To start living out a missional lifestyle, we should start by praying for our non-Christian friends. Prayer IS evangelism. It gets God working in people’s lives. Prayer should become a normal part of campus outreach. Through prayer, God can change our friends’ hearts and minds, because the real battle is spiritual.
It is as we pray that God can create faith within us. We can begin to believe that He is working on people and that they can come to Jesus. That’s faith. Heart preparation is more important than lesson preparation.
Who do we choose to pray for?
We need to understand we have “spheres of influence” or respect and “spheres of concern.”
Some of the people we know are influenced by us and our lifestyle. Others are more like acquaintances. We may desire to see them come to know Jesus, but they’re not as quickly influenced or impacted by our lives. Every believer should see themselves as a "secret pastor" with a "secret congregation," with a group of pre-Christian friends for whom they feel concern and personal interest.
The individuals to focus on in our prayer time are those in our “spheres of influence.” By praying for your pre-Christian friends in this way you can be sure that the Lord will expose them to diverse opportunities to here and see your witness lived out.
We can still pray personally for those in our “spheres of concern”— that we might have opportunity to get to know them better. Eventually those people may become part of our “spheres of influence.”
Why do we pray?
1. To invite the presence of God into what we are doing.
2. To protect others
4. Historical precedent
—Highland Baptist, Reaching College Students Through Cells
A church or campus ministry and its members must be proactive and intentional about loving those outside the Christian community. It is easy to become absorbed into the Christian "ghetto" and lose touch with the needs of the campus community. Many Christians, in an attempt to become more missional are intentionally taking on positions of influence within their campus communities to increase their impact and broaden their spheres of influence.
Mobilizing triad prayer teams within the church or campus community is one productive way to help facilitate intentional prayer for those who don't know Him.
1. Identify 3 "spheres of influence" who you are committed to praying for.
2. Join with two other people in your community who will do the same.
3. Commit to pray for each of those names a minute every day.
4. Pray for these 9 names together once a week (i.e. 20 minutes on your own or at a cell.
5. After 30 days or longer invite them to an informal get-together where they will meet other Christians. (preferably not a formal church/campus ministry sponsored event)
Love your pre-Christian friends and college by actions and prayer!