I can see the cherries ripening on the tree outside. The raspberries redden almost quicker than I can pick, but there are those for whom there will be no harvest. As sparrows happily investigate the fruit, they remind me, everyone is of more value than sparrows. Deep down we really know this, however much we demand to know where You are. So, we boldly pray for our world and all the events and circumstances which in such a brash way demand top billing in the news.
We pray for the people of Texas, Louisiana and all along the Ohio River Valley, U.S.A. and all of those who suffer from the effects of flash flooding and tornadoes from tropical storm Cindy.
We pray for the people of northern Britain where torrential thunderstorms follow summer heat.
We pray for the people of Portugal; the fire fighters, those killed, injured and those who care; as wildfire burns across their mountains.
We pray for the people of the Central African Republic where fighting continues a day after a ceasefire came into force.
We pray for the people of South Sudan who the world seems to have abandoned.
We pray for the people of Eastern Africa as drought deepens and now, as in Southern Africa crops are being threatened by the Fall Armyworms.
We pray for the people of the Middle East, today, thinking of Saudi Arabia with the announced change of crown prince, of Yemen with the continuing conflict, famine and now cholera, and of Qatar being blockaded and how all these events work together.
As Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan we pray for our Muslim neighbors; those caught in the car attack near the Finsbury Park mosque, London, U.K.; the sadness of Syria; the effect of a Kurdish independence vote on Iraq and for Iran and Turkey.
We pray for the Philippines as the Government continues its battles against ISIS and communist rebels. In doing so we cannot fail to think of the mounting pressures in the Korean peninsula; of the many conflicting claims around the South China Sea and of the asylum seekers held by the Australian government on Manus Island and Nauru.
We pray for the people of Venezuela as medical crisis and food shortages grip and for the people of Argentina where one in eight children suffers in poverty and food insecurity.
Lord, all this is happening as I sit here complaining that it’s too hot, on the hottest day in June for 40 years in Britain. Remind me that it’s not really that hot and there are many who would love it to be as cool as this! In all these situations and many more You are here asking what we are doing for we are worth more than sparrows. We give thanks that You hear our prayers and make them worthwhile.