It was a simple song of love from one to another whilst waking, putting on make-up, combing hair and dressing. Then getting on a bus, going to work and during a coffee break time saying a little prayer for the person they loved.
I wonder if you have been watching the UEFA Euro 2020 finals that have been taking place during the month of June and July. On BBC sports I listened to a conversation between the presenter Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer about the lack of goals scored by the England forward Harry Kane. As retired goal scorers themselves Alan confessed how during his own spell of not scoring he would lose sleep but always ‘hoped and prayed’ that he would quickly score again. England successfully reached the final and drew 1–1 with Italy, only to lose 3-2 after extra time and penalties with Kane scoring a penalty.
Whilst watching many of the matches I have noticed that certain players make ‘The sign of the cross’ and look up to heaven with arms outstretched asking for God’s favour and help during the game and then often repeated when a player scored a goal.
Recently I conducted a private survey in the local shopping area asking people a number of questions.
Have you ever prayed? In the main people said yes they had prayed.
If you have, what did you pray for? As you can imagine it varied but often around health, wealth, family and friends, world peace and stability.
Have you ever had a prayer answered? This was a tricky one but most people said yes.
Do you believe in God? The reason I placed this question towards the end is that I expected that many people would admit to praying but not necessarily believing in God!! The majority of people said they believed in a God.
Is there anything I can pray for you now? I felt that offering up a personal prayer, where requested, was only polite after the questions asked. Many were very happy and grateful to share a prayer request.
There was an interesting contrast between the old and younger generations. Older people had more of a faith background which had anchored them, even if they had left their faith or grown stronger in it.
Today many young people have grown up in a more secular society and have not attended church or been grounded in its teaching. Many do not believe in an ‘institutional God’ as represented in the church but still have a desire to pray. It can be argued that those without any faith background may be more hungry for God than those who have felt disillusioned with God, prayer and the church.
For a moment let’s engage in a simple Prayer Test.
- Have you ever prayed?
- To whom would you pray to?
- Holy scriptures give many examples of prayer to follow.
- In prayer we confess our shortcomings, give thanks and ask for specific requests.
- Do you continue to pray?
- Seeking to experience God’s personal presence.
- Trusting that God will make a difference in every life situation.
- So knowing a personal peace that passes both understanding and misunderstandings.
- Prayer is irrelevant?
- God cannot be proved and does not exist!
- It’s a social construct that fosters control and a misuse of power over people!
- We have the power! We need to grow up and move on from a concept of God and prayer!
- Prayer is a gift we can share and offer up to God
- Prayer represents a personal relationship with a mystical God.
- We cannot hate or despise those we loving and compassionately pray for.
- In prayer we are changed and can find inner healing, wholeness, hope and joy.
The bible teaches that prayer is an act of worship that reflects all the attributes of the human spirit in its approach to God and is a form of companionship one to another. The testimony of answered prayer is very significant as it is reflected in the building of the ‘Eternal Wall’ consisting of a million bricks.
Prayer is not a ‘natural response’ it has to have a spiritual dimension to it that connects an individual to the character and presence of God. The most popular and formal prayer, used throughout the world, is the prayer Jesus taught his disciples and is known as ‘The Lord’s Prayer.’
- The great debate about faith in God is compared to a simple trust in a heavenly Father whom we can love, honour and adore.
- His kingdom is on earth and in heaven.
- He offers forgiveness in exchange for confession and encourages us to forgive those who offend us.
- He promises to provide our daily bread and when temptations face us, he helps us to overcome them.
- God’s kingdom, power and glory are for ever and ever.
Dionne’s song is also known as ‘I say a little prayer for you,’ so may I share a blessing as you continue your life journey that may include: waking, putting on make-up, combing hair and dressing. Then getting on a bus, going to work and during a coffee break time praying for the people you love and care for.
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you? May the Lord’s presence be upon you and grant you his perfect peace.