proclaim the Good News boldly."
The words roll effortlessly off my tongue; my heart beats quickly as I think about the potential opportunities to share Jesus with someone. My blood pumps as I imagine the ripple effects of someone giving their life to Christ–changing someone's life, not just for the day but for eternity. Yet, as I set foot in the world, confronted with opposition, criticism, and self-doubt, my confidence wanes in return, keeping my lips shut. I lay my head on the pillow, shame consuming my thoughts, another day passed, and I chickened out.
Have you ever felt that way? You feel the Holy Spirit nudging you to invite a co-worker to church, but you convince yourself that your words will be offensive. You learn that a family member has recently turned away from their faith, and you feel a strong desire to reach out but fear it might be a complicated conversation. A sister in Christ shares a viewpoint that contradicts the Bible; you know you should gently correct her incorrect thinking but don't want to deal with the confrontation.
There have been many "missed- opportunities" to share the Gospel, lovingly point someone back to Christ, or advocate for the infallibility of the Bible. But here's the good news about the Good News: you can't thwart God's plan. Every day is an opportunity for God to use you to bring people to Him! Paul wrote these words to the early church from a prison cell:
"For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die." (Philippians 1:20).
Paul was unsure about his release from prison and future trials, but he clung to the power of the Gospel. He knew he wouldn't be able to live a perfect life, but his deepest desire was to, in every circumstance, bring glory and honor to the Lord–even if that meant death. He leaned on the power of the Holy Spirit, praying to ask God to help him be unashamed and boldly share Jesus. It is normal to feel nervous about sharing our faith. Still, when we begin to fear God over the fear of man (Hebrews 13:6), we can boldly, confidently, and without hesitation proclaim the message of salvation the world desperately needs to hear.
Heavenly Father, we humbly come before you and ask for forgiveness for the many times we have failed to proclaim the Gospel. Help us as we navigate our days to share the message of salvation. We know that you are long-suffering with your people and that your love, mercy, and grace are abundant. Thank you.
May we be bold, leaning into the power of the Holy Spirit, who guides and directs our words and actions. We pray for those who don't know You as Lord and Savior; please open their eyes and hearts to receiving You. Please help us to make the most of every opportunity, for the days are short. Let us live each day as if it were our last and give us a sense of urgency and conviction. We love you, Lord, and are so grateful for the gift of your Son. We are so undeserving, yet you died for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). May we be vessels, the blessed feet which carry the Gospel to the ends of the earth. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/JasonDoiy
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