20 Questions: Pete Greig
The founder of the 24-7 prayer movement, Pete Greig, gives 20 answers
What is your favourite time of year?
Spring, summer and autumn. I would happily emigrate somewhere sunnier – or snowier – for those dreary, winter months in between.
Where would you like your mortal remains to go?
I’d like my ashes scattered somewhere with a decent view and one of those benches with a rusty plaque. I can imagine ramblers eating their sandwiches and wondering how I managed to live to such a ripe old age.
When did you last pray?
When I sat down to do this interview. I asked the Lord to help me say something vaguely helpful. Not sure it’s worked so far.
Why did you last pray?
I often say stupid, vacuous or pompous things – this is a problem for someone who spends so much of life with a microphone or a pen in hand. Thank God for Balaam’s ass.
Who was your first pet?
I had a pet mouse called Angrave. I got a book on taxidermy and he sits on my shelf to this day.
Pick three words to describe your life.
Hard to explain.
What is your favourite hymn?
I’ve always loved that final verse of ‘When I Survey the Wondrous Cross’. The word ‘demands’ gets me every time.
Does God have a sense of humour?
You can see evidence of God’s sense of humour in most things and most places – except stained glass windows.
Are things getting better or worse?
When nights get darker, lights shine brighter.
What makes you laugh?
I admit I laughed a lot at Bridget Jones’ Baby recently, even though it is probably morally questionable and certainly artistically vapid.
What makes you cry?
Kindness more than pain.
What is your proudest achievement?
I’ve been married to Sammy for 22 years and we’ve somehow conspired to raise two extraordinary and kind sons. And also stuffing Angrave, obviously.
Which Old Testament character would you most like to meet?
I’ve always had a soft spot for Obed-Edom. He photobombs the story of David and houses the Ark of the Covenant in his front room. Indiana Jones, eat your heart out.
What is in your pockets?
My passport. A pen that seems to have leaked. A confusing mixture of Swiss and English coins.
What is your favourite bit of the Bible?
I could spend the rest of my life excavating the prologue to John’s Gospel.
What is your least favourite bit of the Bible?
Strangely not the genocide passages. Probably some of the Levitical instructions which definitely fall into life’s ‘Boring but important’ category – alongside flossing and algebra.
What is your favourite phrase from another language?
Assuming that we can agree upon American as ‘another language’, I have a friend who often announces to the world that he is ‘happy as a clam’. I don’t know why a clam should be considered particularly happy, but I do know exactly what he means.
What would be your one question to God?
Probably, ‘Can I stay?’
What is your most favoured charity?
Tearfund is making such a profound difference for millions of people around the world, and it’s doing so with rare intelligence, effectiveness and humility.
Pete Greig is the instigator of the 24-7 Prayer movement. His latest book is Dirty Glory: Go where your best prayers take you (Hodder and Stoughton, 2016, £13.99, ISBN 9781473631700)
This article was published in the February 2017 edition of Reform.