Six words to create a gospel opportunity

Great little post from Donald Whitney

Over and over I’ve seen one simple question open people’s hearts to hear the gospel. Until I asked this question, they showed no interest in spiritual matters. But then after six words—only seventeen letters in English—I’ve seen people suddenly begin to weep and their resistance fall. The question is, “How can I pray for you?” …

This question is similar to one that Jesus Himself sometimes asked: “What do you want me to do for you?” (Matthew 20:32). For what we are really asking is, “What do you want me to ask Jesus to do for you?” And by means of this question, we can show the love of Christ to people and open hearts previously closed to the gospel.

I had tried to talk about the things of God many times to a business-hardened, retired executive who lived next door. He was a pro at hiding his feelings and keeping conversations at a superficial level. But the day we stood between our homes and I asked, “How can I pray for you?” his eyes filled with tears as his façade of self-sufficiency melted. For the first time in seven years he let me speak with him about Jesus.

It’s a short, easily remembered question. You can use it with longtime friends or with people you’ve just met. It doesn’t seem too personal or pushy for those who’d rather give you a shallow answer just now, and yet it often leads to a full hearing of the gospel. You can ask it of people nearly every time you speak with them and it doesn’t get old. Just simply and sincerely ask, “How can I pray for you?” You’ll be surprised at the results.



5 thoughts on “Six words to create a gospel opportunity

  1. This is so helpful, but the important thing to do is to actually remember to PRAY! I find writing someone’s name down in a frequently visited place (i.e. kitchen, for me) a good reminder. It also gives opportunity to ask at a later date, ‘How are things going with …?’

  2. Our Church has made up buttons to wear, asking God to have the people searching for prayer, God, peace, to see that we WANT to pray for them.

    Using the phrase, “How can I pray for You?

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