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Hear my prayer, O Lord: let my cry come to you. (Psalm 102.1)
There has been so much bad news recently. In the UK, Brexit is a mess, whichever side of the divide you stand. The religious debate over anti-Semitism rages on. Economically, more and more families are finding themselves slipping into food poverty and the inability to make ends meet, even when parents are in full-time employment. In the lives of ordinary people, the horror of historic childhood abuse and current online grooming seems to be growing.
Around the world, the news is no better. Extreme weather has had a catastrophic outcome; migration and all the desperation attached to it continues; the plight of those in Syria is appalling. So it goes on.
On more than one occasion, I have heard someone literally say, ‘Oh, God…’ in response to another terrible piece of news and I am not talking solely about church-going folk.
In times of need, so many of us shout, call or cry out to God, whatever our faith position, and that is surely because we instinctively turn to something bigger than ourselves, something beyond our human limits in these circumstances – circumstances that so often arise because of human folly or greed.
I believe with all my heart that God hears our cries. We may feel we have little power to change things on our own, but when we call out to God (and crying ‘O, God’ is a prayer) then we can trust he is present with us and within whatever the situation is.
The power of prayer should never be underestimated. Plenty of folk have been amazed at how prayer has changed their life within a given situation. Children and adults find they have the strength to keep going against all the odds and the rest of us wonder how they manage to do it. How do you think they do it?
Reverend Christine Fulcher