Try praying!

A few weeks ago, I was driving behind a local bus and noticed an advert on the back of it which read “Try praying.” When I got home, I looked up the Try Praying website. It said, “Does anyone listen when we pray? Is there anyone there who cares about our lives? Most people pray at some time in their life. Amazing things can happen when we pray and so often people discover someone who listens. But it’s not just religious people. Millions of people who are not religious also pray.” They offer a smartphone app and a booklet to help people pray.

When we experience sad and tragic events friends often say, “I’m thinking of you”, but, in our secular society less, they don’t often say, “I’m praying for you.” But we all need more than kind thoughts and the support of family and friends as we face the challenges of life. We need the help of an almighty God and a gracious heavenly Father. We are constantly told that there is no God because everything just happened by a series of chance events over billions of years. This makes us feel our little lives are meaningless and robs us of hope when bad things happen.

So why not try praying because God is there and hears our prayers and our cries for help? A few months ago, some of our friends experienced a family crisis. Their landlord in London had told the family he wanted their flat back and sent his agents to put them out on the street and change the locks. Late that night the couple, their two teenage children and two pre-school children, took refuge in a coach station. They didn’t have enough money to book into a hotel for the night and it was getting cold. They and their friends could see no answer to their situation, but we all prayed.

Just after midnight a group of young Christians from churches in London came into the waiting room and began talking to the family. These young people were concerned for the plight of the homeless. They prayed with the family. Then they bought them some food and booked them into a Premier Inn for two nights. The next morning, they visited the family bringing presents, a cake, and balloons for their young son whose birthday it was. They also arranged for a Christian solicitor they knew to challenge the illegal actions of the landlord in court. As a result, the family were able to return to the flat for a few weeks while they looked for alternative accommodation. We all rejoiced that the living God, the Father of Jesus, had heard their prayers and helped the family in such a desperate situation.

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