- Is it feasible to regularly ask ‘Can I pray for you?’ to those far from God, and not have them laugh us off?
- Have you ever wished that your unchurched friend could simply experience God’s love?
- Do you obey Jesus’ commands to demonstrate, as well as declare, the active presence of His Kingdom?
We (Alex and Hannah, as well as our three sons) love our friends, family and neighbors who are far from God! We hugely enjoy their company, and all that they bring to our lives.
Obviously we accept them for who they are… and naturally expect that they do the same with us. And central to who we are is being active disciples of Jesus. We are an openly spiritual family.
Put another way, we have found that our unchurched friends like that the fact that we are spiritual people. Many of them have no-one else in their life who is openly and confidently a committed disciple of Jesus. Everything about us is shamelessly oriented around God.
Of course, this doesn’t make us perfect – far from it – but part of being a Christian is that we experience God’s forgiveness and second (and third, and fourth, and…) chances when we recognize and repent from those mess ups.
But the possibility of not being a perfect witness doesn’t inhibit us from being a witness.
So this means that when our friends have a need, or something to celebrate, we respond to that situation like the spiritual people that we are. And for us, an early port of call is to ask, ‘Can I pray for you?’
We have done this in so many places and situations, for all sorts of needs and rejoicings, and it has been extraordinarily fruitful. The simple question, ‘Can I pray for you?’ is a game changer!
This is why for us, as we build a disciple-making network, our second core Personal Practice is, “I regularly ask the unchurched, ‘Can I pray for you?'”
Of course, as you read this there will be a bunch of questions that spring to mind!
- Surely you need to know someone well?
- How often do people refuse?
- What do I do if they refuse?
- Won’t my friends get really annoyed with me?
To help answer these and other questions, we have created this training video to unpack the topic more fully. You’ll enjoy the teaching and the stories. And you’ll also enjoy the simple next steps to start practicing this in your everyday life!
(1) In what regular situation will you commit before God to always stop and pray with others?
e.g. If you are talking with someone who is sick, or facing a tricky decision, or struggling in a relationship, or….
(2) Check your attitude – is it love above all else? Are people experiencing the Father’s love (whatever the outcome)? This is a great way to evaluate how ‘successful’ you are being.
(3) It’s a skill – so keep practicing it! Who will hold you accountable for persevering? Invite them to do so!