Thursday, 24 September 2009

Who said prayer couldn't change anything?

I can hardly believe today's news from the United Nations general assembly about nuclear non proliferation. It's a little bit like a Berlin wall beginning to come down. All those demonstrations, that memorable time in the snow outside the Molesworth airbase, the Greenham women. It seems like an enormous paradigm shift. Tectonic plates are shifting. Time for all of us to rejoin CND while we still can.
It's also made me think about all of our praying for peace.
In the Ecumenical Centre chapel in Geneva there is a small but imposing statue by a Georgian artist near the door. A long-haired bearded robed man stands putting out his hand as if to say "stop!" He is saying stop. The artist gave five copies of this small brass statue - one to the World Coucnil of Churches, one to the Russian Orthodox Church, another to the National Coucnil of churches in the USA and one each to Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan. The statue is called "the power of prayer". Made during the cold war it was a call to the then two super powers to disarm, to get rid of their arsenals of nuclear weaponry.
So will we really make it to a nuclear free world? Our praying needs to be accompanied by action, advocacy and practical work to that end. Prayer is about keeping up the pressure on governments and public opinion, but prayer is also about building up the resources to trust that God's future is possible and that a move to a world without nuclear arms is possible, it helps us develop the capacity to keep on keeping on ...
Keep praying for real and meaningful peace. Keep believing in the power of prayer.
Let's rid the world of nuclear weapons.