Challenges for Prayer
A secular, postmodern worldview dominates society. It is difficult to express a biblical faith in public or in the academic sphere without deprecation and opposition. Good apologetics and sharp Christian thinking are required to win back this lost ground; helpfully, a number of scientists and academics have recently “come out” as believers. Pray for God to raise up outstanding Christian speakers and thinkers who can establish the legitimacy and indeed the superiority of a classical biblical worldview in the marketplace of ideas.
There are positive signs among evangelicals. Pray for these to grow:
a) The continued presence of evangelicals in Lutheranism (for example, the Swedish Evangelical Mission), in low/Free churches and in the charismatic/Pentecostal movement as well as numerous evangelicals outside of church structures altogether. The diversity of expression and very real unity within evangelical circles demonstrate that evangelicalism is still a living and dynamic presence in Sweden.
b) Increasing social engagement by most denominations. There is growing unity among churches and denominations increasingly have strategic church planting projects. Churches are increasingly involved in diaconal ministry to help people with problems such as alcoholism, sexual abuse and unemployment. The Swedish Evangelical Alliance is a growing movement with a public voice and clear standpoint for biblical faith.
c) CREDO, the IFES-linked student ministry, has grown through some innovative outreaches; there are groups on 80 university campuses and in 50 secondary schools. Over 1,000 participate in camps and conferences annually. New Generation began in 2002 and has grown through innovative ministry to number around 500 groups in secondary schools.
d) The Alpha Course movement continues to grow, with over 500 courses run annually. Other similar courses appropriate to a more secularized, younger generation are also effective. Alpha Sweden state that about 100,000 people have attended the Alpha Course in Sweden since it started there in 1996.