Hug Their Heart

Do you have friends, family, and acquaintances whom you want to bring to Christ?

First, begin at the beginning:

  • Write five things that you like about yourself.
  • Journal God’s working in your life.
  • Accept encouragement and save encouraging communications to you. Learn Zephaniah 3:17: “He will rejoice over [me] with gladness, He will quiet [me] with His love, He will rejoice over [me] with singing.”
  • Keep a praise journal.
  • Nurture yourself.
  • Have a prayer partner.

Then do as Pastor Samuel Meyers used to challenge his church members at the Shiloh church in Chicago to do: “Pray dangerously.”

What? You’ve got it—pray dangerously? What does this mean?

  • Ask yourself why the person has not come to Christ.
  • Think about what needs to happen for God to bring that person to the place of surrender to His leading.
  • Pray that it happens.

Pray specifically that you will be able to distinguish God’s answers from your good thinking and other people’s good advice. Embracing His answers not only provides direction for your outreach, but it gives you courage and hope.

Tamyra Horst suggests praying in “steps.” Here’s how she helped win a couple for Christ:

“First, [I prayed] that God would bring them godly friends—and that He will help me to be such a friend (never pray a prayer unless you’re willing to be part of the answer). They need to have friends who love the Lord and whose lives will be a witness to Him. Second, I prayed that they would have a distaste for alcohol and the lifestyle that goes with it. Then I prayed that the wife [who had never known God] would see God as real in her life. . . .

“While you’re praying for your friend and spending time with her, it doesn't hurt to ask her what in her life you can pray for. Most people will mention something. And then remember to follow through and pray. . . . As God works in answers to your prayer, and she sees those answers, it will be another way of drawing her to Christ” (The Gift of Friendship, pp. 83, 84).

Little things can spark big differences. Reading Horst’s How to Hug a Heart helped me develop and organize some ideas:

  • Take the time to give compliments.
  • Offer specific help.
  • Listen carefully, prayerfully, and intently.
  • Sent notes, note cards, post cards, or messages scribbled on paper bags—connect often and in unexpected ways.
  • Speak up kindly and appropriately, but do say something as the Spirit leads.

Finally, don’t be ashamed about crying at the baptisms.

Maranatha!


Faith Johnson Crumbly
© 2014 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists