Lost Sheep- Lost Generation

There is an organisation called The Neighbourhood Prayer Network that encourages people to pray for their neighbours. The monthly newsletter includes many testimonies of answered prayer and neighbourhood fellowship. I thought I, too, would share some of my neighbourhood experiences.

In 2020, three of my neighbours went through some painful experiences:

1) One neighbour’s husband was very ill in hospital and they were expecting him to die. She broke down in tears on her doorstep one day and I asked if I could pray for her. She said yes and she told me she believed. I prayed there and then- a garbled prayer full of nervousness as I rarely pray on the spot for people, but it opened up the door to going for walks with her and to me opening up about my faith with her.

Unfortunately, she thanked my Mum that I prayed with her which didn’t go down well with my Sikh family, but I’m still glad I did it! It led to a conversation about what is truly helpful in crisis situations.

2) A few years prior to this, my other neighbour lost her husband and missed him terribly. She came over for lunch one day and mentioned that she planned to see a medium so that she could speak to her husband again. She wanted to know he was ok. It was an uncomfortable conversation but I began by referring to the little Bible pendant she wore around her neck and what the Bible actually says about divination. She didn’t see the medium in the end.

3) During Covid, another neighbour's daughter was receiving end of life care for cancer, but she lived abroad and her mother (my neighbour) lives in the West Midlands. It was difficult for her to travel due to lock down and one day, other daily pressures caused her to cry out for help. I went over and asked if I could pray with her. It brought her peace and led to me sending music videos of hymns and going for short walks with her. She then shared with me that she was once a Sunday school teacher and that her parents had taken her to church.

Recently, she told me that she was going to seek the advice of a fortune teller and again I was able to share God’s feelings about divination and to warn her. It was an uncomfortable conversation in which she demanded to know where in the Bible it said that God hated mediums, and I was able to share with her the scripture.

Both of these neighbours are in their 80s and didn’t appreciate being told by someone younger what they ought/ought not to do. And yet, because of the seeds we as a family have sown into their lives (not by verbally sharing the gospel but by sharing in their good and bad times), I was able to have those conversations with them.

As a Christian coming from a Sikh background and family, I find it really surprising how many white people of the older generation grew up attending church and now neither attend nor read the Bible or pray.

Many class themselves as a certain denomination but not necessarily 'Christian.' Some consider younger people to be a lost generation where faith plays no part in their lives, but in my experience this is also the case for many of the older generation too who have lost their faith or no longer practice fellowship.

It is my prayer that these older people will not be overlooked and that doors will open for conversation that will lead to reflection.

- Jesse Kaur

Link to the Neighbourhood Prayer Network: https://www.neighbourhoodprayer.net/
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