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Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Soup and Prayer

The smell of homemade soup simmering on the hob drifts through to the living room where I am writing this. Most of the trees are denuded by now and although it is still and the sky is blotched with clouds, the forecast is for a storm. Abigail. The weather man made a joke about that last night. A big gale. Not sure it’s a joking matter.

Anyway, simmering soup speaks of winter. As I write this, I think of that snaking line of refugees trudging their way across Europe. Winter is coming and there is no soup simmering on any stove for them. Sitting snug and comfy in my home, I cry out to God on their behalf. How can we be so cruel to each other? First a brutal civil war with no holds barred on the types of weapons used against fellow citizens, while a cruel collection of reprobates in the neighbouring lands spreads terror and destruction in its quest to establish a sovereign state from hell. These horrors spawn the migration as families grab what they can and flee to foreign lands, hoping to find a warm welcome. A pot of soup perhaps. For many, so far, the fences are up, the gates are closed, the pots are empty.

Last Saturday a group of young mums with their babies strapped onto them held a sale of what they had – baby clothes and toys, women’s clothes – while supported by others in the church providing coffees and cakes. They raised about £1800 to send to Christian Aid to help provide some pots of soup, some nappies and milk and the necessities of life. Compassion inspires most of us to want to reach out and help, but we don’t know what to do.

There is a story in the Bible about a king whose lands are surrounded by a powerful enemy. He and his countrymen are rigid with fear and feel they are on the brink of defeat. What they do is go to God. The king leads his people in a time of prayer, laying out the situation and then crying out to God that although they don’t know what to do, their eyes are on God to do something. Backs against the wall, they cry out to God in desperate hope that he will act.

He does. We make the messes in the world, and then we need God to sort them out. We can open our homes and send money and help, but what we really want is peace. Peace in the middle east so these poor people can go home and rebuild the lives which have been devastated.

Prayers to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ are powerful. Come on, church, let’s focus. 

Let’s pray as if we trust that God is listening and is the God of love we celebrate. Let’s pray with the hope that the Holy Spirit puts into our hearts. Let’s pray with excited expectation that we are going to see miracles. Something wild. Something unexpected but beautiful.

Let’s pray.

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