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Saturday, 14 February 2009

It’s that prayer thing – again!

The situation in the United Kingdom would seem to be going from bad to worse. No, I’m not making reference to the ever-worsening financial situation that has even the Prime Minister use the dreaded “D” word (depression!). I’m referring to the attitude of officialdom to the Christian concept of prayer.

At the beginning of this month, I published a post on this blog about Mrs Caroline Petrie – the nurse who had been suspended for offering to pray with a patient (thankfully, she has now been re-instated). However, it is now reported that Mrs Jennie Cain is facing disciplinary procedures, and even dismissal, because she asked some friends to pray about a situation involving her own daughter and the school which she attends – and at where Mrs Cain is employed. It would appear that a copy of that e-mail came to the attention of the headmaster of the school in Crediton, Devon (is there something going on in the S.W. of England – Caroline Petrie works in North Somerset!?), and Mrs Cain is now being “investigated” for “professional misconduct”!!

Perhaps if more parents were praying for (and with) their children, and seeking prayer support for them and the situations in which they find themselves, we might not have as many children committing crime – ranging from petty theft, through vandalism, to murder – or becoming a father at 13 years of age (with the mother being only two years older!)!

I always find it interesting that there is no record of the disciples of Jesus asking Him for “master-classes in the miraculous”, or “ten points in the preparation of the perfect sermon”. What is recorded is their request “Lord, teach us to pray, …” (Lk.11:1). Personally, and like many others, I would find it very difficult to get through each day without prayer – and I believe that my praying on behalf of others, does have an effect (see James 5:16 – where the righteousness is that of those who have accepted the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus on their behalf).
I am glad that such high-profile figures as the Archbishop of York have publicly taken up Mrs Cain’s cause (see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/4604205/Archbishop-speaks-in-support-of-primary-school-receptionist-facing-sack.html), and I believe that a Member of Parliament has raised the issue in the House of Commons. However, as Dr Sentamu has stated, it is up to all of us who claim to be followers of the Lord Jesus, to not only uphold Mrs Cain in prayer, but to stand up and be counted.

Christians in the UK are not yet experiencing the level, and form, of persecution that is the daily lot of those in almost 60 countries around the world. However, these, and similar, cases may well be the thin end of a wedge. Let us pray that it might not be so – but that if it is, that we will show the same strength, and faithfulness, as our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world.

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