Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; 7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. 8 The Lord GOD which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him. Isaiah 56:6-9
God has always desired for His House to be known as a house of prayer. God designed it so even Gentiles could know where to go to receive answers to prayer. Today the local church is “house of God” for this age. God made it so even lost people can know where to go to ask prayers of God. This philosophy can be applied to approach people at their doors.
When going to the door, announce your name and the church you are from. Explain quickly that you are in the neighborhood attempting to be a blessing to folks and seeing if there is anything you can do to pray for them.
Why approach a door like this? First, we are attempting to put the people at ease. We are not trying to get something from them; instead, we are trying to be a blessing. This will help lowering defenses that are already up because of a stranger or “religious” person at the door. Second, even people who are lost and don’t attend church will have things occurring in their life. God can time the visit to have situations already on the forefront of their mind when the soul-winner comes.
When the person at the door begins to give prayer requests, listen carefully, making eye contact with them. If the request is important enough for them to tell a stranger, we should be receptive enough to listen. It is often good to repeat the request and names back to them, not only to make sure you have correct facts but also to encourage them that you listened.
If possible, write the prayer request on a card (to be turned into the pastor or the Sunday School office). Tell them you are writing down the request to make sure it is not forgotten. Ask for contact information. People will usually willing give the information if asked in this context.
Whether the family gives request or not, give them a tract. Explain that if there is anything else that comes up that the family would like prayed for, the number to get a hold of the pastor or the church is on the tract. This approach allows more people to accept a tract at the door.
If the people are still receptive, transition the conversation to ask “Are you 100% if you died today that you would go to Heaven?”. Carry out presenting the gospel if the door is open to doing so.
At the end of the visit, if they gave any prayer requests, pray for them right at the door. Take time to pray for the requests they give. Also, use this time to thank the Lord for your salvation.
After the visits have been recorded, use these prayer request as an opportunity to follow-up with the people who were contacted. Ask them if prayers have been answered or if there is anything else that the church can pray for them on. This gives a legitimate reason to call or visit people again.
Often this approach is for the long-range plan on influencing the community. When the folks are introduced to the church through the initial contact, they will see where are not trying to get something from them. As they see the heart of trying to be a blessing to them, a favorable impression will form. This will allow for better reception for the next visit that is made, even if it door knocking on the same door the next year or so. It will also develop the testimony in the community that this is a church that believes in prayer.
Illustration of this Approach Working
During our time of knocking doors this way, I met a man. He relayed that the previous year he had a house he was desperate to sale. It was on the market for three years. Some of our soul-winners had knocked on his door and asked for prayer requests. The prayer request was given for the house to sale. The soul-winners prayed at the door. Within one month the house sold!
A year later I met him in the community. He explained about the visit and was astounded about the answered prayer (something that he still remembered a year earlier!). This favorable impression allowed the opportunity to tell him about the Lord. He willingly bowed his head and accepted Christ as his Saviour.
When other houses were knocked on in the surrounding neighborhood, people began to say “Oh, that’s the praying church!” Praise the Lord for the testimony He allowed the church to have!