Christian CPR

 by Matt Slick


"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness," (1 John 1:9).

Witnessing is a spiritual battle where you not only fight against ignorance and prejudice but also against Satan.  He will attempt to hinder your efforts, attack you spiritually, and do a thousand other things to stop you.  As a result, you can suffer spiritually dry times brought on by his attacks. So what do you do to save your spiritual life?  It's simple . . .

Almost everyone has heard of CPR, cardiopulmonary resuscitation.  It has saved many lives.  I would like to introduce you to Christian CPR.  It can save your spiritual life.  It's simple: Confess,  Pray,  and  Read.


The first of the three letters represents Confession: our human need.  Each person who witnesses should have his own life right with God.  That doesn't mean being perfect, but it does mean actively seeking to walk in accord with God's will.  It means regularly confessing your sins to God and forsaking them.  This is done in prayer.

Sin is not something to be taken lightly.  It is so bad, so evil, so wicked, that it cost Jesus His life.  The greatness of the sacrifice of Christ only reflects the greatness of the depth of sin.  It took something as incredible as God on the cross to undo sin.  Sin can hinder your effectiveness so you need to make sure you confess any sin to God.  He will forgive you and your fellowship with Him is restored.  In that proper relationship, He will guide you and empower you to speak boldly for Him.

The Bible says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).  Confession is good for the soul they say -- and it is true.  It is good to bow before the Lord in humility and seek His forgiveness: "Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord and He will exalt you" (James 4:10).  Be ready to confess and forsake your sins . That is what God asks.


The second letter represents Prayer: your special privilege.  Through prayer you are in fellowship with the Holy Creator of the universe.  You can actually speak to Him.  You can worship, love, and spend time with Him.  Because of what Jesus has done for you on the cross, God hears your prayers.

When you desire to pray, is it your flesh that seeks Him?  No.  Since your natural self does not seek God and since you are still in sinful flesh, when the inclination to pray comes over you, it is God calling you to spend time with Him.  He wants you to fellowship with Him.  1 Cor. 1:9 says, "God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."  He wants you to be in His presence and be dependent upon Him.  The one who is in the presence of the Lord cannot but have his heart filled by Him.  He cannot but speak of Him: "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks," (Matt. 12:34).  When Moses was in the presence of God, his face shone (2 Cor. 3:7).  When you are in the presence of God, your heart will shine.

Prayer is the practice of the presence of God.  To be effective, you need to be in fellowship with God.  To be in fellowship, you need to be praying, constantly.


The third letter represents Reading: your daily bread.  It is in reading the Bible that God speaks to you.  The Bible is, of course, the Word of God.  It is, "inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work," (2 Tim. 3:16-17).

The Word of God is one of the ways He has made Himself known to you.  It is light for your soul, food for your thoughts, and the guide by which you should shape your life.

By reading the Bible and memorizing Scripture, you are a much greater threat to Satan.  When Jesus was tempted by Satan what did He use to rebuke Him?  A miracle?  A powerful sweep of His hand?  No.  He quoted Scripture (Matt. 4).

Follow Jesus' example.  Learn Scripture.  Use it.  Let it dwell in your heart and mind.  Rebuke the enemy with it.  Learn from it.  It will nourish you.

Prayer and Fellowship

Fellowship with God is a privilege and a great blessing.  There is nothing better or greater to have.  The purpose of Christian CPR is to help remind you of the requirements for fellowship with God.  Fellowship with the Lord should be the number one priority in your life.  If it isn't, make it so.

When Solomon was asked by God what he wanted, Solomon desired wisdom (1 Kings 3:5-9).  When David was asked what he wanted, he said, "That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life" (Psalm 27:4).  In the New Testament whenever Solomon is mentioned, it is not in a favorable light.  Jesus said, "Not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed as beautifully as one of these lilies" (Matt. 6:28-29).  Yet, David, a murderer and adulterer, was called by God a man after His own heart (Acts 13:22).  Why?  I believe it is because David sought fellowship with God. David wanted only to be in the presence of the Lord.  David, the sinner, loved God.

Jesus was at the home of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42).  Martha was busy with her preparations and Mary was at Jesus' feet.  Martha mentioned that Mary was doing nothing and had left all the work to her.  Jesus' reply is enlightening.  He said, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only a few things are necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her."

You see, the Lord desires that you spend time with Him.  It is more important than all your other responsibilities, even witnessing.  If you are in fellowship with the Lord, then your walk will be stronger, your love bolder, and your sin weaker.  You will shine as a light to the world (Matt. 5:14) and the world will know that you are His disciple (Matt. 5:16).

When you sense the desire to pray, answer it.  It is God calling you to spend time in His wonderful presence and be filled by Him.  And there in His presence is where you will gain the greatest benefit and become the most powerful witness.

As you can see, CPR is an easily remembered tool that should help you understand the importance of confession, prayer, and reading.  In daily prayer time, seek God.  In daily reading time, seek God.  Be like David who wanted to dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  Be like Mary who wanted to sit at Jesus' feet and be with Him.  Be like Jesus who so often went to prayer for fellowship with God.  Obey the Father who has commanded you to fellowship with Jesus.  In Him are the blessings to keep your heart alive, because "grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ," (John 1:17).  It is in true fellowship with Jesus that witnessing is at its best.  Witnessing is not just words -- it is a way of life.


About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.