Those of us who can remember the IRA ceasefire on August 31, 1994 will realize that it came completely out of the blue.  If you had asked the average man in the street if these Troubles would ever end most would have said ‘No, not in my lifetime.’  The fact that the ceasefire came in this way prompts me to believe that there was a spiritual dimension to it, that God had intervened in response to all the prayer that had gone on over many years.

Since then, particularly in the last two or three years, other events have come equally out of the blue: Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams coming together in a most statesmanlike way to announce the setting up of the Assembly, Sinn Fein and the DUP sharing power together, Sinn Fein leaders expressing sympathy to the widow of a murdered policeman, the nationalist community expressing so much support for the police when two soldiers were murdered.  All of these incidents are examples of people acting for the good of the community, but in a way that was contrary to how they had behaved over many years.  I believe that here again there is a spiritual dimension, God moving in response to prayer going on for decades.  This is very often how prayer works.  We do not always see God answering the specific requests we make, but as we continue to pray we see the whole situation moving forward, and many individual people going through what we can only describe as a miraculous transformation.

Brother David Jardine

April 2009