THE Archbishop of Canterbury has revealed that someone prayed for him from before he was born in the hope that he would become a disciple of Christ.
Archbishop Welby tells the story of how he became a Christian in a short film released to mark Easter and to promote the Thy Kingdom Come initiative, the now annual call to prayer for mission between Ascension and Pentecost (News, 24 January 2018).
The Archbishop says that, after he had become a Christian, he had “learned there was a particular person who prayed for me every week since he knew that I was on the way — since I was conceived — that I might become a disciple of Christ”.
He concludes: “I cannot tell you how grateful I am to them.”
The film follows Archbishop Welby as he returns to Cambridge with his university friend, Nick Hills, to explore places of importance on his journey to Christ.
The pair visit Mr Hills’s old rooms, which is where, late one evening, the future Archbishop decided to become a Christian. He says that it was a “transforming . . . life-changing moment”.
The pair also look through the Bible that Mr Hills gave the Archbishop in 1975, with the text of John 15:16 written on the flyleaf. Archbishop Welby asked for St Augustine’s Bible to be opened to the same passage when he was installed as Archbishop of Canterbury in 2013.
He says on the short film: “I realise I was at the point of decision about my life. I realised my life was going to go one of two ways. And I prayed a very simple prayer saying: ‘Lord Jesus, come into my life. I don’t know anything about you but come into my life.’
“He came in and something changed. And has stayed changed from then on. With all the ups and downs and me trying to run away, and good times in my life and really bad ones.”
The video can be watched at this link.