Yes God hears our prayers. Pretty dangerous huh?
Last month I shared an article titled Pray Without Ceasing which was basically an invitation for our Prayer Meetup coupled with a desire that God would build up that ministry. I have felt for some time that we need a whole lot more prayer in our outreach to Jehovah’s Witnesses since the websites and Facebook groups are already FLOODED with enough discussion. I have posted encouragement to pray plenty of times on the message board of our Prayer Meetup group, but when no one is logging on to it, the message goes unread. So I began emailing encouragement to our members instead. This proved to be valuable. Just prior to our monthly prayer meeting, I shared a personal experience along with a reminder about the upcoming September prayer service. I hope my experience along with the comments I received encourage you also to pray some dangerous prayers.
Sept 6, 2016
Next Tuesday, September 13 is our scheduled monthly morning prayer gathering on line. It’s kind of nice to be able to stay in your jammies with your coffee for this one hour prayer meeting since it’s on line and not in person. No driving necessary.
Prior to the monthly meeting, I am gathering up the profiles of recent visitors to the site. I list them to pray for that month. You can use that list also when I post it in the September Prayer Meetup, but that’s entirely up to you. Use the time to pray for whomever the Lord leads you to pray for and be sure to include your own requests in that too.
I’d like to share with you something that happened this week which I know was an answer to prayer. As an ex-JW, I do not get much opportunity to actually talk with active JWs in my own area. They have labeled me an apostate so when they see me, I am ignored and have no opportunity to share my faith. I talk to plenty of Ex-JWs and those on their way out, but not real, active JWs. As a result, I was feeling a bit rusty, unprepared, and foreign to the ministry. I was praying about that early last week on my couch and asking God to allow me to be tested in that area. I know, that’s a dangerous prayer. Part of me didn’t really want it, yet there I was being led along in prayer.
Well, I had a WONDERFUL weekend full of worship. On Friday and Saturday I attended two separate worship events, then on Sunday morning, I attended a church service. During the worship, one of the songs had a refrain about Jesus being lifted up and I was reminded of a verse in John 12:32 in which Jesus spoke of Himself being lifted up to draw all men to Himself. That stuck in my mind.
I often bring my bicycle to church to bike around the lake nearby before heading home. As I biked, nature called so I headed toward the field house where I could find a bathroom. As I slowed down, I looked ahead on the path and saw a young couple standing next to a magazine rack. Sure looked like JWs to me! I’ve never seen them set up a cart on the bike path before! So I had time to clean up, pray up, and gather my nerve and thank God for whatever would transpire once I took a step of faith to talk with this couple. If I hadn’t used the bathroom, I might have just raced past them without notice. I’m glad they chose that wise location.
I approached them with a simple curiosity asking them what this was all about and the woman began by telling me they were both Jehovah’s Witnesses. I said I was familiar with their door to door work and had talked to their members before but had a question. I mentioned that I had just come from church and have visited several churches in my life and though I find some differences among us all, we are still all Christians.
“Do you consider yourself just another denomination of Christianity or something else?”
The gentlemen took that answer and quickly said
“No. We are not a denomination of Christendom, we’re different.”
He proceeded to tell me about worldwide unity and show me God’s name in the Bible at Psalm 83:18. I had opportunity to share with them that I loved the name Jehovah and saw it on banners in some churches and how we even sing a song in which the refrain goes “there’s no God like Jehovah, there’s no God like Jehovah.” I learned they were both raised by JW parents and looked to be only 19 or 20 so I assume neither of them had ever entered a church before so it was good for them to hear that Christians are not opposed nor try to hide the name Jehovah as this young man was trying to convince me of. I pray that prejudice got a little chipped away at.
We covered several topics briefly… the last days, God’s kingdom, God’s name, etc but the one I am praying causes them to think deeply is based in John 12:32. When I brought up Jesus, he physically backed up and lowered his head.
I said “you guys believe in Jesus, right?”
