The republican movement called a cease-fire in Northern Ireland on 31st August, 1994.  It came out of the blue.  Some journalists seemed to be aware that something was happening, but most of us had no idea.  I believe myself that it was an answer to prayer.  Out of a deep sense of need, people were prepared to pray earnestly for peace in our land, and the Lord responded in a powerful way.

Thankfully Northern Ireland today is very different from the years of the Troubles, when violence was raging. But as violence eased and the atmosphere became more peaceful over the years so people did not feel the same need to pray. Yet we still very much need God’s help.  We still need Him to be at the centre of life here, or else we will be the losers.  We were reminded of that very clearly by recent violence at the end of 2012 and beginning of 2013.  We need to keep up the prayer, that the Lord may bring us through to a new harmony of relationships.  Amongst other things could we pray for a healing of hurts, a sense of fairness for all our people, addressing the issues raised by those who feel disadvantaged, a new spirit of generosity between the two communities, and a desire among our people to come back to God?

If we take prayer seriously again then the future will be bright for our country.