Searching for Houses of Peace in Leicester
Early in July around 70 people went out looking for “houses of peace” around our home city of Leicester.
When Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem he sent out 72 disciples to prepare the way. They went, taking nothing with them except the offer of prayer and the good news. They went looking for “houses of peace”. Homes that welcomed the messenger and the message (Luke 10:1-11).
This is what happened in Leicester when we put Jesus’ instructions in practice.
On our first night Michelle and I walked up and down a whole street in an Indian area visiting every home. Many people were out. Most people we met thanked us for asking, but didn’t want us to pray for them. It was hard work.
At the last door we met Prema, a young professional woman from India. We asked her if there was anything we could pray for? Please come in she insisted. She was suffering from back pain and wanted us to pray for her. Half an hour later we left promising to visit again.
In another part of town Fred and Charles were visiting a “posh” neighbourhood when a woman answered the door and announced, “What is it? I’m watching the tennis!”
“We’re in the community to bless families. Is there something we can pray for you and your family?”
She stopped. “My husband just had a stroke this week. Would you pray for my husband?”
Charles prayed. The woman was apologetic.
“Thank you, that meant so much to me. I’m so sorry about the tennis stuff. This is way more important. That was a beautiful prayer. I’ll tell my husband.”
Fred and Charles left. Someone will visit that home again.
In the same wealthy area Dave and Hugo didn’t feel like knocking on another door. Most people answered, “Well fine thank you,” to the offer of prayer.
A young professional woman answered the door and to their surprise welcomed their offer of prayer. Soon Dave was drawing the “three circles”, a simple gospel presentation and Julie was ready to turn and put her trust in Jesus. The next day Dave returned with Michelle (Addison) to begin discipleship lessons in Julie’s home. Julie is learning how she can share her story and the gospel story with her friends.
Late at night one of the teams met up in a pub to debrief. At the pub Linda began sharing the gospel with the waiter. The next day she was visiting homes. A young man answered the door, it was the waiter from the night before. He said, don’t pray for me. But pray for my mother she’s seriously ill. That night, back at the pub, Linda continued to share with the young man.
Many Muslim homes, Hindu homes and typical English homes that were happy to receive prayer and are open to a second visit to discuss stories about Jesus.
In six days we visited 1,290 homes
In six days we visited 1,290 homes. Around one third of the people who answered the door wanted prayer — 424 homes. We went to be a blessing through prayer. We prayed for money troubles, for up coming weddings, health crises, decisions about careers, newborn babies and sick pets. We drew the line at praying for success in the lottery!
Four people gave their lives to Christ and are ready for discipleship lessons in their homes.
Over the next few weeks we’ll re-visit the most responsive homes and share the story of the woman who wept at Jesus’ feet (Luke 7:36-50), and the gospel story wrapped in our story. We’re expecting three responses:
Red light: Thanks for the prayer but I don’t want to take things further.
Amber light: I’m not ready to make a decision, but come back and we’ll look at another story.
Green light: I’m ready to turn and put my faith in Jesus and learn how to follow him.
We’ll be discipling people in their homes. Teaching them to follow and obey Jesus. Those new believers will become ambassadors who share their story and the gospel story with family and friends.
What have we learnt? No matter how resistant Britain is to the gospel, there are always houses of peace waiting for us to visit offering prayer and the good news.
You can hear the story of the Leicester Week on the Movements podcast.
Thanks for sharing the vision.