And of course he said yes but went down the trail of Jesus being our example, the one who represented Jehovah the true God. Fair enough, if Jesus represents Jehovah, then it is good to look at Him. I brought up John 12:32 and truthfully related how I was thinking about it as we sang in church that morning. She opened her tablet to show me the verse in the NWT. She read it and I asked if the context showed it was Jesus’ words. She agreed. I said I know He was speaking to His disciples about being lifted up at His death, but I questioned myself this morning in church “how do I lift up Jesus?” I asked if they ever thought about that too. They politely smiled. I explained that sometimes as a Christian I can go on about a variety of Bible topics like the ones we just briefly discussed ( the guy kept telling me the Bible was hard to understand) but how often do I just lift up Jesus? I asked the young lady to read the verse again and notice what’s promised when we do. It says there that HE will draw all men to Himself. I just love that! I said, “ya know, that takes a lot of work off my shoulders. I can tell people about Jesus and how He died for their sins and let Him do the rest, ya know?” They kinda smiled at me. We were just on friendly terms, I didn’t challenge them much. But I wished them well and thanked them for their literature promising to read it. They never tried to set up a return visit or even get my name.
As I peddled off, I realized God had answered my prayer to talk to some real, live, active JWs. Thank you Jesus, I was able to speak calmly and in love raising very simple, basic questions that I offer as seeds for You to water and grow. Thank you for being faithful Jesus. I know you have prepared someone else in the Body of Christ to water what was offered.
Later that day, I wheeled past a garage sale and the man holding it was a Christian. We had an encouraging conversation about his efforts to reach out to JWs. Hmm… he lives in their territory. Good to know. I paid 50 cents for his copy of Wilbur Lingle’s “Approaching Jehovah’s Witnesses in love.” He also suggested I buy a book he had on “Oneness Pentecostalism” which helped him and his wife. He had testimonies to share with me and gave me his card and I will be meeting with him again. What a day. What a weekend. God is faithful, I encourage you to pray a dangerous prayer and just take a simple step in the direction of it. Who knows, you just might have a story to share here too!
Keep yourself in God’s love, Julie
The responses I got from that email are included below. It’s also my happy report that some of the members who took the time to write back were also able to join us for the September Prayer Meetup. While we were praying that day, another friend set up a new prayer group on Facebook for the purpose of intercession for those affected by Jehovah’s Witnesses. What a double blessing! I do believe God is gathering to Himself more who realize this is not just about discussions and doctrinal differences, but our role as the Church to be committed to prayer.
Julie, thank you so much for sharing this experience! I need to be reminded to let Jesus do the work–I’m so thankful for that!! — cj
Julie, Dearest, I read with joy your experiences last weekend! We serve such a faithful God. When we sincerely ask, He always answers, sometimes it is in a very timely manner such as this. It is exciting when this happens. It is wonderful when coincidences happen! hee hee Jewish Rabbis say that “coincidence isn’t a Kosher word.” I believe they are right on this one! You are such an encouragement not only to me but to many who share your experiences and study subjects. God is so good! Praise Jesus for choosing us to be His witnesses!
Love you so much Honey, Hugs, Gramma Velta
Even this humorous response…..
Wow that’s awesome: God controlling bladders and leading you over the river and through the JWs in the direction of the nearest John. And then meeting the other apologetic accidentally- I Love that! — Stephanie
Oh dear. I laughed so hard at your comments I had to hop on my bike to find a place to pee. — Julie
Hi Julie! I’m sorry I’m late getting to read this but I was very encouraged by it and thanking God that he was able to answer that prayer and I’m praying those seeds are watered and grow!
Thank you so much for sharing this experience. I love hearing about God’s work and about reaching out to JWs. I pray that the organization is dismantled soon and that many come to know the real truth and our savior Jesus Christ!
I have been praying also for boldness and courage to speak and share with others and He has been faithfully answering that. Not very dangerous yet but I do pray one day I can experience witnessing to JWs when I’m ready!
Thank you again!
Lookin forward to tomorrow’s prayer meeting
One reason I share these accounts is because they have the potential to stir someone else’s heart. This was the case with Anna, an ex-Jehovah’s Witness who struggles with shining her light before her mother, an active JW. Notice how this affected her….
What a wonderful story Julie, thanks so much for telling us. I enjoyed it and enjoyed looking up that scripture John 12:32.
