Box 3:16 is taken from John 3:16, which is God’s address for hurting people. It is simply a prayer request box stationed in a public place. The idea came to me in Senatobia, Mississippi when I was doing a prayer conference at First United Methodist Church. A lady there pointed out a nice little prayer box sitting outside the fellowship hall. As I looked at it the Holy Spirit said, “It’s in the wrong place”. That evening we went to eat at the local steak house. We prayed over our meal and when I looked up I made eye contact with a lady watching us. The look in her eyes was as if to say, “I need prayer”. Then I realized the prayer box needed to be in the steak house for people just like her.
One of the most penetrating power points of the Gospel is the compassion of Jesus. For example, in Mark 1 Jesus encountered a leper, “Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man, ‘I am willing’, he said, ‘Be clean.’”(1:41) Jesus had compassion on suffering humanity then and now. And that compassion is released when we pray for someone.
The idea of the prayer box in a public place is to intercept the pain and desperation of people and to ask for their prayer needs. And then to follow up by praying for them and by sending them a prayer based on the promises in God’s Word and aimed at their specific need. When we pray for desperate people God acts on their behalf. When touched by the compassion of Jesus, God can become real to them and their lives can be changed.
Keep some boxes in the church, but also spread them around town in waiting rooms, stores, cafes, break rooms, locker rooms, bars, and other places to offer prayer to those outside the church. One man in Florida placed his prayer box by the mail boxes in a trailer park and so far has won 18 people to Jesus. A lady in Dallas put her prayer box in the dressing room of a Gentleman’s Club and has built a prayer relationship with the girls who work there.
The plan is simple, pray about where God would have you place your Box 3:16. Perhaps start by putting it in the church. Then you may approach some of the business’ in your church (always get permission before placing a box). Get your pastor’s blessing, then put the name of your church on the box. Actually the box serves two purposes. It invites you to pray for the business, the owner, and employees. It does not take much insight to understand the market place needs prayer. And secondly, pray that the box will catch the attention of people in need of His loving touch. Go with a smile to check the box once a week. If possible take your kids to go “fishing for a request.” Leave it in one place for three months to maximize fruitfulness and minimize loss of interest. Even if you get no requests at first, it is good practice to escape the walls of the church by taking prayer into the market place.
The request form has a place for their address. Craft a prayer based on Scripture promises to mail to them. If they need peace, pray a peace promise (John 14:27). If they need healing, claim a healing promise (Psalm 103:1-4). If they need forgiveness, send them a mercy promise (Psalm 23:6). God wants to answer prayer to turn their attention to Jesus. Use precautions—do not give out your last name, personal address or phone number. The church address will suffice. If they want to meet in person, do so at the church. Let God be their main contact. The object is to see the power of promises performing to reveal the compassion of Jesus.
We have boxes that have a Blessing Prayer on one side and a Salvation Prayer on the other. These prayers are free for the taking. Romans 10:13 says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Some people do not have the time to take a 17 week class on what it means to be a Christian. They need to simply pray, “Jesus save me.” The Blessing Prayer is a way of praying God’s astounding goodness for people who feel run over by life. Then we have boxes that have no prayers attached, they simply receive requests.
Perhaps someone in the church can be the Box 3:16 point person to track where the boxes have gone and receive reports of answered prayer from the box beneficiaries. The requests can be responded to and then be placed in a basket in the prayer room or on the altar for additional prayer. They are important because they represent small “bridges” between the rescued and the perishing.
Ed Silvoso aptly reminded us that as Christians most of our prayers are cosmetic. We want nice weather, our team to win the game or a quick parking place. But the prayers of the lost are 911 calls. They are away from God and need to come home. So with a sense of urgency, faith and compassion we pray for the people the simple little box has attracted.
The compassion of Jesus released in a public place to heal a personal need is evangelism on a cutting edge. In Acts 3 the disciples took Jesus public by praying for a lame man at the Gate Beautiful and the church grew exponentially! Give it a try, you may find that Box 3:16 could be God’s address for hurting people in your city: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
You can order the box from me Terry Teykl at: firstname.lastname@example.org You can also order several that come with extra request pads and prayers for the side of the box. You will also receive an instructions sheet and a Bible Promise Book with a 1000 promises. I believe in this ministry so strongly I pray over each box and ask God to use it in a miraculous way.