On Saturday along with other believers in the UK, Christians gathered in town halls and civic centres to pray for peace. Here in York we had been invited by the Lord Mayor to meet in the Medieval York Guildhall. There, as a One Voice event, we prayed for our city of York, for the nation and our world. We prayed for peace.
The Spurriergate Centre led the prayers for the world. People were invited to pray over nations and to place a small umbrella on a world map as they prayed to represent the covering of God’s care we were calling to God for. I got a photo of the world map with some of the umbrellas just before it had been fully cleared away.
The Summer Soul team led the praying for the city of York. Hand shaped notes placed on the floor as we prayed for the city of York.
Umbrellas were used in another prayer station led by Sue Wallace of “Visions“. We were invited to thank God for the “umbrella” of His protection because the recent bombing attempts in London and Glasgow were unsuccessful. Opened umbrellas were arranged on the floor. Prayer notes were sticking to them.
That got me thinking…
I looked at the umbrellas and thought, “What is the the theology here, do I identify with it?” To put it simply, could I do this from the heart and find in it, fulfillment and connection with God? When was it God’s protection and when wasn’t it?
In the personal accounts of the USA’s 9/11 and the British 7/7 we heard of Christians being prompted to change behaviour or of missing usual transport, and later thanking God for sparing them.
My brain asks, “What of the others?” What of the Christians, God’s children, who in on one of the twin towers, while others screamed or sobbed or jumped from windows, joined hands and worshipped knowing they were about to be called home to Jesus? Truly as the first century persecuters of the Church found out, no one dies like a Christian.
Yes but why are some spared and not others?
As I looked at the umbrellas on the floor it was not my brain that ruled me, it was my spirit. I thanked God for His mercy and love. As mischievous thoughts tried to jump about in my brain, I worshipped, I soured upon wings as an eagle, and I connected with my Lord Jesus.
In case you are wondering, I and Sue (the one who had put out the umbrellas) talked together afterwards and our thoughts were the same. So much mystery, yet still we end up worshipping.