Football fans in Northern Ireland were disappointed on Tuesday, September 6 when the Northern Ireland Team was heavily beaten in Estonia, thus ending any hopes of qualification for the European Championships Finals. 

I believe that this defeat was much more than a football problem. Although I did not see the match, commentators noted how quickly the heads of the Northern Ireland players went down when they went behind.

Years ago this would have been unheard of – Northern Ireland players of the past fought to the final whistle and never gave up.

I noticed very much in the 1990’s, when the ceasefires were called, walking through areas which had really suffered, the heads of the people were down. There was a depressed spirit over very many of these areas. That has lifted somewhat in recent years, but there is still an enormous amount of healing to take place. When you hear that 40% of people in West Belfast are taking medication for depression, you realise how true this is.

All of this simply highlights the great need for revival of the faith in this country. One of the suggestions we have made to all those committed to praying for revival is that they ask God to breath the life of His Holy Spirit into all the churches. I believe that it is only the Holy Spirit who can bring the healing that it is  desperately needed and bring people truly alive again.

That is why it is so important that we make praying for revival an absolute priority.