PRAYER WALKING EVANGELISM STORY
BY Curtis Sergeant
Transcribed from YouTube 6/10/16 and Used by Permission https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JH80rBz3tuk&feature=youtu.be
One day when I was prayer walking on the island off the south coast of China, I encountered a lady who was an acquaintance of our family. So, we started to talk when we saw one another and she mentioned a problem she was having at her work.
I asked her, “Would you mind if I prayed for you about that?” Now, this woman was unusual for that island in two ways: one, she was well educated and very few people go past fourth grade education on that island, and second, she was a Communist Party member and so she was an atheist and that was very rare on this island. So when I asked if I could pray for her,
I imagined she wouldn’t be very interested but she didn’t want to hurt my feelings, so she said, “Sure.” So, I started to pray for her and prayed for her about that issue at her workplace. I prayed for her, her husband, her daughter who was 6 or 7 years old, for their health, for their financial situation, for their relationships, for their spiritual life.
When I finished praying, she did something unusual. She reached out and grabbed my arm. Now that’s unusual for a woman to grab a man if she’s not related to you. But she grabbed my arm and said, “Thank you so much! That was very meaningful! It’s the strangest thing. The whole time you were praying, I felt this intense peace and love like I’ve never experienced before! Thank you!”
So I said, “You’re welcome.” We said our good byes and went our separate ways.
The next day, I was prayer walking on the same street about the same time and saw the same lady again. When I saw her, I went up and asked her for an update on the issue I had prayed for her about related to her workplace.
So she gave me an update and she said, “Would you please pray for me again?”
So I started to pray again. Now, when I’m praying for people out prayer walking like this, I’ll close my eyes and bow my head a little bit mainly so I can focus so I’m not distracted. But this day I acted like I was closing my eyes but I was actually peeking because I wanted to watch her body language as I was praying. So, I prayed a similar prayer to what I had prayed before.
Her body language was extremely positive so I decided to keep praying. After praying for her and her family, I prayed for her community, for her city, for the island, for the country of China and even for some international things she would be aware of. Her body language kept being super positive so I kept praying. Finally, I couldn’t think of another thing to pray for. I probably prayed twenty minutes. I finished praying.
And she said, “It happened again! The whole time you were praying, I just felt this intense peace and love like I’ve never experienced. It’s the strangest thing!” And she said another thing, “Does God really care about all those things you prayed for?”
And I said, “Yes. He’s the creator of everything. He’s intimately concerned with all of His creation. He knows every bird that falls from the sky. He knows the number of hairs on your head. He’s absolutely concerned about all those things.”
Then she said, “Can God really do something about all those things you prayed for?”
And I said, “Yes, He has all wisdom and all knowledge. He has all power and all authority. He is present everywhere. He is outside of time itself so He can see the end from the beginning. In Him, everything holds together. He can absolutely do something about all those things I prayed for.”Then she said, “Can I pray?” not meaning right then, but just in general.
And I said, “Yes, you can pray any time and God will hear you. But, it won’t be the same as when I pray. You see I have a relationship with God. I’ve been adopted as His child. He doesn’t have that relationship with you. He has no obligation to you so it won’t be the same as when I pray. But the good news is you can have this kind of relationship with God. So, then, I explained the gospel to her starting in Genesis and going all the way to Revelation, telling her the history of God’s revelation of Himself and I did it from a relational perspective. Then I said, “Would you like to do this right now? You can have this kind of relationship with God.”
And she said, “No. If I were to do that, I would almost certainly lose my job. (She had a government job.) I would be kicked out of the Party and my husband would almost certainly leave me and take our daughter. I’m just not prepared to make those sacrifices. But, can I teach my daughter to pray?” Now this is a huge issue due to the one child policy in China. What happened to your one child was the most important thing in life. So this was a big issue she was asking about.
“Yes,” I said, “you can teach your daughter to pray, but she also doesn’t have this kind of relationship with God either.”
She said, “I understand.” So we said our good byes and went our separate ways.
I then didn’t see her for some time, but the next time I saw her, she did something else unusual. She saw me off in the distance and ran up to me. Now, that island is well down into the tropics, and is hot and humid all the time. The people there are known for their laziness, so you never see an adult run for any reason, especially not somebody important like her. She ran up to me and she said, “I, too, am a child of God.”
I said, “That’s wonderful! Please tell me about it.”
She said, “The last time after we talked, I went home and I taught my daughter to pray. We would pray together every day about everything that happened. It was wonderful. A couple of weeks ago, we were in town and standing in line to buy some raffle tickets. There was a government sponsored raffle where they were raffling off a television set and the money was to be used to care for handicapped children. We were standing in line and my daughter said ‘Mom, shouldn’t we pray about this first?’ and I said, ‘yes, we absolutely should.’ So, we prayed aloud standing in line, ‘Dear God, please help us to win this television set.’”
I wish I could have seen that! I can just hear the other people in line thinking, “What is she doing? Is that fair?” You’ve got this atheist lady praying, “Dear God, help us win this television set but even if we don’t win, it’s ok. But we thank you that you have blessed everyone in our family with good health and whole bodies. You’ve blessed us financially so we can afford to buy these tickets. We thank you that you love these handicapped children that no one else loves.” (In China, the handicapped are despised and resented. Everyone wants them to just die and go away. )But she said, “I know God loves them though no one else does.” She prayed, “Lord, please use the money that’s raised to give them full and happy lives.”
She told me they didn’t win the television set but she went on to say, “That night I went home and was laying on my bed and I was thinking about what I had prayed and I realized it was all true! God has blessed us with good health and whole bodies and with good finances! God does love those handicapped children no one else loves and I realized I want to know that God and serve that God and be his child. I remembered how you told me I could do that, so I chose to follow Jesus and led my daughter to do the same thing.”
So they became some of the first members of the first churches in this people group that became a movement that swept across that entire island! All I did was pray for her twice. Evangelism can be done through prayer, through prayer walking, and for me, I find that is the most effective way to share my faith.
Want more on how to share your faith, multiply disciples and fellowships that multiply?
Curtis Sergeant’s “Multiplication Concepts” course on multiplying disciples & churches: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKxcWR58Jbg&list=PLtMNe_ry3iGBIE4fqiCyoZIu7-XU_gLh8
More from Curtis Sergeant: MetaCamp http://metacamp.org/ and Zume http://metacamp.org/zume/
How to share your faith with…(leer en español) from Dare2Share
Have friends or neighbors in your community who are atheists? Agnostics? Into Wicca? Check out these thirteen predominate worldviews for insights that will help you be effective in sharing your faith with others. Check out the video on thin page for a quick overview on how to share your faith. When you’re sharing your faith with someone who believes differently than you about Jesus, be sure to “ask, admire and admit.” http://www.dare2share.org/products-resources/worldviews/