Abbey United Reformed Church, Romsey



Prayer for November 2020

A couple of weeks ago a friend recommended a book to me. It is by Hans Rosling with assistance from his son and daughter and is called ‘Factfulness’.  It has a subtitle ’Ten reasons we’re wrong about the world – and why things are better than you think’.  It was a couple of days before I was able to get a copy and I am already well through it.  It is fascinating!

The author has become increasingly aware that we all adopt a very pessimistic view of the world and that we totally fail to take into consideration the progress we are making.  Yet in almost every sphere of life in which we as Christians would want things to get better, it is happening.

To begin making his point he begins the book by asking the reader to answer some questions – I will ask you to answer the first 3 that he sets:

1. In all low-income countries across the world today, how many girls finish primary school?

  1. 20%
  2. 40%                       
  3. 60%

2. Where does the majority of the world population live?

  1. Low-income countries;
  2. Middle-income countries;
  3. High-income countries

3. In the last 20 years, the proportion of the world population living in poverty has…

  1. almost doubled;
  2. remained more or less the same;
  3. almost halved

The answers are at the end of the prayer, have a look.

How did you do?  If things are not as bad as you thought, join the club.

Hans has asked these questions and more to students studying politics and economics, to politicians and to the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos and in many other forums and, without exception, we all got it wrong.  In fact, answering randomly would have, on average, got one third of the answers right and the great majority of scores were substantially below that random score.  In the UK only 6% were correct on question 1, 23% were correct on question 2 and 9% were right on question 3.  No wonder we think the world is becoming a worse place in which to live.

All the time we are praying for things to improve.  The Holy Spirit is working through people improving the world – that’s what we are praying for, so why do we not believe it is happening?

How about some real facts?

  • Children dying before their 5th birthday was 44% in 1800, 4% in 2016.
  • Nuclear Arms in the world was 64,000 in 1986, 15,000 in 2017.
  • People undernourished was 28% in 1970,11% in 2015.
  • Clean water was available to 58% in 1980 but 88% in 2015.

And I could go on.  The point is, that through our prayers and the acts of the Holy Spirit, we are getting better.  Of course, we still have a way to go but let’s recognise we are making progress.

Prayer:

Great God we thank you for all the good that is happening in the world, we thank you that the Holy Spirit is working through people to improve so many aspects of everyone’s lives.  Help us to recognise the progress and to continue our prayer so that all peoples will one day be able to say, ‘Your Kingdom has come’.   Amen

Derek

Answers to the questions: 1, c; 2, b; 3, c.

Notices

  • 29 November 2020 

    10.45am A Rocha service led by Revd Mike, assisted by Henry and Freddie, available on Zoom

    6.30pm Advent Carol Service led by Rev Mike available on Zoom

    Click on Sunday Worship

    You are invited to join the Zoom service at 10.35am by clicking Zoom

    (880 6118 0122.  Passcode Heiswithus)

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    2 December 2020 2pm-3pm - Kettle's On

    Weekly social time on Wednesdays via Zoom  (click Kettle On to join, or meeting ID: 970 815 266, passcode: 079294)

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    You can read this month's magazine by clicking on Magazine

    This week's news sheet is available by clicking on News

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    You may find this list of opportunities to access services/Christian content on radio/TV and on-line helpful:
     the Daily Service at 9.45 on Radio 4 long-wave
     The Sunday Service on Radio 4 at 8.10am
     Songs of Praise Sunday 1.15pm ish on BBC1
     Choral Evensong Sunday Radio 3 at 3pm and repeated on Wednesday Radio 3 at 3.30pm
     Tim Daykin Radio Solent Sunday 6-9am for worship songs, interesting information and a feeling of connectedness

     

     

     

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