This past week some of us from our congregation went to Phoenix for the annual gathering with other Native American congregations in the RCA. Things were a little different this year from the past because our gathering also included several Presbyterian churches. We spent some time together to talk about what we were doing, what kinds of things we were having success with, and what things we were struggling with.
Something that leaders of several churches shared was that on Easter Sunday they had attendance that was much higher than usual, but then the next Sunday things dropped back down. For a variety of reasons people made it a priority to come to church on Easter and then went back to whatever their usual practice was the next Sunday, instead of returning to church again.
That pattern happens in Dulce too and I was thinking about it the day after we came back from Phoenix. It occurred to me that each one of us knows people who are not Christian, or if they are it is only in the barest sense of the word. They may say they are Christian but there does not appear to be anything in their life that is changed because they follow Jesus. As people who call ourselves Christian and do try to live lives that follow Jesus, we should be praying for our non-Christian friends.
As we begin a new month I thought that I would encourage everyone to do something to bring the good news of Jesus to their non-Christian friends. I would like everyone to think of one person they know, perhaps a friend or someone in their family, and to pray for that person each day in the month of May. Pray for that person in these two ways:
1) Pray that God might soften their heart and prepare them to receive the good news of Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
2) Pray that you might be sensitive to an opportunity to serve God in working to reach that person. This could happen in any number of ways, such as being willing to pray for them over a situation in their life, or inviting them to come to church with you, or perhaps even directly sharing the Gospel with them.
God provides answers to prayer on His timing, and it well may take more than one month to answer the prayers we lift for the salvation of those who are dear to us. But He won’t answer prayers that we don't make, and, as Christians, caring for our friends and neighbors should begin with praying for them. And perhaps after a month of praying for one person you will keep praying for that person, until God does answer, and then you can start for another person.
Let's all make the month of May, 2017, one of prayer for God's saving work in the lives of people who are dear to us, that they might learn to live in the love of Jesus Christ.