Friday, September 17, 2010

Pray for Article in Kristeligt Dagblad

August 10 was significant for Pray for On that day the Copenhagen daily newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad published a story about our ministry headlined “Amerikanere beder for vækkelse i Danmark” [Americans praying for revival in Denmark]. The initiative for the article came from Denmark. Brad and I were not available for a one-on-one interview, so reporter Marguerita Hvid Spangsberg submitted a series of interview questions for our written responses. The result was a story that accurately and fairly reflected the nature and purpose of Pray for Much of the story consisted of direct quotes from the interview questions. The article in its entirety [in Danish] with an excellent photo of Bill taken by his granddaughter Kari Meidlinger, may be retrieved on the Worldwide Internet atækkelse-i-Danmark.

Here are a few excerpts of our responses to reporter Spangsberg’s interview questions:

Kristeligt Dagblad: “Why do you pray specifically for Denmark?”
Pray for
“We believe prayer is an essential aspect of all Christian ministry. For us it is more than a tool, it is the very lifeblood of relationship with God, spiritual growth, and ministry. John 5:17 records Jesus as saying that “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” Brad and I are just crazy enough perhaps to believe that promise and to accept it at face value. The major purpose of the Pray for blog is to call believers around the world to prayer on behalf of the spiritual needs of Danes. We believe that if we pray God will answer according to His will and in His own time. The blog has no denominational or other organizational affiliations or support. It is completely self-supporting—two evangelical believers of Danish heritage attempting to summon prayer support for evangelical outreach in our ancestral homeland. We validate any ministry that honors the Word of God. We yearn to see Danes have a personal and vital relationship with God by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ for the salvation of humankind. We have a passionate love for Denmark and the Danish people.”

Kristeligt Dagblad: “How do you use the webblog?”
Pray for
“It is a matter of “what you see is what you get.” We are devoid of ulterior motives. We support existing work and workers and have no plans for ourselves taking up ministry in Denmark. We neither attempt to procure funds from others nor do we have funds to disburse for work in Denmark. We are simply calling others, especially those who like us may have Danish ancestry or connections, to join us in prayer for Denmark and its spiritual needs. The blog is on the Internet with the expectation that God will use our efforts as He sees fit. We keep looking for ways in which we could be of greater use to God’s work in Denmark.”

Kristeligt Dagblad: “Why do you pray specifically for Denmark?”
Pray for
“Who else but us? There certainly are Danes who share our prayer burden for the country, people like Aase Ellerbeck Larsen, Inger Porson of Women’s Aglow, and scores of others. We believe God led us to establish the blog and we join our prayer efforts with Danish prayer blogs such as Bedehus and OASE. If God were to bring a resurgence of evangelism and revival/renewal to His work in Denmark, the overflow would certainly reach all of Scandinavia and the rest of Europe as well.”

Kristeligt Dagblad: “What do you pray for? Can you mention some specific subjects?”
Pray for Denmark,com:
“It seems that by and large the church in Denmark is asleep and lacking in spiritual power and effectiveness. That is why we focus primarily on praying for aggressive evangelism, Spirit-empowered revival/renewal, and greater vision and effort in planting new churches. Our goal is to try to arouse prayer support for any evangelical effort in these areas of concern. As any reader of the blog can affirm, we want to come alongside churches, denominations, para-church organizations, and individuals that have a similar evangelical belief in the authority of the Bible as the Word of God and hold to the classic theological fundamentals of evangelicalism. We do not by any means rule out what God can do by His Spirit for the Folkekirke and pray toward that end. Lately, I have been concerned as well for a resurgence of solid, in-depth Bible teaching and expository preaching in the evangelical churches and ministries.”

Kristeligt Dagblad: “What is your impression of Christianity in Denmark? - How is it different from America?”
Pray for
“In spite of all its problems, its sometimes lack of depth, and sad disappointments in ethical and moral areas on the part of some, evangelical Christianity in America is much stronger than in Denmark and church attendance is far greater. Denmark has a strong heritage from the Reformation but that heritage seems not to be as powerful a force in Danish life and culture as it may once have been. From north to south, from east to west, Denmark is filled with hundreds of church buildings too often all but empty of worshipers. Secular influence on Danish culture seems to be at its zenith while committed Christian life is at low ebb. It might even be said that the majority religion in Denmark today is a highly secularized Christianity. The trappings of Christianity are in place but the mind-set of the nation is secular. That is, Christianity has unfortunately become a sort of cultural artifact that keeps many Danes going through the motions of christening, confirmation, marriage, and burial rites but is otherwise irrelevant in the daily life of the majority of them. The low level of church attendance would seem to be a major barometer of the church’s irrelevance. To be fair, much of what is said of Denmark is equally true of Great Britain and the United States.”

Kristeligt Dagblad: “What should Danish Christians/the Danish church do to attract more people in your opinion?”
Pray for
“Danish believers and churches need to be more focused and aggressive in praying for and expecting revival and renewal to come to Danish life and culture. Churches cannot and should not compromise with secularism but must display renewed zeal and commitment in consistent and no-legalistic Christian faith and lifestyle. The culture needs to be seen for what it is so that attractive ways and means of presenting a biblical gospel is found that is not watered down or compromised. Denmark should be viewed as an open and needy field for evangelism. The land requires its own methods, strategies, and approaches that attract and not repel Danes. Danish evangelicals may be informed by American ways of doing ministry but need to tailor them to fit the Danish context. A prime need is for young people to prepare and step into leadership roles. The evangelical churches need to pray for their young people encouraging them to catch the vision of service for Christ as ministers and evangelists. Many older ministers currently serving as pastors of churches are at or near retirement age and churches appear increasingly to have difficulty finding trained pastors and workers to replace them. Hundreds of gifted, leadership-quality young people are needed to sacrifice their lives and plans for the sake of the kingdom of God. Without them the churches and ministries will be crippled for the future.”
Kristeligt Dagblad: “How do you see the future for Christianity and the church in Denmark? What is your hope?”
Pray for
“There is quite enough evidence that God is at work in Denmark to cause us to have great hope for the future. If God is for us, and He is, who can be against us? Nothing would thrill us more than to see Denmark come alive in Jesus Christ.”

PRAISE God for Kristeligt Dagblad reporter Marguerita Hvid Spangsberg’s article that we hope will make many in Denmark and elsewhere who have not heretofore known of us aware of the ministry of Pray for

PRAY that Danish believers will be encouraged by the article to join with us and with the several Danish prayer webblogs (i.e. Bedehus, Dansk OASE) in earnestly and importunately asking God for revival, evangelism and new church planting in Denmark.