Last night, I was telling my husband that I don’t think I’ll ever get a chance to share Jesus with my mom, and went to bed praying about it. In the morning, my mom and I exchanged emails where she kind of acknowledged that my Christian life wasn’t that bad and kind of acknowledged that I was a good parent. Kind of amazing coming from someone who is disappointed that, as she puts it, says I ‘defaulted on my promised to Jehovah’. She also said that in her 60 years as a JW she has never found one discrepancy between what she’s being taught and the Bible and sort of left the door open to tell her what I disagreed with. Oh boy, where do I start? I really am praying about this today. I must pick only one or two points at the most, and I have to have something that is easy to see from the Bible. I’m certainly not going to pick Jesus’ divine nature.
After thinking and praying, I think I’m am going to go with Jesus’ command to take the bread and wine (john 6:53) and Jesus’ bodily resurrection (because without his bodily resurrection, we have a lying Jesus who can’t atone for our sins.
Those are my two topics. I pray that the Holy Spirit will direct my steps and words and that I show love, respect and kindness and NOT argumentation and debate.
I am very happy that she acknowledged my faith and my walk. That was huge.
God bless you all!
THAT was so encouraging to read! Thank you for sharing that Anna!
Wow, you prayed and the next morning your mom kinda, sorta acknowledged your Christian faith. That is precious!
You’ve chosen good topics to cover with your mom too. I am praying in agreement with you now that the Holy Spirit will guide your research and pick what you’re to share on those subjects and that her heart would be open to receive words of Spirit, Life and Truth as you step out in faith to offer them. Have no fear Anna, I believe God just opened a door! — Julie
I am having fear Julie and a lot of second guessing myself. My mom is nearly 85 years old and has been a super witness her whole life. I’m afraid I’ll crumble her. I’m afraid if she gets any doubts she might start crying. On the other hand, her eternal destiny is at stake. It’s so hard.
Anyway, I will pray some more for some courage.
I understand. Family is the hardest territory to begin with and that added factor of your mother’s age and your concern makes it tougher. God knows the situation. I just think it’s awesome that she acknowledged your faith even if it was just in a “kinda, sorta” way. For a moment the argument came down and love peeked in. Love can move mountains. Treasure that.
Keep yourself in God’s love,
Thanks for your encouragement and prayers Julie. I did send my mom a brief letter on my two points. The rest is up the Holy Spirit!
I really did love reading your experience when out biking after church. I pray you get more opportunities like that!
So happy to hear God use you. You write so well. I can visualize you having this conversation with them. I’m sure you planted some seeds.– Melissa
Hi Julie, All I can say is Awesome is our Lord and the Holy Spirit has led you forward again and again, taking a hard step in prayer that seems uncertain is always doable by Him always!! Love you and your sharing experiences. Prayer lives in our hearts– Brenda
Then I had the experience of corresponding through email with someone who joined our Prayer group a while back but was not getting the monthly invites. She informed me about her ministry to Jehovah’s Witnesses and we were able to get to know one another better through a phone conversation. Kay is such a blessing!
Not sure why I have never gotten your info before. I’m glad I did this time. It is exciting to hear you were a Jehovah’s Witness and are now a Christian. Our ministry does several national outreach ministries. One ministers to family members and friends of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons and helps them learn to witness to loved ones…I’ve been witnessing to people since 1981 when I first witnessed to a Jehovah’s Witness…we also produce and I host a weekly radio program (heard on 53 radio stations) on a wide range of mission/family topics…that accomplish our mission: to educate and equip people, through the Gospel, to know Christ, grow in His word, and strengthen individuals and their families. Right now is a really busy time for us, but later this fall I’d love to set up a time to call and learn more about you and your background…we are always looking for people who are interested in sharing the Christ of the Bible with those that don’t know him. You can learn more at www.familyshiledministries.com
Let’s stay in touch…
Kay Meyer, President and Host of Family Shield
Family Shield Ministries
PO Box 230015
St. Louis, MO 63123
Through my dangerous prayers, God provided an encounter with real, active Jehovah’s Witnesses on a bike path of all things! He inspired someone to pray for courage to speak with her mother. He put me in touch with another valuable ministry that helps family members affected by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. And not only did He meet my need to have more friends join us on our monthly prayer meeting, but also inspired others to gather in prayer on a new Facebook site for the same purpose.
Wow! Julie what a testimony! It has me smiling ear-to-ear. ImmediateIy after I finished reading this my thoughts went to what my dangerous prayer will be. Good challenge. I hope I remember the next session this time! – Martha
May you also be encouraged to pray your dangerous prayers and let God answer them.
Keep yourself in God’s love, Julie