“Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us that God may open a door to us for the message, to speak the mystery of the Messiah-for which I am in prison-so that I may reveal it as I am required to speak.” Col 4:2-4
Sharing the gospel is much more than transferring information about the sinfulness of man and the redemptive actions of God. The circumstances surrounding the proclamation of the Gospel is a matter of life and death. I view it much like the passing on of information concerning a prison escape to a prisoner in his cell while the guard has momentarily looked the other way.
There is a great sense of urgency. You’ve got to get the prisoner’s attention when the guard is not looking. You’ve got to be clear about the instructions in the few moments you have. This requires much more than the ability to pass a message on to another person. There must be a constant awareness of your surroundings and a sensitivity to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. This requires prayer.
A “fisher of men” must devote himself to prayer while being very familiar with “the message” of the gospel. There are only two offensive weapons that the “fisher of men” has when fighting the enemy who seeks to keep men and women imprisoned – prayer and the Word of God. Both are essential for a successful prison escape.
Prayer will insure that your communication with God is current and also positions you for any last minute instructions from the Master. Prayer will create distractions that turn the enemy’s focus away from the captive so that you are able to share the gospel. Prayer will be a constant reminder to you about how dependent you must be upon God. Prayer will produce a supernatural patience within you as you sense the prisoner’s reluctance and fear concerning the escape plans.
Never forget that sharing the Gospel is more than an item on your spiritual to-do list. It is a strategic and tactical event during wartime that involves the souls of men. As “fishers of men” be sure to “devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving.”