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Transforming the spiritual climate of Bray/Shankill
Members of Bray Methodist along with individuals from different churches in Bray, are working together to “Transform the spiritual climate of Bray/Shankill” through “prayer evangelism”. Cities, towns and regions around the world where believers have engaged in prayer evangelism have seen dramatic tangible results when over time the spiritual climate of their area has become more Christian:
Thousands upon thousands of people have come to faith. The economy has become more prosperous, and crime rates and social problems have reduced noticeably.
Change starts with an increased openness to God. When people in authority, particularly in government, education and business, are blessed and are asked if they would like prayer for any problems they encounter, they are often willing to give prayer requests. When God answers their “felt needs” positively (as opposed to the needs believers might think they should be prayed for), eyes are opened to the reality of God and to His personal interest in them. The more evidence people see of that, the more likely they are to think seriously about Christianity.
HOW is the spiritual climate of an area changed? Through:
- a deepening of believers’ awareness of God’s love for those who do not know Him yet and of His passionate desire that they would
- cultivating a closer walk with Him
- applying the biblical principles of Unity, Holiness and Prayer
The first step is for pulpit ministers and community/business leaders (called marketplace ministers) to join together to pray weekly and to learn about prayer evangelism.
In 1 Timothy 2:1-8 prayer for everyone and evangelism are linked so pulpit and marketplace ministers next develop the habit of “prayer evangelism”: of praying consistently and systematically for everyone in a place with the aim that all may ultimately put their faith in Jesus as Saviour and Lord. The pattern followed is described in Luke 10:5-9 when Jesus sent 72 people out in pairs to all the places that He would later go to. Like them, we are to:
- Pray for peace for our neighbours or anyone we meet wherever we go, e.g. entering a shop or walking into our workplace or into school or college.
- Fellowship with them – spend time getting to know the people we are with.
- Pray about their felt needs – when we are told what they are.
- Tell people sensitively (if this proves possible) that the Kingdom of God has come – in words we feel comfortable with e.g that it is God who has answered the prayer – that He is real and is interested in them.
People are also invited to pray daily in this way for the 11 homes opposite their own, the 5 to their left and to their right, as well as their own.
TO LEARN MORE, log on to www.transformourworld.org or read “That none should perish”, “Prayer Evangelism” or “Anointed for Business” by Ed Silvoso or “The Elk River Story” by Rick Heeren.