Students sow Gospel after voicing ‘Soul Winner’s’ prayer
FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – During a chapel service at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Samuel Stephens reported how he and fellow seminary student Paul Morris shared the Gospel at a nearby Starbucks with Mike and his girlfriend, Sin.
Like Stephens and Morris, many students have recently sown the Gospel and sometimes reaped a spiritual harvest because they prayed the soul winner’s prayer during chapel, Sept. 6. During this chapel service, President Paige Patterson challenged students to ask themselves if they are broken by the lostness of men and women throughout the world. They will never share the Gospel with people, he said, until they are burdened with this lostness.
“There are 7 billion people on the face of the earth today,” Patterson said. “The vast majority of them are on their way to hell. Does that make any difference to you? … Are you so involved doing your studies here at this institution that lost people are no longer of consequence to you? Are you so deeply involved in doing the work of God in the church that lost people don’t matter to you anymore?”
Patterson then asked students that, every day for 60 days, they would lift up to God what he called the soul winner’s prayer: “Dear God, give me an opportunity to share my faith today. Help me to recognize it when it happens, and give me the courage to proceed with it when I recognize it.”
Soon after Patterson challenged students to commit themselves to prayer, many students began to report how God was working among them. The afternoon after he voiced this prayer, one seminary student met a man whose truck ran out of gas at a grocery store and who had no money to refill it. Seeing this opportunity, the student bought him a tank of gas and led him to faith in Christ.
One college student prayed for the opportunity and courage to share the Gospel. That evening, while walking around campus, she met a teenage boy and his little brother and led them to faith in Christ.
During chapel, Sept. 19, Stephens shared how God answered the soul winner’s prayer when he and Morris met Mike and Sin.
One day, Stephens and Morris ordered coffee at a Starbucks and, as they were taking their seats outside the coffeehouse, they noticed a man had left his phone sitting on a nearby table. Stephens took the phone inside and returned it its owner, Mike. A few minutes later, Mike and Sin came outside to finish their coffees. They thanked Stephens and Morris again for their kindness in returning the phone.
Since they were both from other areas of the United States, Mike and Sin commented that people in Fort Worth seem very kind. Sin also observed that she often saw people reading the Bible at Starbucks, and Mike responded that there must be some religious school nearby.
At that instant, Stephens and Morris knew that God had given them an opportunity to share the Gospel. So they told Mike and his girlfriend, that they were seminary students, and as their conversation progressed Mike began to share his own story.
“This man that I didn’t even know began to weep and share about years of alcohol addiction and how he had gone through rehabilitation, with a little bit of religion sprinkled in there,” Stephens said in chapel. “He may have considered himself free from alcohol, but through his speech and demeanor and through the Spirit’s guidance, we knew that he was still bound by sin. And one word that he continued to use through that was, “Rock bottom. I have hit rock bottom.’”
After hearing Mike’s story, Stephens shared his own testimony, telling him how sinners at rock bottom can find grace and mercy in Christ Jesus. Although Mike and Sin did not come to faith in Christ that day, they commented again and again how much they liked the two seminary students. In reply, Morris said, “Mike, you don’t like us because of who we are. You like us because of who Christ is.”
God honored Stephens and Morris’ prayers and, as Stephens told fellow seminary students during chapel, “the Savior was at Starbucks, and (Mike and Sin) saw Christ in us.”