Note: I am overseas at the moment and will not have any internet. This is a guest post by Michael A. Coughlin. His blog can be found HERE.
Previously, we looked at how the open air preacher’s love for people, both the lost and the saints affects his preaching. Prayer is an important element of preaching which deserves its own post!
Dear Christian, in your prayers do you ask God to bring his elect to your preaching? How then do you expect to encounter them?
I’ve already outlined the importance of prayer as part of the post about preparation. It’s vital. It’s urgent. It’s required.
Now allow me to give you some ideas how to pray. Pray that God would give you opportunities, that he would bring people to hear your preaching and soften their hearts. You can pray for safety, the weather, and all sorts of things that you can later praise God for and thank Him for! Pray that He would not let you err in your speech about Him and that you would be humble and bold as you herald His Gospel!
But there’s more. For many people, open air preaching is not even on their radar. They will never do it. These people should be enlisted in prayer. I take great comfort in KNOWING people from my local church are praying for me while I’m preaching. They can do this because I tell them where and when I’m going (when I know in advance). Additionally, some people will come with you, but they aren’t really bold evangelistic types. They may even fear handing out a tract.
Nothing can stop those people from praying on the street while you preach and engage the lost. And nothing may be more important than if God would answer their prayers for you! Too many preachers have pushed people away because those people didn’t try preaching or were not “just like the preacher.” Instead, when you find someone who differs from you, ask them to pray and get a commitment from them so they don’t forget. Don’t be afraid to follow up and ask them if they prayed. They need accountability to, and forgetting to pray once may be all it takes for them to be a prayer helper to you for a long time.
Finally, thank God for all his good work and blessings when you are finished. Acknowledge answered prayer and pray for the hearers of your preaching! I love praying on the street with my team. You may even get more people interested in eavesdropping on your prayer circle than who actually listen to preaching!
If you desire to preach and your church does not support that for some reason, why don’t you take that to the Lord in prayer…repeatedly…until there is resolution.
In the final post, we will discuss projection – how to get the message heard, but to use wisdom in the approach.