One of life’s greatest frustrations must include being voiceless: to be totally disregarded by those who make decisions. It is the voiceless who are disenfranchised, and made to feel less than human.
One of democracies strengths is meant to be the power of the people: where the voices of the ordinary person shape the decisions and actions of those who govern. In contrast to kings and queens, democracies install leaders who reflect and implement the will of the people.
But what happens when the majority is made to feel voiceless? When a ruling elite determines a course of action which is opposed to not only the voice of the majority, but the spirit of its people?
Frustration builds. Some give up, sensing the futility of trying to be heard. Others resort to extreme actions, sometimes giving birth to violence (is this a cause of terrorism?). The majority begin to sense disillusionment with the system itself, looking for alternatives (as evidenced by the shift away from support for major parties at elections).
Where does one turn when our voice is ignored?
When the majority call for peace, and the leaders continue their irrepressible urge for violence, what can we do?
Prayer is the most subversive act anyone can undertake. Christian see prayer as turning to the One who rules over nations – an appeal to a higher authority, higher than the bomb (no matter how “smart” it may be). In fact all religions recognise prayer as calling to a higher entity than any earthly ruler.
So, as we pray today, our voice is being heard. The prophet Isaiah wrote these words about the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob: “Behold, the LORD'S hand is not so short That it cannot save; Neither is His ear so dull That it cannot hear.” (Isaiah 59:1)
Lord, hear our prayer.
March 23, 2003
A Prayer for
Lord, hold all troops, and civilians, in your loving hand, regardless of race or creed.
Protect the weak and innocent.
Bring justice with love and love with justice.
May compassion and grace rule over might and power.
God of all nations, let YOUR kingdom come, let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven....
Bless Saddam Hussein, George W Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard. Build a Coalition of those willing for peace, justice and freedom for all humanity.
Disarm all those who are committed to imposing their will on others.
May Your will and grace be the only source of freedom.
In the name of that Middle Eastern Preacher I pray...