As many of you know who are tracking with this blog, I have just returned from a ministry trip with Judy to Paris. There is no way I could ever begin to give a report on all the conversations we had with various people in the larger Body of Christ there. The interaction we had with especially younger workers (or potential workers who obviously have a call on their life) has reinforced in me, more strongly than ever, the need to pray for the Church in Paris. While much of what I am talking about applies to all of France, I especially see the need to pray for Paris.
First, let me give a bit of background. Among the younger generation in Paris (and probably all over France), there seems to be a new openness to Biblical Christianity. Ten years ago, or even five years ago, there seemed to be a resistance to the Gospel. And even among Christians, there seemed to be a resistance toward change from the status quo. That is changing rapidly. And I believe that this new openness is spreading to older generations too. By the way, there are others making similar observations (see link below). I think it is also important to note that confidence in the current institutions (political and government, economic, social) is fast eroding, or perhaps even gone completely! This current presidential election is one example. Almost everyone with whom I spoke said that none of the candidates were good, and that people voted more out of protest and anger than conviction. The current economic crisis in Europe is another example. Few have confidence in any solutions being put forth by economists and politicians. All these things just reinforce the Biblical truth that this world is corrupted by sin, and that the real need in this world is spiritual, and that need can only be filled in Jesus Christ and a commitment to authentic discipleship.
On the one hand, I am seeing so much potential for the Church in Paris. There is a growing number of younger workers who are ready to stand and live on Biblical principles. There is a growing dissatisfaction with the current church situation and a desire for the Church to be as described in the New Testament. There is a deeper burden for those who are spiritually lost. I also am seeing an emerging vision to take the Kingdom to other places, especially among the North African populations in France, and to North Africa. Perhaps most important, though, is a hunger for the Word of God and for the Lord Himself. Though there is still plenty of room for growth in all these areas, I personally am very encouraged by what I am seeing and hearing.
On the other hand, I also see that the kingdom of darkness is actively engaging in a plan to tear down and tear apart the Church in Paris. There is so much disillusionment among Christians due to conflicts and division that have taken place in the past five to ten years. Many church leaders are responding to the current spiritual transitions taking place in France with insecurity and a desire to protect their own interests. There seems to be few examples of godly leaders that are ministering from a position of servanthood and humility and other Biblical principles. By the way, teaching about godly leadership and encouraging younger workers to pursue a ministry of selflessness are major themes of the workshops we are doing in Paris.
I am convinced that much of the battles taking place today in Paris are spiritual, and therefore must be fought by prayer. For this reason, I am issuing an appeal to pray for the Church in Paris. I realize that we all have dozens of urgent matters about which we are praying. I ask that you consider adding Paris. I could give you a list of things to pray for, but I believe I have said enough today that any discerning prayer warrior will know how to pray. I would love to hear specific ways you believe God might be leading you to pray. And I certainly would love to answer any further questions you might have. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
See article in Religion Today: What Nobody is Saying About France.