Prayer walks

I think I talked about Prayer Walks last night, which Mark Spence organised under The Wee Prayer Room Thing.

I was only able to do the first one and the last two – round the City Centre, out the Newtownards Road and back along the Albertbridge Road, and the last one on Saturday night round Stormont.

Things that struck me as I went round were:

  1. Round the Newtownards Road area, all the memorials to those killed by Republicans, to the loyalist terror groups, and being British in general
  2. Round Stormont, it just hit me how complacent the middle class are

I walked round, looking at the murals and the memorials, including the one at Freedom Corner (opposite Templemore Avenue). I could cry, but on Friday night all I did was say “What have we done, Lord?”

What have we done?

We’ve taken a legitimate political aspiration and made it into our God. How do we know God is for Ulster? Is he for either side?

Ultimately, by turning God into a political football, we are certainly blocking God from moving in power in our lives. How crazy are we!

Meantime, suburban East Belfast where hardly a shop is open past 6pm, not even the video stores, sleeps on in complacency. Even after the Global Day Of Prayer, with thousands of people in Stormont, it sleeps.

And all we can do is cry out, as did the apostle Paul:

“Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

Or as Kathryn Warren yelled at the end of her prayer at the Global Day Of Prayer, COME ON.

Revival will form a regular theme here.

One week later…

Or near enough. I’m getting better at this regular updating malarkey.

On Tuesday I went off to Union Conference, which was good craic. In my room (although I’m taking it to my office tomorrow) is my shield for being in the winning team in the Wednesday night Table Quiz. As Sam’s Yer Man (presumably for a bargain) we were a point ahead of the Derry Airs (team from Stroke City Social Security I think), who as I remarked the next day at the end of a brief speech about how great it would be to have a way of signing up for the union online, were a little behind. My puns aren’t improving.

Other speeches included one on the needlessness of a political fund (we’re not a political union, we have views on nearly every aspect of public policy except the Good Friday Agreement, where we have apparently avoided having any opinion, so as I remarked we are issues-based, and tend to agree with one party one one policy in the morning and disagree with them on another the same afternoon) which went to a Card Vote whose result will come out next week as it was the very last item of business at the conference. I was relatively quiet, all things considered.

One week isn’t enough to recover from playing too much bass. My fingers were sore again this morning after a lot less hard work than the previous week.

I asked Luke Pratt to take photos this morning for Dave Lowry, but I found this evening that there weren’t any photos on the camera. Rather annoying – and a waste of poor Luke’s time. I’ll fix that some other time.

On the other hand, I did take 177 photographs at the Global Day of Prayer. The good ones will be uploaded to the Ignite website in due course, and I’ve to burn CDs for Margaret Clarke (Transformations Ireland) and Peter Boyd (UCB) with the 150-odd I haven’t scrapped. I don’t get rid of photos easily – but I’m quite pleased with the photos I took. I take a mixture of acceptable, good, and “right moment, right place” pictures – not bad, ya know.

The Global Day of Prayer itself was excellent. I cycled the six miles from the Church of the Resurrection, missing the Friends of the Centre meeting (it was running rather late as the service started even later than usual, Andrew Forster preached for his usual half hour which we’re no longer used to, the Sunday School presented a new banner, and we were commissioning a team going off to Brazil that day with Tear Fund). Oops.

Once I got there, I took said photographs. Thank goodness for a decent digital camera, which mine is. Not exactly top of the range, but good enough for the results.

Obviously, I was also worshipping and praying (albeit inbetween bumping into old friends and acquaintances!). I’ll post more about that later.

Talking of Ignite, I’ve a blog there now at http://www.ignite.cd/blogs/Andyb. Its purpose will be to write about God, my thoughts, and stuff which has never really fitted in here. There will be a certain amount of overlap, but this one will still be my main blog.

Enjoy!