James 3:15 – In your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give the reason for the hope you have.
In a group of about twenty Christians, I asked this question and then drew awkward silence. “Which one of you can lead me through the sinner’s prayer to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior?” Again, this small room, filled with what I call strong believers, fell quiet.
It’s not only a good thing for every believer in Jesus Christ to be able to lead someone to Him, but I believe it’s a requirement. If you find this task to be daunting, this article can help. You’re not alone. James 3 says that we must always be prepared to give an answer for our faith. The best way to have an answer to any question is to study the material well.
ONE – Know your limitations
Before we direct our conversation to the one whom you’ll be helping, we must talk about you. It’s noble that you want to help someone make the greatest commitment of their life! It’s also important that you know your own limitations.
If you are learning to pray yourself, don’t use lengthy prayers, full of Christian-ese with your new friend in Christ. You will only making a glorious moment uncomfortable. Instead, speak in a normal voice, with normal vocabulary. Don’t be concerned that they will think you’re not qualified. The Bible says that no one can say “Jesus is Lord” but by the Holy Spirit [1 Corinthians 12:3]. He will be doing the work. You are a helper.
TWO – Get to know the person’s story
While it’s true that Billy Graham didn’t get to know everyone’s personal story before he led them to the Lord, you’re not in that scenario. Make sure that you find out why this person wants to become a Christian. Know about their family heritage in Christ. In doing so, you will be better prompted in both your follow up and prayers afterward. You will also be certain they are ready. For instance, if someone meets you for coffee and they think God is dead, and has been for centuries, receiving Jesus is not their first step. They need to hear your story of transformation. On the other hand, if someone clearly has a repentant heart and has God movement on the horizon, it’s time. Be careful to know the person whom you are helping. It’s crucial.
THREE – Memorize a short prayer
In the heart of this little article is the pinnacle of why we are here. The sinner’s prayer, the prayer of forgiveness, receiving Jesus, or whatever name your prayer is given, must be delivered well. This is the part where you should study. You should be ready. Below is a short prayer and then a bit of explanation. I recommend your prayer being short, yet intentional. Remember to lead them through this prayer. This means that you say a line and then they repeat it. Don’t get ahead of them. Listen and be present. We all know there is a bit of nervous energy in the room.
“Dear Lord Jesus,
I ask You to be Lord of my life
Lord of my whole life
I recognize that I am a sinner
And that I’m in need of a savior
I offer my life to You today
In Jesus’ name, amen”
First, our prayer is directed to Jesus. He is the One doing the work, not you or I. He must be Lord of our entire lives for this to transformation to take effect. While the process of giving our lives over to the Lord is not simple, our intentions can be. Everyone must recognize that it was our sin that nailed Jesus to the cross. He freely went to the cross knowing what He was doing for people centuries to come. Last, offering your life to the Lord is your first Christian sacrifice that you do after entering the Kingdom. You are stepping from a kingdom of darkness to light as a living sacrifice. This is not under your own power, but the same that raised Jesus from the dead. This power is mighty!
FOUR – Follow up/Give them tools
One of the greatest deceptions that the devil uses post-conversion is to tempt someone to believe that no transformation has taken place. I’ve seen this countless times. Your job, as the friend or prayer-leader, is to be ready to help when these accusations come. You must follow up with your new brother or sister. I recommend having two to three books ready to give them. Some examples are below. Also, make sure that they have a printed Bible. Smartphone apps are great, but in this instance, they fall short. One of the best moments in their lives should be accompanied by a Bible to commemorate it.
FIVE – Pray for them every day
Congratulations for taking part in one of life’s greatest opportunities! Helping someone step into the Kingdom of God could change their entire family tree. Now you have received the commission to pray for them every day. As we spoke of before, the devil wants no part of this transformation. Your prayers will help fend off his arrows. Beyond that, you will be reminded to check in with this person from time to time. No one has ever told me to stop praying for them. They are always honored to hear that I’m praying each morning.
Helping people be born into the Kingdom of God is not solely your pastor’s job. In fact, when ministers equip their congregations to do ministry the results are exponential. Where one person can lead so many, ten people can lead exponentially more. Plus, post-transformation care is also more available.
Can you think of the people in your life who you have helped bring into the Kingdom of God? Have you followed up lately? What are some other ways to help people in their walk with God? There are so many opportunities, we need to be ready!