Prayer changes things!
The well-known pastor DL Moody had a list of 100 friends who were not Christians, whom he prayed for every single day. By the time he died, 96 of them had become Christians. And at his funeral the remaining four all made a decision to follow Christ.
The most loving thing we can do for our non-Christian friends is to pray for them – not just occasionally or sporadically, but regularly, persistently, and over time. Archbishop Justin Welby said, ‘The best decision that anyone can ever make, at any time, in any place, is to follow Jesus Christ.’ Wouldn’t it be exciting if God were to use you or me to help some of our friends to make the best decision of their lives?
Last year the Archbishops of Canterbury and York launched ten days of prayer, from Ascension Day to Pentecost, called ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, in which they encouraged churches all over the country to open their doors each day for prayer, and urged each Christian to commit to praying regularly by name for five non-Christian friends.
Such was the overwhelming response to this small initiative, that this year ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ has become ecumenical, endorsed by all the UK church leaders, and also global, with Christians in every continent taking up the challenge. Lots of churches that are normally kept locked were opened daily for this season of prayer, and many congregations were amazed at the number of people who drifted in and took time to say a prayer.
If you don’t already have your church building open each day, why not think about opening each day from Ascension Day to Pentecost? Banners are available from the diocesan office to let your local community know that your building is open, and attractive prayer leaflets are freely available to help those who wander into church learn how to say a prayer or find out more about Jesus.