“You like parties, Behrang, so why not come to the Christmas party at my church? It’s a birthday celebration for Jesus!”
That was the first time I learnt one of my relatives was a Christian. I was shocked. I was even more shocked to discover that she had been secretly following Jesus for five years. And she had been praying for me all that time.
I knew I should be angry at her for abandoning our family’s religion, but I was also intrigued.
I went along to her church not long after. I was astonished by the joy and warmth with which I was met. Apparently this whole church had been praying for me for years too.
Jesus started to stir my heart in that meeting. But I needed more, so I asked God to give me a clear sign that he was real. The very next day I was freed from my addiction to cigarettes. I had been addicted for years, but overnight the very thought of smoking had become disgusting to me. There was no denying that Jesus Christ was alive and powerful.
One week later I surrendered my life to Him.
Being invited to celebrate Christmas was a simple thing, but it was a vital step in my journey to faith. I know this has been true for many other Iranians. And I know it can be true for many more. My prayer is that this Christmas season many would come to know the Lord, right across Iran, because of the courageous witness of many believers.
Here are some things you can pray for: