Thank you to everyone – too many to name – that has loved us so beautifully – just a few days but so much love, love, love. Thank you God – I love you God and I love your people.
Hannah Dyke has cancer. She’s a young mum and naturally speaking the outlook is bleak. Hannah and her husband Ben belong a church in York that is supporting them with practical love and prayer. Alongside the chemotherapy this will go a long way to improving her chances of overcoming this dreadful disease. There’s a Facebook group for all those who want to put their faith on the line. It’s called “I’m believing for Hannah’s Healing”. Ben is also writing his blog to keep people up to date or perhaps just to work through his own journey in this traumatic time.
I have a friend in Belfast – my age – who’s going through treatment for an inoperable brain tumour. He’s called Ian Smith. I’m praying for him too. He’s the Director of Mission for the Church Missionary Society in Ireland. Ian lived in York for many years – his son, Luke, still lives here and is also a very good friend of mine. Like Hannah, Ian is supported by his faith and the prayers of his many Christian friends.
Both of these people deserve to live, so of course I will pray that they survive these illnesses. But I am not God and I don’t know what the outcome will be. Neither am I a doctor and my knowledge of their conditions is limited. But I know the human body naturally heals itself, fights off infection and creates new tissue to repair damage – and that the process is helped by hope, love and support. If prayer brings faith into action then it too on my list of ways to help them.
That’s why I can join the Facebook group for Hannah’s healing. It’s not some blind optimism but the belief that prayer works alongside the natural and medical processes at work in her. If you have faith please join your prayers with ours and bring Hannah and Ian before God. Each one brings a little more grace into their situation.
I was amused earlier today when I looked at a website set up to encourage people to PRAY.
Half way down the page there’s an invitation to download a leaflet to guide people, unused to praying, through the process. A typo meant it read like this:-
What to do:
Find a time and a place that will suit you.
Use the tryseven links, or download the tryprying booklet and read it one day at a time.
Try to keep going for a week, but don’t feel guilty if you miss a day.
You might like to tell a friend you are doing this and talk about how it is going.
So if you want to be nosey AND tell your friends what you’re doing the results may be more surprising than if you simply spoke to God for a week.
In the event I suggest praying could be an interesting adventure. The site has been corrected now – after I alerted the organisers to their mistake – so everything you need to get started is here.
Ruth Gledhill – Times Online – WBLG: Zimbabwe: ‘The devil came late today.’
This might not look like the average Mothers’ Union meeting as we know them in Britain, but in terms of peacefulness, good works, child-centredness and Christian goodness, the Mothers’ Union branch in Harare is no different from its UK counterparts. Having known more hardship, its members are probably even more good than the unsung English stalwarts who keep the churches here upright in every sense. There can be no true explanation then for why, shortly after this photograph was taken, this meeting was broken up by Zimbabwe riot police.
Evidence of pointless intimidation in Zimbabwe, and the resilience of The Mothers Union!
Anglican Communion News Service: World Day of Prayer for Zimbabwe on Sunday 27 April 2008
A desperate cry from the hearts of Zimbabwe screams across the world
It calls upon all Christians of every denomination in every nation to focus their prayers, in churches, halls, homes or elsewhere, on Sunday 27th April, 2008 on the critical situation in Zimbabwe, a nation in dire distress and teetering on the brink of human disaster.
Let the cry for help touch your heart and mind. Let it move you to do what you can immediately to ensure this Day of Prayer takes place in your country and neighbourhood.
A plea for help from Bob Stumbles, Chancellor of The Anglican Diocese of Harare. If you pray make the people of this oppressed country the focus of your prayers on Sunday.
Morning Prayer for Tuesday 4 March 2008
When faith is scorned
and love grows cold,
then, God of hosts, rebuild your Church
on lives of thankfulness and patient prayer;
through Christ your eternal Son.