The Power of Prayers
The galvanising effect of the power of prayer in the lives of the men and women who lead and govern our nations.
We all pray in our hearts as Christians and Muslims and Jews even non believers and atheists do not neglect prayer. Prayer is an innate and automatic response to serious pressure and danger and stress. When the chips are down we appeal to God like it or not. Even the SS German Soldiers in the Battle for Berlin (1945) would have thought of their God: The Fuhrer. Non-believers in God do not call God but if God is present in their lives as I believe He is they cannot utterly shut him out however hard they may try to do so. Thus I begin with the proposition you do not have to believe in God but He will never desert you and He will always prompt you. No one can blot out that prompt even if you choose to refuse to put it into effect in your life. The power of the Holy Spirit cannot be snuffed out or stifled. Therefore prayer lives in every soul whether or not acknowledged.
2. How do Christians, Muslims and Jews pray?
The Islamists pray to the prophet Mahomet (600 AD lived) through their Holy Book the Koran and in their Holy places the Mosques with their Mullahs and Imams who inspire them. Above all they pray to Allah – God Himself – at their places of pilgrimage: Mecca and Medina and in their Mosques. I do not know the exact words of their prayers – they use prayer mats and kneel having taken their shoes off in their Mosques. Their Ramadan is a rigorous fasting time of year in the autumn usually to dedicate themselves to Allah Himself and His Prophet Mahomet whose religion comes from the heart and allows for no compromise or flattery.
Christians pray to the same God the Father as Islamists do and the Jewish religion does. This prayer is concentrated in the Christian Churches and Jewish Synagogues and as I have said the Mosques of Islam. Christians believe in the Son of God: Christ who enlivens every communicating Roman Catholic and Anglican in Holy Communion through his sacramental body and blood. Thus this communicant is made more like Jesus Christ in Holy Communion and Jesus face is in his soul. Jesus does not quibble or gloss over the Christian foi. He is the son of God – even Islam recognises the worth of Christ. The Christian prayers spring directly from the Mass and Holy Communion which heals the soul and inspires the faithful. Holy Communion and the sacrifice of the Mass is the ultimate prayer of the priesthood and the faithful for Roman Catholics. We desire above all else to be unified with Jesus Christ Our Saviour – Holy Communion as the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar achieves this ultimate goal, longing and prayer. Our prayer is to be lead to Holy Communion and then to the next life enhancing event in that strength of the sacrament of the altar preceding and then Holy Communion again. Through this cycle we become closer and closer to Jesus Christ. Holy Communion must thus be taken very seriously.
c. The Jewish Religion
They believe in the same God the Father but not Christ. Yon Kippur – Feast of atonement and the paschal Passover feast are approaching sacramental events. The Passover anticipates the Christian Sacrifice of the Mass. Their Holy Book: the Torah reciting the Old Testament Prophets and the events of Judaistic history is revered by the Jews. Rabbi’s lead the prayers in their Synagogues. The centre of Judaism is Jerusalem as Rome is for Catholics and Lambeth for Anglicans.
3. These three religions which accept God the Father and their power in prayers.
Without doubt these three historic religions (Islam, Christianity and Jewish religion) harness the enormous power of prayers which comes from God Himself. They do not control or run the world but they motivate practising Christians, Muslims and Jews. The essence of prayer is to motivate individuals rather than “move mountains” figuratively. Christ was a little tongue in cheek on occasion. When individuals of real calibre are triggered to act decisively the course of history may be dramatically altered e.g. Churchill and his refusal to cave in to the three dictators Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini (1940-41). Mountains do not have minds, hearts and souls, men and women do. I am interested in any dynamic personality who together with likeminded souls will act to further the cause of God Himself. Without such combustion and ignition there will be no real change in our worldwide and domestic society and our politics will be derisory in nature and effect. Jews rule Israel and are the focus of Islamic hostility from time to time. Thus the Jewish initiative based on her religious base and the Islamic response is the key to international bridge building. Both camps are infused with religion and decisions springing from the power of prayer. The heart of the animosity at the centre of this stand-off is the Koran and the Torah –misunderstandings from these Holy writings: Interpretation has made violence so intense. The West out of Christian Charity should appeal to the best religious instincts of the Near East nations and those of Central Asia in a conciliatory tone. Above all Britain, France and Germany and the USA should base this call on its own deep seated religious origins – the Pilgrim Fathers, German Protestanism, Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism and the Huguenots of France who have gone out to the world. There should be no falsity of faith, infiltration of vested interests, nor weak religious thinking. No one deserves to lead and represent Britain, France, Germany or the USA who is not fired up with one of these religions. We cannot have dish rag politics any longer. You do not have conviction in your life unless you have real religious determination. The same applies to our political leaders. As we know in WW2 at the Battle of Berlin and before on the Eastern Front Nazi SS troops and Red Army divisions believed in the Higher call – Hitler for the SS – the Communist anti-Nazi ideal for the Soviets yet both Armies were atheistic. They fought to the bitter end with no regard for their own lives.
If there is no religious call in the modern era we are empty and forlorn and lacking in strength of purpose. We will never contrive to overcome the political divide in the Near East nor will we succeed in building peace by clever negotiators and brinksmanship but only by old fashioned diplomacy and by plain and sincere speaking which comes from the ground swell of these Christian religions. He who has no real religion in him is I am bound to say a nonentity – he will do no good in politics.
The same applies in Central Asia and political instability and wherever terrorism raises its head. Of course a man may be irreligious – let him have that liberty but do not give the top job – he is not up to it. The same applies to women in politics.
In life you must be honest or fail miserably. You cannot be a success in the true sense unless your life is prayer and you live a good and industrious life in that spirit. (Don’t worry about divorce or the like). Obediently going to Church every Sunday will not make you into what I am advocating. Prayer is impliedly in all your earthly actions and that is what matters regardless of your upbringing and religious practice. Those who have the privilege of being well bred in these various dominant three world religions should lead the way and reinforce their own religious armour I argue by prayer. The final say on prayer comes from Christ - He is the only mediator with His Father. We ask Christ and His mother to pray for us as Catholics. No one can call all the shots - that is not for a particular man or woman – only Christ does that. The vibrancy within us is Christ driven – it is that energy which will create the leaders I seek for our nations. We depend on Christ – Christus vincit – Christus vincit, the East looks to the West and the West looks to the East as has always been the case. Neither will disappoint the other if we really believe what we say based on the word of God in our hearts. Let us each ponder the meaning of God’s plan for the world above all else. Then we should serve God not man as Ghandi, Jinnah and others have done. Don’t be frightened of religion and God.