From the blog of Tracie, an English girl I know:
“Unfortunately we as christians here in the UK regard prayer as the thing done in church by women especially middle aged and older women. When we have tasks to perform for a day we rush around setting up and then squeeze in 5 mins to pray before we start. When we should be praying first then setting up in the time left after praying. For too long we put centre stage humanitarian issues and things like fair trade. These are worthy issues but when any issue takes first place over prayer something is wrong. It seems to me that one of the reasons we fail to see revival here in Europe or answers to pray is that we don’t take prayer seriously. When the church wakes up to the need to take prayer seriously we will see answers that we never dreamed possibly.
“As Martin Luther said (paraphrased) before a busy day…I must pray for 3 hours rather than 2 as I have a hard day ahead.”
Only for us here in NI it’s not even humanitarian issues and fair trade. We’re pretty guilty of pursuing our own programme.
And when we turn to God, we ask him to bless our programme. We try to set parameters on what we think God should be doing. Especially in this country.
Our challenge is to pray the words “Your will be done” and mean them. To say to God, “We set aside everything we would like and trust you for justice, good government (this is a bugbear of mine. If we pray for either a United Ireland or for NI to stay in the UK because we think that’s what God wants, someone’s wrong. And that’s a lot of people praying against it, and telling God what he wants. Excuse me?), and above all that when you send revival, it will be amazing, brilliant, and we are not going to try and tell you how to send revival, we will not ask it to fit into how we do church, we trust you that it will be worth it.”
Prayer is the fuel for God’s plans. Which reminds me… but I’ll save that for another time.
Please, get praying. Regardless of what Steve McCartney might say in his blog, I am not this amazing prayer. I need to do more of it, and I need to trust God more for his will to be good, no matter how scary it is.
It’s ironic saying this on a night when we’re not actually meeting, but a group of us meet to pray for each other, Belfast and Ireland in general at May Street Presbyterian Church (nearly) every Tuesday at 7.30pm. Do join us – details at http://www.theweeprayerroomthing.org, together with any weeks when we’re not going to be there!
Anyone who can’t make Tuesdays, we meet Thursdays as well from September.