During the WW2 bombing raids on London, Major Wellesley Tudor Pole, King George IV, & Winston Churchill called for every British citizen to pray each night at nine. Known as the Silent Minute, an estimated two million people prayed during the nine o’clock chimes of Big Ben. After the war, a high Nazi official told an interrogating British Intelligence officer, “During the war you had a secret weapon for which we could find no counter measure and which we did not understand, but it was very powerful. It was associated with the striking of Big Ben at 9 PM each evening. I believe you called it the ‘Silent Minute’.”
Prayer = Change. Prayer unleashes the power of God to accomplish things we cannot. In this blog series, I’ve covered six simple prayers that effect powerful change in our personal lives. Today, I wish to talk about change on a broader scale. Our world needs change. Our world needs healing. Our world has problems only God can solve. So how do we pray for that?
Some people know their destiny from a young age. I am not one of those people.
I remember Josh, a seven year-old who knew he was going to be a pastor. He’d preach to his younger siblings and neighbor kids like me. I pretty much zoned out his sermons, but just sat in awe of how he could be so sure of his destiny. Other kids I knew excelled at music, art, drama, or sports. My older brother was a math genius. My first day of second grade, the teacher said, “You’re Gabe’s younger sister. Are you as good at math as him? What’s 12-8?” Nerve-wracked, I froze. “No, I guess you’re not like him. Oh well.” That pretty much sums up my elementary career.
There is always more to do.
I’ll never forget talking with Helana, a foreign-exchange student from Honduras. She was commenting on how students in the USA have so many after-school activities. From sports to drama clubs to debate teams, she marveled at it all. I smiled, “Yes, there are many great opportunities here!” She looked at me like I was crazy. “Why on earth would anyone want to do those things? Why would anyone give up spending their evenings with their family? Some families here don’t even eat dinner together!”
I didn’t have an answer for her.
In 2004, American psychologist Barry Schwartz shocked the Western world with the ground-breaking book, “The Paradox of Choice- Why More is Less.” In it, Schwartz argued that having too many choices increases people’s stress and unhappiness.