Sudan, The US Border, The Climate Emergency, Syria, Yemen, The Rohingya Crisis, The Refugee Crisis, Mass shootings, Brexit, Racism, Division, Discrimination, Inequality…
In a world full of uncertainty, poverty, and rising inequality it’s often hard to find a way to respond, let alone believe that we can actually make a difference. The truth is the present often feels suffocating. We’re increasingly aware of social issues, we live in an age of political uncertainty and it seems that we’re becoming more hopeless in the process.
Revelation 21 gives a vision of a new world, a Holy city where God’s dwelling place is among the people. It’s a world where tears are wiped away, where there is no more death, pain, poverty, division, racism and inequality. But the world we live in often seems a long way from this vision.
So is there hope? And if so, what can we do to create change?
The good news is that there is hope. And it’s found in prayer. I love practical, hands-on solutions to things, so prayer often sounds like a cop-out. But the more I learn about it, the more I realise it’s the most important thing we can do.
I’m in the process of unlearning the unhelpful assumptions I’ve had about prayer and relearning what it actually means. Prayer is powerful – it’s not just a cliché. Prayer is the vehicle that enables us to usher in the Kingdom of God, here on earth as it is in heaven. It bridges the gap between the now and the not yet; between the world we experience today and the Revelation 21 world that we’ll experience one day. Prayer, in the words of Walter Wink, ‘Infuses the air of a time yet to be in the suffocating atmosphere of the present.’
A joint venture with God
Sometimes we view prayer as a gamble or a lottery. We often approach it with a roulette like attitude – spin the wheel and see what happens. Give it a go and see if God answers. But prayer is far more than that. Prayer is engaging in the act of co-creation with God. It’s far from a cop-out or a simple gamble. Prayer is a means of bringing the future into being.
‘When we pray, we are not sending a letter to a celestial White House where it is sorted among piles of others. [Instead] we are engaging in the act of co-creation…’ – Walter Wink
So often we feel powerless and do nothing out of a feeling of hopelessness. Or on the other hand we try to carry the world on our backs and ask God to bless our own plans. But prayer is the first step to seeing a renewed world. Out of prayer leaders are born, innovative solutions emerge, hope is restored and ultimately we invite God to change our world for the better.
So let us pray.
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