So often we get complacent about praying for those around us who don’t know Jesus and I want to take this opportunity to encourage us all in this. Last Sunday, James Duff reminded us of the immense gift we have been given in the gospel. What a treasure, what a gift, what good news – good news that those around us desperately need! Certainly we need to take every opportunity to share this good news with people, but, as most of us know all too well, we can’t change hearts – only God can do that. So, we are called to pray as well as to share the good news we have experienced in Jesus.
As many of you will be aware, our children and youth are going through some of the basics of the Christian faith utilising the New City Catechism as a tool. In the lead up to Easter, we’ve been considering the truth that Jesus is our Redeemer and the importance of what has been achieved by his death on the cross. Last Sunday we were considering what happens to those who don’t believe and trust in Jesus. Out of this teaching, one of the things that I encouraged the KidsChurch group to think about is those around them who don’t know Jesus, and to choose one of them and be diligently praying for them to come to know Jesus. Most of them were readily able to name people who they longed to come to know Jesus and we prayed together for these people.
I suggested to many of their parents that they might encourage their children to continue praying for these people. I’m also currently doing Alpha with a group of St Philips women and last Friday it was the week about sharing your faith. In that context, we too spent some time discussing and praying for people in our lives who don’t know Jesus.
For some of us, it is difficult to know what to pray. We’ve recently purchased copies of a really useful little book, 5 Things to Pray for your Kids, which I am giving copies of to each of the parents of our children and youth. (If you haven’t got yours yet, come and get it from me). Already a number of parents are finding it useful as a guide to praying more intentionally and specifically for their kids. You might like to check out and use some of the other versions of
5 Things to Pray … on the bookstall. You may also find this article useful: https://www.challies.com/articles/how-to-pray-for-unbelievers/.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful (Colossians 4:2).
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16).