Tomorrow morning begins our first communal prayer event in the 100 Days Prayer campaign.
This is an prayer project to mobilise Christians in Ireland to pray through this particular year where two historic centenaries The Easter Rising and The Somme loom large.
The idea is to pray for three particular things:
HEALING THE PAST
The we find healing from our past. We live with two competing histories. At a recent 4 Corners Festival event Rev Harold Good said, “These two stories are irreconcilable… but we are reconcilable.” That is a profound observation and praying that we can reconcile with our divided past is important.
Of course we need to also be praying for a way through the pain of our more recent past. As politicians try to find ways to deal with the past can we as Christians find ways to help us do that. Words like ‘forgiveness’, ‘grace’ and ‘reconciliation’ are Christian words, with deep theologies. We need to pray that a way would be found for the healing of our people, as individuals and as a community.
HONOURING IN THE PRESENT
For Northern Ireland to experience the kind of peace and well being that Jeremiah called the people of God to pray for, we will need to learn to honour one another. We are back to those different stories again. It is not an easy thing to honour a story of a person who has hurt your family and community. Yet, surely the Bible calls us to it… “forgive those who sin against you…” or even ‘do good to those who ill treat you”.
Jesus honoured the Roman Centurion who was not of the Jewish faith and was probably responsibility for putting jews on crosses. He honoured the Samaritan woman whose religion, politics and ethic group was the enemy of the Jews.
We need to pray for the strength and courage to honour even those who are our enemies.
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
I cannot tell you how many times people have said to me that the best thing we can do in our Northern Ireland crisis after crisis is to breathe some hope into the situation. This is the prophetic work of the Church, a people who have a tangible hope. We need to be praying that we can become the hope breathers. We need to be living our hope for the future right here and now.
So, 100 Days Prayer for 100 Years of History is calling for such prayer.
We in Fitzroy invite you to come along and use the Church for such quite reflective prayer on Friday mornings from 10am til 2pm. Our welcome area will have tea and coffee and a warm welcome and you can then use the space. Some readings and thoughts will be provided for you to engage with God for our land. We will be doing more on Easter week so watch this space.
If you are in the Queens/Botanic/Holy Lands are please use us while you can!
For the 100 Days there are daily devotions, resources and more info click here