The Essence of an Irresistible Invitation

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The Essence of an Irresistible Invitation

Charlie Paparelli

A recent conversation with my friend William caused me to reflect on how people get invited to the High Tech Prayer Breakfast. This got me thinking about my first prayer breakfast invite.

As I was having lunch with William, he told me how he was invited to his first Atlanta High Tech Prayer Breakfast. 

When he got the invite his immediate thought was, “If Joe asks me to do anything, I do it. But a prayer breakfast?” 

William continued, “Joe is a decade older than me. He is one of my most admired fraternity brothers and a guy who lives life right. He was such a great mentor while I was at Georgia Tech and early in my career. I have so much respect for him.

“So, I agreed to go,” concluded William.

My first prayer breakfast story.

Robert and I worked together on a startup. We spent many a night huddled in the computer room writing and testing software for the next release of the product. We were in business planning and review sessions together. We hung out after work. We grew to love each other. We were friends. Then Robert moved to Dallas, Texas.

Robert was a devoted follower of Jesus Christ. I didn’t want anything to do with religion. I’d had a bad experience with religion, and I wasn’t going back.

Eight years after we stopped working together, Robert returned to Atlanta. He invited me to the Atlanta High Tech Prayer Breakfast. Over those eight years, much had changed in my life. I was now married for 16 years and had four children. I had lost my best job ever and was attending AA meetings.

Robert did not know this was going on in my life. He didn’t know because I didn’t tell him. But having worked in the startup trenches together, we still had a relationship. He leveraged this relationship when he asked me to attend the prayer breakfast with him.

Timing is everything.

Robert didn’t know it, but I was sick and tired of being in charge of my life. I felt like an employee who was promoted to a position he was not equipped to handle. I felt alone and ill-equipped to be a good provider, good businessman, good husband, and good father. It all seemed too much, overwhelming at times. Little did Robert know; his invitation came just in time.

I was open to hearing about God.

Back to William’s story.

William said, “I was overwhelmed by the number of people in attendance. It seemed like thousands. Because it was Atlanta tech folks, I either knew or recognized many of them. I felt right at home.”

“But something happened at breakfast. One of the speakers asked, ‘Who is in charge of your life?’ I was stunned by the question. It hit me hard because I knew I needed God in my life. I believed in God but didn’t know him or how to connect with him.

“Then, the speaker asked the whole audience to stand if today was the day we would give our life to Jesus Christ and be reconciled to God. There were over one thousand people there, but I thought he was talking just to me. Before I knew it, I was standing.

“Joe came through again. I thank God he loved me enough to invite me to the Atlanta High Tech Prayer Breakfast. It changed my life!”

Here’s the key.

Our two stories track perfectly.

A friend who loved us invited us to attend the breakfast.

And that’s why we had to say, “Yes.”

Mark your calendar: High Tech Prayer Breakfast is Friday, October 4. Secure your table now.

Charlie Paparelli is president of High Tech Ministries, angel investor and blogger. Twice each week email subscribers to his blog receive his thoughts on being a successful entrepreneur and Christian leader.