Summary: Luke 10 gives us a model of evangelism that invites us to bless our neighbours, develop relationships, pray for them, and then present the Gospel
Luke 10 May 19 2002
The Sending Out of The Seventy-Two: Lighthouses of Prayer
We have been looking at the whole idea of drawing our friends, our family and our neighbours into a living relationship with God through Jesus.
We talked about God’s heart for the lost, we talked about how you do not have to become either weird or a “super-saint” to draw people to Jesus, and we talked about how to present the Good News to a friend.
Today I want to talk to you about the process of praying for your neighbours, and really loving people into the Kingdom. I have a confession to make – I have spoken on this before, but I’m not returning to it because I was too lazy or busy to prepare a sermon this week, but because I believe that this method of “Prayer Evangelism” is so key to reaching the people in our networks for Jesus.
I was introduces to Prayer Evangelism and the Lighthouses of prayer when Ed Silvoso came to speak at a conference at TACF about three years ago. And I was greatly impacted by what he had to say, because I thought it was Biblical, and it reconnected Evangelism to the work of the Holy Spirit. It allows us to be spiritual people in our desire to reach people for Christ.
Lighthouses of Prayer
A Lighthouse is a gathering of one or more people in Jesus’ name for the purpose of praying for, caring for and sharing Jesus Christ with their neighbours and others in their sphere of influence. The primary purpose of a lighthouse is to establish the presence of Jesus in every neighbourhood, office, school and workplace.
A Lighthouse of prayer may be:
A family praying for their neighbours
A schoolteacher praying for their pupils and their families
A receptionist praying for the people in her office
A store employee praying for the people in his Department...
The way that you become a lighthouse is to stand on your front porch and count five neighbours on your right - if you live on a corner, just keep counting going around the corner, count five neighbours on your left, pick the house directly across from you and five on each side of that house, and begin praying for them.
You can do this in any place - it could be apartments instead of houses, school lockers, your teammates, five desks on either side of yours at work, or in school.
I would do this where you most relate to non-Christians. If your primary relationships with unbelievers are in you workplace, school, child’s day-care, start there. I will talk mostly of neighbours, but take the most natural group for you to relate to.
We begin praying for these people using Luke 10:5-9 as our model.
5-6 - Bless Them - Pray for peace
7-8 - fellowship -develop relationships
9a - heal the sick
9b - preach the Gospel
If you look at this Biblical model, you can see that much of our evangelistic methods have turned it on it’s end - we go and bang on some one’s door, we have three minutes of reluctant attention, two and a half of which is spent telling them how we are different from the Jehovah’s Witness that was just there. Not only is this ineffective, it is not God’s way!
5-6 - Bless them
Often it is not blessing that we shower on our neighbours - we usually curse them. Not necessarily by actually cursing them, but by wishing them ill "I wish his stereo would just blow up!" "Those teens are so wild, one day they’ll come home in a body bag!" "how can she keep having kids when she can’t look after the ones she has?" "I hope one of these days his car actually gets stolen so we don’t have to hear that stupid alarm at all hours!"
If we do pray for them we often pray the problems rather than the promise - "Lord, He’s so lazy, look at his lawn, fix him please."...
If this is our attitude, God might say to us, "I’m glad that you never shared the Gospel with them, because you hate the while I love them!"
We need to begin to bless our neighbours - this step of faith alone may change our hearts from hatred or indifference to love.
Prayer walk your own neighbourhood, stop in front of every house and proclaim God’s Blessing upon it
- Pray for peace for these houses and the people who live in them.
PEACE: "shalom" - absence of strife, "well being," "welfare" completeness, wholeness, harmony, fulfillment. Safety, good relationships, prosperity
"Implicit in shalom is the idea of unimpaired relationships with others and fulfillment in one’s undertakings"
PRAY FOR THESE THINGS FOR YOUR NEIGHBOURS