The Day the Atheist Asked for Prayer

Coffee with Spirit’ started about two years ago in a Community Centre café where there are always many people present, there for a coffee or snack, or to participate in one of the regular schedule of events in the Centre. The group meets weekly, always at the same time and day.

This is so clearly the work of the Holy Spirit!

Over that time there has been a great sense of God at work. We have seen this from the very start as it has grown from the original single Christian to a membership of about 10 plus, with an average of around 7 non-church attenders (‘Newcomers’ is the term we use to measure such). More than that, we have also seen significant spiritual growth in those Newcomers, so that from never praying several regularly pray out loud (and remember this is a public venue) as well as participating in the bible study. Further, there have been some who have come into a saving relationship with Christ, praise God.

This is so clearly the work of the Holy Spirit!

In the last few weeks the we have seen perhaps the most exciting thing. One week as the group met there was a man (we’ll call him ’Don’)sitting on a nearby table. Towards the end of our time one of the group members engaged him in conversation (It is part of our missional purpose to intentionally seek to talk to people sitting nearby). Don observed to our group member that he’d noticed the Bible on our table and asked what we were doing. That conversation didn’t go very far, but afterwards another member stayed behind and talked to the man for quite a while. It emerged that he was an atheist and had a lot of objections to, and problems with, Christianity.

Two weeks later ‘Don’ turned up at the Centre once more, but this time accepted an invitation to sit with the group. He participated only a little in the discussions but seemed quite comfortable being there. The next week he was there again, and this time took more part in the discussion of a bible passage.
Then as the group assembled a list of prayer points, as it does weekly, came the most wonderful thing. Don who had joined the group as an atheist, with all the complaints, criticisms and objections that comes with that, asked for prayer.

It would difficult to say that Don is a Christian yet, but the Holy Spirit has clearly drawn him out of atheism and onto the road to the Kingdom.

Here is a classic example of the effectiveness of small missional communities in reaching those who will never come into the walls (bounds) of a standard church service, as in Don’s case. The key is for Christians to be a constant and observable gospel ‘presence’ in the places where those without Christ regularly meet and that is not inside church buildings! Then the Holy Spirit uses us to draw people into the Kingdom of God, to His Glory!

Praise God for the day the Atheist asked for prayer!

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