Becoming a Christian
Sometimes we can make this so simple that people don't realise what they are doing. So why not take a moment to check your heart, understand that this is a decision that will change your life (and your eternity) and be sure it's what you want to do. There's no pressure from us, it's between you and God. A Christian is someone who is daily following Jesus Christ. If you are still sure you want to give your whole life (absolutely everything) to Jesus then please pray this prayer (maybe read over it first to be sure).
"Jesus, I want to know you. Please hear my prayer.
I am truly sorry for all the things I have done wrong. [Take a moment, if you feel there is anything specific you need to say sorry for then do so now].
Please forgive me now for all these things.
I thank you that you have wiped the record clean.
I choose today to follow you for the rest of my life and invite you to be with me every day.
Thank you that you have accepted me and call me your child.
Help me know you more and more.
If you have just prayed that prayer then that's truly exciting news. You are at the start of a new journey with God. You've just become a friend of God! So what now? Well, this depends a bit upon your circumstances. If you are living in the UK then the next steps are straight forward. If you are in a country that is hostile to Christians then please be wise and careful, follow these tips.
For those in countries where you are free to follow Christianity:
- Tell a Christian. If you have a Christian friend then contact them and let them know as soon as possible.
- Get yourself a Bible. This will help you find out more about God. If you want an easy to read Bible then you could try The Message, available on Amazon. The Bible is split into a number of different books (covering different periods of time and written by numbers of authors. We recommend you start by reading the book of John (this is an account of Jesus' life written by one of the men who witnessed it).
- Start praying. People sometimes make prayer overly complicated. It's basically a conversation between you and God. You can discuss anything you like with God. You may as well be totally honest about absolutely everything… he already knows it all! It's fairly easy to keep talking at God but we'd encourage you to also spend some time quietly listening to see what God is saying to you.
- Get along to a church. You can search for a church here. There are all sorts of different styles of churches. You might want something traditional, formal and quiet or you might feel more at home in a modern church with loud worship music and loads of young people. The important thing when finding a church for yourself isn't that it's necessarily the most comfortable place for you to be (although that can help) but that it's a church that will help you grow in your relationship with God. Look for a church where they are helping you to understand what the Bible says and how it applies to your life (this will often be during the sermon). It can sometimes take a few weeks to begin to understand what's going on. If you aren't sure about something then (at the end of the service) feel free to simply ask the person who was standing at the front. They will very likely be delighted to explain.
- As you are still a very new Christian, if you haven't yet done one, you would probably really benefit from one of the courses for people looking into Christianity, such as Alpha or Christianity Explored. Search Church lists many churches running this type of course. You can find one *here*.
- Feel free to tell your non-Christian friends what is happening in your life. Some might laugh at you, others might not really care or understand but some might be amazed and want to know more. Don't be too worried if people say negative things about Christianity. We live in a time where there are lots of negative stereotypes about Christians… sometimes they are based on TV characters, etc.… but the truth is Christians are regular people from all walks of life who are following a magnificent , loving and powerful God.
For those in countries where you are NOT free to follow Christianity:
- Thank you so much for responding to Christ's call on your life. The path you have chosen is full of blessing but is not an easy road to walk. If possible you will want to get in touch with other Christians in your area. This may be hard to do safely. Ask Jesus for his guidance.
- If possible get a Bible. If it is safe to do so you can download one from the free section at www.olivetree.com or read it online at www.biblegateway.com
- Get advice from a specialist organisation. You could try and contact the following organisations: Open Doors specialise in working in countries where Christians are persecuted, www.opendoorsuk.org. Even if they don't have people in your country they may be able to put you in contact with someone locally. Christian Solidarity Worldwide work to help people suffering abuse, discrimination and imprisonment for their faith, www.csw.org.uk
- Be aware that you aren't alone. Not only are there Christians all over the world and people are praying for you and your country but you are never ever alone. God is with you now and always. You can call on Him every day. He loves to answer prayer.