Prayer Focus of the Month: Secularism

 I read an article recently on the rise of Secularism in the world today and was deeply compelled to share with you some of the highlights. To start, let’s form more fully our understanding of what exactly “secularism” includes. 
Definitions:

– An ‘atheist’ is one who says there is sufficient evidence to show that God does not exist. 
– An ‘agnostic’ is one who says there is insufficient evidence to know whether or not God exists. 
– The ‘functional atheist’ is one who is apathetic concerning God’s existence. 
– For the purposes of this profile, the term ‘secularist’ will be used to indicate all three.
(Halverson)

As we have been studying and praying for many religions and people groups in the world, I was interested to see where non-religious people, or ‘secularists,’ fit into this picture on a global scale. Though the numbers are not as large as some of the religions we have looked at as a church, they appear to be rapidly increasing. “Demographer David Barrett estimates that there are 150 million atheists and 768 million nonreligious people in the world. The combined total comes to more than 918 million people (Barrett).”

It is heartbreaking to see in numbers those who are purposefully walking away from even the idea of God, knowing that each one is a person intimately formed by Him. Over these past few weeks God has gripped my heart for these lost ones and I have had to pray. Though it is heartbreaking, I am excited to start praying as a community for them, because I believe God is ready to answer the cries of our hearts.

How Can We Pray?: 
Many countries adopting the beliefs of Secularism are ‘reached’ countries, meaning most have heard whispers of Jesus, the God of the Bible, the basic beliefs of Christianity, etc. It breaks my heart that the people who live surrounded by Christians, Bibles, and churches are choosing to not to believe. God has been portrayed not as the Good Papa in the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15), but as angry with them, watching their every move, ready to see them fail. I believe it is our responsibility and privilege as the children of God to represent our Good Father well to an orphaned world, and I think it all begins with prayer. 

Prayer Points: 
-Pray that those who live in reached countries would meet Christians who represent God as He truly is, a Good Father.
-Pray that the temptation towards independence and rebellion would be overcome with the need to be in the family of God, and would lead many to repentance. 
-Pray for the realization of dissatisfaction with the world, be met with thorough apologetics to defend the validity of Christianity 
-Pray for missionaries to be raised up by God with a compassionate heart like Jesus’ to see these lost ones be found by a Good Shepherd (Matthew 9:36) 
-Ask God to use you to bring the Gospel, the real Jesus, to those who live all around you! 
For more information or training in evangelism contact MaryB@PurposeChurch.com

Sources: 
Barrett, David and Todd M. Johnson. “Annual Statistical Table on Global Mission..”
International Bulletin of Missionary Research. January 2002. 
http://www.wnrf.org/cms/statuswr.shtml. 1/26/04. 
Dean Halverson, Director of Apologetics for International Students, Inc. Copyright ©1992, 
2005 by International Students, Inc. 
The Traveling Team (http://www.thetravelingteam.org/articles/secularism-overview)

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