The Power of Positive Praying

Earlier this year, the CWI Council of Management met at The King’s Centre in Chessington, Surrey, the home of Chessington Evangelical Church. There we discovered that David Moss, the Church and Centre Manager, was Jewish. David’s story of how he came to faith in Jesus is remarkable and unusual, so we asked if he would share his journey to faith with us.

I was born to a typically East End Jewish family in 1952. Although my family wasn’t religious, I learnt Hebrew and believed in the God of Israel. In my youth I was one of the best Jewish footballers of my generation, playing for Britain in the Maccabiah Games as well as several national cup finals. I have an unusual claim to fame – I believe I’m the only person who has ever played in both Jewish and Christian national football cup finals!

However, after my Bar Mitzvah I pretty much ignored God for the next 25 years. Then, at the age of 38, just like the queen, I experienced my own ‘Annus Horribilis’. In the space of twelve months I was divorced, lost custody of my two young children, was made redundant three times, lost my home and was left

virtually penniless. Unsurprisingly this left me near suicidal and in an attempt to sort myself out I started to read the book The Power of Positive Thinking.

As I worked my way through the book, I came across a chapter about praying directly to God which, as a Jew, I had never really done before. As I prepared to pray, I suddenly had a vision of Jesus.

I know that sounds a little wacky written down but it really happened and that one moment changed my whole life. Yes me, a tough East End Jewish footballer, had received an appearance from the Lord Jesus himself. Believe me, it was Jesus – don’t ask me how I knew, I just did – and it was a vision, not a dream or something I had imagined. After initially feeling frightened, I then had the sense that someone was putting their arm round my shoulder and assuring me everything was going to be alright. And how true that proved to be!

The next day I went into work and told my story to Steve, a new friend who was a Christian. A remarkable series of God’s providences unfolded. Steve and his church were praying for me throughout.

Steve gave me a Bible and I read the New Testament for the first time. I found my heart strangely warmed as I sensed that what I was reading was true. He introduced me to a wonderful local evangelist called Bernard Palmer who invited me to a course looking at the evidence of Jesus’ claims to be the Son of God. There I also heard the testimony of Helen Shapiro and realised that a Jew could in fact become a Christian.

By the end of the course, when I realised that the emotional experience I had had through the vision was supported by

evidence that the claims of Jesus were true, I had no qualms about praying and asking Jesus to be my own Lord and Saviour. How my life changed from that point on!

Spiritually, I found peace, purpose and meaning to my life. On a material level, I got back on the job ladder and to a level of financial security again. I met and married my beautiful wife Heather who had become a Christian at the same time as me! Then, at the age of 40, I started playing football again and got to the national Christian cup final to achieve that unusual claim to fame that I mentioned earlier.

It took me a while to reconcile how I could be Jewish and Christian at the same time but the more I learnt about grace and that Christianity is not about a religion but a relationship with Jesus the more I came to terms with it. Eventually I came to realise that I was a ‘complete Jew’. I had great joy in going back to my Jewish roots and seeing the richness of my heritage as one of God’s chosen people.

I was baptised and mentored by Bernard whose father had been heavily involved in Jewish evangelism many years before. Heather and I moved to Chessington and we got involved at the local evangelical church, helping with Christianity Explored courses and volunteering at the newly built Community Centre. I was soon asked to become a deacon.

God had a plan for my life that completely took me by surprise. At the age of 52 I was given the opportunity to come out of secular work and take on full time Christian work. I was appointed Church and Centre Manager at the King’s Centre. Here I have the joy of serving my Lord, his people, the local community and the wider church as we seek to live out the great commission of going into the world to make disciples.

My favourite scripture is Jeremiah 31: 31-34. I am so grateful that I am a recipient of that New Covenant and that God has put his law in my mind and written it on my heart. He is my God and I am one of his people. Praise the Lord!

This article first appeared in the Winter Herald 2013

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