Lord, when I was twelve and I saw the changing world around me I was filled with hope and I believed that we would see increasingly a world where diplomacy won over war and nations would work together for the good of all. The Berlin wall came down, communism looked to be crumbling and South Africa was emerging from apartheid. Even the wars being fought seemed to me in my naivety to be some how under control, with the UN as the force for good sending peacekeepers in.
You know, Father, how disillusioned I’ve become with global institutions since those early years. Once I thought we would find the answers to all the problems faced by the world – I see now that even where there are answers often the situation is too complex for them to be implemented successfully – and neither the political will nor the social desire is sufficient for releasing the resources needed.
Why is that? Is it the fallen nature of humanity? Is it that fundamentally we are selfish beings who often cannot empathise enough with others to solve problems that don’t affect us?
One of the wonderful things I see at the moment in the outrage expressed by ordinary people through social media is that desire to identify with people who are different from them. I think some of it is misinformed, and reporting is often biased or politically motivated, but still the heart of those people is positive, surely.
But can it make a difference? Almost 30 years ago it seemed that people could solve everything if we could just work together… and yet we didn’t. We need you, Father, we can’t do it on our own.
Father, help me to understand what is happening in the world today. Help me to have compassion and empathy and to see clearly. Help me to discern what is good in what governments and organisations and individuals are doing so that I can pray with understanding. Help me to hear your voice and direction, to know your heart for this world, so that I can pray your will be done and your Kingdom come.