It’s no secret that fear is one of the biggest problems Christians face in evangelism. The possibility of being rejected is something nobody likes to face. To evangelize, boldness has to overcome fear instead of fear overcoming boldness. The question is, though, “How does one obtain boldness?”
One answer the Scriptures would give is rather simple—ask God for it. The mistake we often make is that of confessing our fear to others and asking them for prayer, but seldom confessing our fear to the Lord and asking Him for boldness.
In Acts 4, Peter and John face persecution. In the name of Christ, Whom the Sanhedrin has just crucified, Peter and John heal a lame man. When they are brought before the highest Jewish court, Peter brings his persecutors before the justice bar of God. He explains to them they have killed the promised Messiah. The thing that surprises the people is not their cowardice, but their courage. Where did they get this boldness?
In verse 29, it is a specific request they laid before the Lord, “Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word.”
God’s answer to that prayer is found two verses later: “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness” (4:31).
The reason we sometimes do not have the boldness needed in evangelism is because we have not asked God for it. We need to follow the example of Peter and John, as well as that of Paul, the apostle. Paul requested prayer, “. . . that I may open my mouth boldly . . .” (Eph. 6:19).
I once asked a businessman who is very consistent in sharing Christ how he overcame his fear. He immediately referred to the founder of the Navigators’ ministry, “Dawson Trotman once said that we talk about opportunities. We don’t need to pray for opportunities, but the boldness to meet them.”
So, next time you are faced with an opportunity to share Christ and are fearful, remember—tell God first. Ask Him for boldness.