Fruitpickers Prayer Guide, August 2022
‘Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…’
Sometimes, I imagine what some of my friends lives could be like if they followed Jesus, and it helps me to pray for them more earnestly, with greater love and bigger faith. The column on the left is the reality of one of my friends. I hope this inspires you to pray.
Purposelessness, fatherlessness, addiction
Meet Sam (pseudonym).
Sam’s dad had an affair and left him, his mum and younger brother early on in his life. Before dad left, Sam was old enough to learn from his parents that shouting, bickering and swearing were how to deal with family conflict. At his all boy’s high school, he became influenced strongly by the male role-models around him. He learned that pornography was normal from his classmates, that divorce was normal from his teachers, that having casual sex with lots of girls was an achievement, and that academic success and making money were key to a fulfilling life. During the once weekly scripture classes, he sat up the back next to me, the only so-called ‘Christian’ in the year group of a hundred boys, while we drew male genitalia on the workbooks. We would laugh as the teacher tried in vain to share from the bible. One positive thing that came from school was that he gained a family of boys who all had the same problems as him.
Sam aced his final exams and got a spot in a top university. He also boasts a string of girlfriends since finishing high school. Studying and sex have gotten a bit old though, so he’s begun to actively take drugs and will soon, without intervention, become an alcoholic.
As well as studying full-time, he took on a full-time job in a junior corporate position, adding up to about 60 hours a week.
When I last spoke to him, he proudly told me of his growing savings account and how he was hoping to take out a mortgage soon. He was smoking a cigarette and seemed tired, stressed, and lost.
3-5 years from now (the vision)
Purpose, a dad, freedom
Meet Sam (pseudonym).
Sam’s dad had an affair and left him, his mum and younger brother early on in his life. For the next 10 years, Sam suffered in sin like everyone.
Sam aced his final exams and got a spot in a top university. One day, someone in his friend group at Uni told him about a new-found purpose. His friend was bubbling and beaming, and over a beer shared what he’d be learning about God and his purpose for us. His friend had been attending a DBS for the last 3 weeks. It piqued Sam’s interest. He’d been feeling pretty disillusioned with everything lately. He’d seen through religion already though, so he declined the friend’s invitation to go.
The next week they met up again, had a beer on campus like normal. His friend still wouldn’t shut up about the freedom he had now, as if he’d been living in chains before.
Reluctantly, Sam agreed to read about Jesus together with his mate, a few other of the boys were with them and thought ‘ah, why not!’.
~ 1 year later ~
Sam rises early in the morning, kissing his mum on the cheek before leaving the house, bible in hand, to meet with a few younger boys he’d been discipling. She’d noticed a real change in him, he’d stopped smoking and cut his drinking right back. He was more kind and gentle to his younger brother than their father had ever been. He often cooked dinner, and helped out around the house more. He’d cut back his ridiculous hours at work, and seemed to never stop talking about his infatuation with Jesus! She wasn’t sure about it all, the religious stuff, but he’d changed in a way she could have never asked for or even imagined.