Todd Shupe’s Take On Prayer: Approach With Confidence And Thanksgiving

todd shupe

Prayer is an essential component to our relationship with God. We offer prayers for those who are sick or in need of help and prayers of thanksgiving for our blessings. Prayer is also a time for us to be quiet and listen for the gentle voice of God. The Psalmist tells us in Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” Todd Shupe has decided to focus on this scripture while waiting for God’s gentle whisper.

“Even if I don’t hear a response to my prayer, I still come away with peace and comfort knowing that God is God and He loves me more than I can begin to understand,” says former LSU professor and faith-based volunteer Todd Shupe. “This gives me a peace that transcends all understanding and prepares me to hopefully be a better witness and brother today than I was yesterday.”

According to Todd Shupe, it is important for us to approach prayer in the right manner.  The Bible tells us what to pray — “The Lord’s Prayer” (Matthew 6:9-13) — and also how to pray: “In your room,” (Matthew 6:6).  However, it does not necessarily tell us how to prepare for prayer.

Todd Shupe, a former professor at LSU, feels that too many Christians approach prayer in one of two ways. First, many come to God in fear and doubt. We know that God can do what we are asking — but are fearful that He will not do it as we want or when we want.

“The second group of Christians I refer to as the ‘Santa Claus Christians.’ They think that if they are good all year then when they make a prayer request to God that He is “obligated” to do as asked. In both cases, resentment can develop if God does not provide what is asked and when it is asked,” says Todd Shupe, a former LSU professor.

According to Todd Shupe, it is important at this point to note that we follow God. God does not follow us and this fact provides the opportunity to tell the story of God leading His people in Exodus 13:21-22. “By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.”

“I encourage you to approach prayer with confidence and thanksgiving that God already knows what you need and is already at work in delivering it to you,” says Todd Shupe. “Also, what He provides will likely not be what you requested. Instead, it will be better and it will be a holy blessing upon you. God loves you more than you can ever understand.”

He will most certainly listen and respond to your prayers. We must be open to His response and accept it with gladness and thanksgiving because any gift from God is precious and holy — as was His son.

Todd Shupe Shares His Thoughts on Evangelism

Evangelism is typically defined as the spreading of the Christian gospel by public preaching or personal witness.  According to Todd Shupe, many Christians are uncomfortable with active engagement in evangelism because they do not consider themselves a preacher and are too timid to engage in personal witness. The gift of evangelism is directly from Christ:  “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers.”  (Ephesians 4:11).

Todd Shupe thinks it is important to acknowledge that not all are called to evangelism.  According to Romans 12:6-8, “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;  if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.”

Below are five steps to help discern if evangelism is right for you. 

Start with prayer:

According to Todd Shupe, prayer is essential to discern God’s will for us.  It is essential that we follow His will and not try to have Him follow our will. God demonstrated in Exodus 13:21 that He wants us to follow him. “By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.”

  1. Talk with your pastor and friends

In addition to prayer, God will speak to us through our friends and our pastor. Todd Shupe encourages you to talk and pray with them and ask for their assistance in determining what your spiritual gifts are.

  1. The best evangelism doesn’t involve words.

St. Francis of Assisi is known for this: “Speak the gospel wherever you go and use words when necessary.”  The best method to extend the reach of the church is by sharing Christ’s love through missions and Christian action; be the hands and feet of Christ to the unchurched.

  1. The Great Commission

One of the greatest blessings we have as Christians is The Great Commission. Todd Shupe believes that we have all been called to the priesthood of all believers and to make disciples of all nations.

“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.   When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  (Matthew 28:16-20).

  1. Be the light of Christ

There is plenty of darkness in the world.  According to Todd Shupe, as Christians we should all strive to be the light of Christ and bring His light into the darkness. John 1:5 tells us “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” Be the light. Be blessed.