Hot on the heals of the global battle to overcome COVID-19 and, recent impacts of Global Warming through floods, landslips and horrifying fires has come Putin’s/Russia’s war against Ukraine. Some of us begin to feel quite overwhelmed as members of the human family. And on top of it, Queen Elizabeth II has died and our national service of remembrance takes place tomorrow, Mon 26th Sept.
Wars and rumours of war have plagued humankind from the beginning of the race. It seems that human inhumanity to other humans knows no bounds as the vivid images being beamed around the globe confront us with horrific carnage and the wanton destruction of human life, let alone of the creation on which we are so dependent.
Today’s Gospel reading from John (17:1-8) invites us to pray like Jesus to the Father. He prayed with confidence that His disciples got it and believed that He was the Messiah to be followed. Now we pray with Jesus as modern day disciples, that the war between east and west, Russia and NATO, with their allies including New Zealand, can be won in the heavenlies. Certainly it cannot be won by human warfare.
Perhaps our prayer to the Father needs to be that diplomacy wins with peace the outcome. God knows how to achieve this; may we know heavenly wisdom to pray and believe that. As God was the victor in the life of Russia’s patron Saint Sergius in the 14th Century; so in the 21st Century may Russia draw similar strength to eschew war for peace. And may the western allies work/pray hard to move in a spirit other than warfare, & win the victory we all desire: peace.
I believe our P.M. moves in this other spirit as she ensures the Russian Ambassador, Georgii Zuev, remains in NZ. Let’s pray for him, and for her, as the communication channels remain open: that meaningful dialogue happens here and there!
The Christian Church from its inception has encouraged healing prayer with laying on hands and anointing with oil as a way of ministering to people who have sickness. Over the centuries this ministry has ebbed and flowed for various reasons. The Anglican Church worldwide encourages the practice with safeguards designed to protect those being prayed for and to ensure that the ministry is offered safely and professionally. Normally this means that ordained clergy and licensed lay people oversee the ministry.
The Church takes as its mandate to offer healing prayer ministry from the Bible, especially the New Testament.
Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.
As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.
While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
I recommend that you read the New Testament Gospel of St. Luke who was a physician/doctor as well as being a follower of Jesus and one who prayed for the sick. THE GOSPEL OF ST. LUKE
Porirua Anglicans are available to pray for anyone who is sick on Sundays
Members of the Porirua Anglican Communities