Since CoVid 19 lockdown, the things I have talked about with my friends have just built on that relationship. When we chat I have vulnerably and honestly shared how I am going through this time. Then I have asked them how they are going. I have asked them if we could pray for each other and so we have prayed together online. After I have prayed a couple of times some of my friends now pray for me. The other week my friend prayed in her heart language and we ended off saying the Lord’s prayer together (we had talked about the Lord’s prayer the week before and she loved it and said she was praying it each day), the next time we chatted we prayed Psalm 3 for each other and just this week she prayed from her heart. When I pray with my yet-to-follow-Jesus friends I invite them to pray and they often join in at the end with ‘Amen’, or ‘By the name of Allah’ or ‘The Lord is ruling’, sometimes both of us have prayed at the same time in hushed voices.
With some friends I have been able to share the reason why I have hope and peace. The way I share that depends on what we were just talking about. If they are anxious, worried, fearful I will try and connect with that. Here is an explanation you could use to adapt to your friends:
The Bible tells us that in the beginning it was formless and dark. Then God spoke. God’s power created light and life. He created order, shape, diversity and gave the world meaning in existence. God created men and women equally honourable and special in His sight. The purpose of humanity was to be in honourable, close relationship with God who showed them how to live.
When Adam and Eve listened to Satan they stopped recognising God’s power and gave power to Satan and the world was cursed. Fear of pain, sickness and death came into God’s world. We can fear pain, sickness, death and questioning in the grave (insert the fears you and your friend have). Satan is our enemy. He and the actions of people, including you and me, means there is fear and chaos in our lives.
God, however, created us to be with Him without fear, confident in his power and love.
Have you heard of the story of Hagar? Hagar was shamed and beaten by Abraham & Sarah, so she ran away. God sees Hagar in her isolation, fear and shame. God talks with Hagar. God saves Hagar and God blesses Hagar. The Lord did this not because of what she had done but because she needed saving from fear and shame like you and me.
Have you heard of the story when Abraham’s descendants were in Egypt? They were slaves of Pharoah, living in fear of lives. What did God do? God showed his power by proving he was stronger than Pharoah and his false gods. God saved them with His power and strength. What they had to do was trust God and follow him, and God powerfully saved them.
Have you heard the story of Miriam, the mother of Jesus? Imagine what it was like for her to be pregnant and not yet married. She was shamed and fearful. The angel from God says to her “The Lord is with you. Do not be afraid. You will have a baby who is called ‘Jesus’. Jesus means ‘God saves’. Jesus is God’s saviour. How did Jesus save people? What did he do? (Listen to their response, maybe you can say some of these ideas:
He calmed a storm, bringing peace out of fear, chaos and the threat of death.
He cast out evil spirits so we no longer need to be afraid of evil spirits if we trust Jesus as He has power.
He healed some people of sickness. Jesus is still alive. I pray to God to heal and comfort my children when they are sick.
He raised people from the dead showing he even has power over death.
The greatest miracle Jesus did was that he came alive again. He defeated death and is now in heaven. He is alive, he is the final prophet, the living prophet who will come back to judge people whether they believe in Him and He has the power to give us eternal life. Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to God except by me”. Jesus is the straight path to God, Jesus is the one who brings hope and peace.
This makes a difference in my life today. I do not fear God but feel loved and close to God. I do not fear death or sickness but have inner peace because Jesus is powerful and God shares His power with us. Would you like to know more about Jesus?
Can I pray a prayer of blessing for you?
The Lord bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.
During this time I have shared links with friends (different languages are available):
Magdalena, Lumo (Gospel of John), Rifka all available from www.jesusfilm.org/
The Chosen.tv app
The Hope: The Story of God’s Promise for all people https://www.thehopeproject.com/en/the-english-hope
Pilgrims Progress (animation style for teens and adults) https://www.revelationmedia.com/watchpilgrims/RM13277/
Image credit: https://www.imb.org/photo-library/home/
© When Women Speak … June 2020
By an Australian who grew up living overseas and has lived the last 13 years in the Middle East with her family. She now lives in multicultural Australia working with Culture Connect, Interserve providing training in Cross Cultural communication and understanding.