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November 15, 2022
by Dr. Jeff VanGoethem

Why is it that we are seeing such a low rate of conversion in our times? Christian leaders, denominations, and many others are very concerned about it.

You might answer by saying, “Well look at our culture. It has grown increasingly more godless, people are indifferent toward the things of God and the gospel, and not only that, many voices seem to be against the truth in today’s world.” I would not say you are wrong if you said something like that.

However, have you considered that little prayer is offered these days for the lost? Church-wide prayer meetings have largely died out across the land. Interchurch prayer is very rare. Busyness has so eaten up our personal lives that we no longer seem to have time for secret prayer. And with little prayer comes little power.

Have you also considered that in times past, believers did gather together to make fervent, urgent prayer for the lost? Yes, it has happened. Sadly, not consistently but from time to time believers were stirred up to do this. And conversions were mighty in number and frequency. Perhaps now is again the time to be stirred up for converting souls more than ever as we see godlessness growing throughout the land.

There is a connection between unified prayer and powerful evangelism. In John 17 the Lord prayed that his church would be “one” (i.e. unified). The early church experienced a powerful unity in the early chapters of Acts in answer to the prayer of Jesus in John 17. As they experienced unity they prayed together for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and boldness in evangelism (Acts 1:14, 4:23-31). And there resulted a GREAT QUANTITY of conversions, which occurred with GREAT FREQUENCY (Acts 2:41, 47).

What is the secret to a great quantity of conversions, with great frequency? It is unified prayer in the church. Can we unify for prayer in our day? Is this the season the Lord will stir us? All depends on God. Therefore, all depends on prayer. Ministry leaders, dear believers, will you gather in unity with your brethren and pray for conversions?

Pastor Jeff VanGoethem has been in pastoral ministry for 40 years, including nearly twenty as Senior Pastor of East White Oak. He has returned to East White Oak after pastoring for some years in Dallas, Texas, to serve as Associate Pastor of Spiritual Development and Missions. He is married to Karen. They have four daughters and four grandchildren.