Sam and I are writing a diary entry every day for Lent. It’s a kind of joint journal for 40 Days (or 46 days if you count the Sundays). We’re finding it fascinating reading each other’s comments. Here’s something I wrote earlier this morning.
Prayer is basically communication with God. Talking with him and listening to him. If we don’t pray, we won’t get to know him or his ways, and nothing of lasting significance will happen. If we don’t communicate then our relationship with him will struggle. Just like in a marriage. Relationships experts tell us that most marriages struggle and eventually fail due to a lack of communication. Sam and I know that’s true. When we talk and share and basically hang out, things are so much better. That’s true not just of human relationships but of our relationship with God too. As a nation, and as a region, so many have tried to live without God and neglected prayer and we wonder why God seems distant. Prayer is where it all starts. So I’m teaching that to the people of St Michael le Belfrey, trying to model that and just encourage folk to talk to God. If we do that, then anything is possible.
I asked at last night’s Evening of Prayer what we expected the North to be like in 25 years time – in a generation. What are we praying for? What are we working towards? I am 43 today. So by the time I reach my 68th birthday, what will the North look like? Will the churches be full to overflowing? Will crime be down? Will employment be virtually non-existent and businesses thriving? Will people be much more neighbourly, parks be safe for children to play and old people feel they don’t have to keep their doors locked all the time? Will the bible be respected again as the Word of God and prayer be normal and natural and good? That’s what I’m working towards. That’s what I’m praying for. I know it seems impossible, but you only live once, and that’s what I’m shooting for. Lord, will you do that? In our day? In our time?