“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone– for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
(1 Timothy 2:1-4)
The world in which we live is in a very unhappy state. There is spreading violence both within and between nations. There is growing confrontation between the so-called great powers. There is the fear of the spread of viruses and disease. There are huge and growing numbers of displaced, homeless, abused and suffering people. There is racial and religious conflict. There is the ongoing carelessness about the environment. And societies are riddled with insecurity, fear and the breakdown of values and relationships.
We need help – God’s help. A South African Bishop has called on his people to pause every day at midday and to pray for the nation and the world. The prayer is not just that God will intervene in a mighty and miraculous way and make everything right and comfortable. It acknowledges that each one of us has a part to play in the solution and includes a prayer of commitment as well – to be available to be used by God as He will. Things need to change at all levels.
One of the prayers the Bishop suggested is this,
“Lord our world is hurting. Bring healing, and use me where you will.”
There are many other prayers, both general and specific, that will be suitable and everyone is capable of praying their own prayers from the heart. The Lord’s Prayer itself can be adapted to focus on nations, leaders, persons, and situations.
We do need to pray very specifically for all leaders – in Church and State – and particularly in our own situations. However we also should pray for those who lead the nations of the world. Think of having a short list in the back of your diary or other convenient place and maybe even making one day of the week a ‘leadership day.’
Write your own prayers – and seek each day to share a blessing with someone else. Pray over the news. Persevere.
Please help us Father, we need You so much. Shine Your Light into all our hearts that we may turn to You and each other in love – and please bring healing and peace where it is so badly needed. Amen.