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Pray for COP26

by Michael Ford last modified 15 Oct, 2021 10:01 PM

Many young people are mobilising ahead of the COP26 climate change talks in Glasgow next month. Some are arranging protests, some are wondering what to do - but some are asking their peers to pray.

Abi Taylor, daughter of Hamworthy Curate Sally Taylor, has written an open letter, calling fellow teens and church members to pray for 40 days.

She says:

"Join us in coming together as a church to cover COP26 and the future of this planet in prayer.

"I don’t know about you, but with COP26 coming up, I’ve been feeling pretty hopeless and afraid. Headlines suggest that this will just be yet another round of talks and little action. Governments aren’t doing enough, companies are shortcutting and greenwashing and activists are struggling to shout any louder. And that can be pretty frightening. It feels like we’re moving towards a future we don’t have the power to change.

"But I have this hope. Call me completely crazy, but I think prayer can turn it around, I really do. Because governments are big but our God’s bigger. He’s in the business of changing hearts and bringing change.

"So, I am choosing to place all my hope in him.

"I recently read Mark Batterson’s book ‘Draw the Circle; The 40 Day Circle Challenge’ and prayed over a youth group I was helping start up and his words about praying big prayers just stuck on my heart like super glue. I couldn’t shift it. And this just happened to coincide with a small seed of a dream in a Climate Group that had started at my church. And I kept praying for God to shift this dream if it wasn’t of him, but it didn’t seem to be going away.

"I’m asking if you’ll join me in hitting your knees everyday for 40 days, at 7.00am in your own home. I really believe God is calling us to cover COP26 completely in prayer and hope and expectation. If you can’t do 7 that’s totally okay, what’s important is us all standing together in prayer for 40 days, the specific time just means that many of us will be united in prayer. It will start on Monday the 18th of October, two weeks before the summit and our prayers will carry on throughout the conference and as ambassadors travel home.

"But how do we pray for such a huge conference and such a huge issue?

"Well, it can be simply a quiet prayer every morning over the leaders who will be there. It can be letting the tears pour as you sing God’s promises over the problems on your heart. It can be sticking on a worship song and interceding for someone specific every day. It can be grabbing a notebook and circling ‘COP26’. It can be screaming out for a better future. Christian charity Tearfund has a text messaging service in which you can receive specific things to pray for each week. Just text PRAY to 07916 874441 to sign up to this.

"Our group had this verse put on our hearts from 2 Chronicles 7:14 -

‘IF my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.’

"So perhaps you could pray through this verse.

"Whatever you choose to do, and it can vary day by day, what matters is what’s in your heart. God hears that. He honours that.

"I’m 17, and although the future looks frightening, I’m putting my trust in the one who created it all.

"Prayer is powerful my friend, believe it.

"A xx"

Pray for COP26- Abi Taylor, Hamworthy

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