15 May 2016
Thy kingdom come: pray for your friends
by Jane Holloway
It's so important for us as the Church across these lands to rediscover the priority and place of prayer in our evangelism, witness and mission. And we all have the opportunity this week to do just that by joining in with this week of prayer called by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in which we are asked to pray for both our life and witness of the Church as well as for those whom we know who do as yet know Jesus.
Prayer for evangelism is about praying for ourselves as Christians so that we are full of the love and compassion of our Heavenly Father; and for God to open doors for opportunities to pray for, care for and share our faith story with others.
Prayer for evangelism is about us using prayer as the first step in journeying with those we know who have not yet discovered the truth about Jesus Christ, by asking the Lord to draw them to himself; to open their ears to understand the truth and to open their eyes to see the light of the gospel.
Prayer for evangelism will also include praying for our homes and churches to be places where people can find out about Jesus; praying for events, services and courses that explain the good news and praying for all those who are called to preach, teach and write about the call to follow Jesus Christ.
Prayer for evangelism is putting prayer first in place and effort as outlined in 1 Timothy 2:1-4. We see Paul urging Timothy to make prayer a priority (verse 1). We learn that prayer is varied - there are lots of different types of prayers and ways to pray (verse 1).We learn that prayer is part of God's plan to bring in His kingdom. That God's plan is for each person (verse 3) to be saved and to come to a knowledge of Jesus Christ (verse 3) and we also see there is an invitation to pray for everyone (verse 1).
· Let's ask God for ways to build caring relationships (I Cor. 9:22) and opportunities to witness (Col. 4:3)
· Let's Pray for 5 friends *– asking God to: prepare hearts (Luke 8:11-15), open spiritual eyes (2 Corinthians 4:4), give ears to hear (Matthew 13:15), give faith to believe (Acts 20:21), give the will to respond (Romans 10:9), set them free from spiritual captivity (2 Timothy 2:25-26), send people into their lives to witness to them (Matthew 9:38).
The BLESS acrostic originated from Indian Christians and now used all over the world and is an easy way to pray for felt needs:
Body—pray for health, protection, strength, fitness
Labour—pray for a job, income, financial security
Emotional—pray for joy, peace, patience, self-control
Social—pray for marriage, family, friends, love, forgiveness, reconciliation
Spiritual—pray for salvation, spiritual growth, grace, hope
Help us as we love you
Help us as we love one another
Give us confidence to tell others about Jesus
Let us demonstrate your love to the world. Amen
For more prayers and resources for Pray for 5 Friends *: www.thykingdom.co.uk
Jane Holloway, National Prayer Director, World Prayer Centre www.worldprayer.org.uk
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are inviting churches to join a week of prayer this Pentecost (8-15 May), praying for every Christian to receive new confidence and joy in sharing this life-transforming faith. The Evangelical Alliance is backing this prayer initiative, Thy Kingdom Come, with daily features encouraging Christians to be praying for God's kingdom to come and His will to be done across the UK.