One of the great things about Spring Harvest is that it aims to cater for all ages and all sorts of people. The Big Start is a short, fun all-age service at the beginning of the day (9.00 am). Then there are groups for kids and a Bible Study for adults – not a group thing but a talk. And there are many different opportunities to get involved with prayer, too, using different styles of prayer.
But in case you think of prayer as a kind of optional extra to life, or something that is mainly about changing the way you think about the world rather than something that miraculously changes events, the story Pete Greig told yesterday about a member of his church may make you think again.
You will remember the terrorist attack on Westminster Bridge in April 2017, in which 5 people were killed and over 50 injured. Pete’s church member, called Jonathan, left his home especially early on 14th August last year, and having arrived at Westminster where he was due to attend a meeting later in the morning, he felt God telling him to pray against another terrorist attack. This was around 6.30 in the morning. He walked around the streets near the houses of Parliament for about an hour praying against terrorism. At 7.30, while he was drinking coffee in a café, a car deliberately swerved into some cyclists and pedestrians. The BBC report of the event (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45180120) says that the driver of the car had been driving around the same streets where Jonathan had been praying at the same time. Fortunately, this time only 3 people were slightly injured. Moreover, while Jonathan was prayer-walking the streets of Westminster, his wife, not knowing what he was doing, had felt moved to pray for his safety.
The point I took away was that I need to be ready for God to prompt me to pray, because you never know when your prayers could make a life-changing difference to the lives of others. And at this time of political turmoil, division and uncertainty in our country, is it not possible that God is calling on Christians to devote ourselves to prayer, both individually and corporately, so that good may triumph over evil, love over hatred and peace over division? Or are we too busy to pray?