THE heads of Queensland’s Churches gathered with Premier Peter Beattie, other politicians and members of the public on November 2 to seek divine intervention for drought-breaking rain.
More than 250 people attended the early morning prayer service at St John’s Anglican Cathedral in support of the statewide prayer campaign titled “Water: A Time for Prayer”.
Brisbane Catholic Archbishop John Bathersby joined nine other Church leaders in calling on Christians to join in the week-long prayer campaign from November 5-12.
Brisbane Anglican Archbishop Philip Aspinall said in his homily he expected many people would misunderstand their call to prayer.
“Church leaders gathering to pray will probably be seen as a naive attempt to manipulate God to do something that God wouldn’t otherwise do.
“Politicians coming to St John’s Cathedral to pray will probably be seen by cynics as trying to divert attention away from their other weighty responsibilities,” he said.
But the archbishop said the reality of prayer was much deeper than such superficial assessments.
He said while prayer might begin with a child-like trust and a request to God to provide something we want, it was about developing a partnership and aligning our wills with God’s will.
Archbishop Aspinall alluded to the dramatic human impact on climate change. He said humankind also had a responsibility to care for creation.
Speaking after the service, Archbishop Bathersby said hope was what kept people going through situations such as drought.
He said policy makers, like the public, must acknowledge their mistakes in relation to their effect on the environment and drought.
Archbishop Bathersby said society had become very selfish, but God was prepared to help us when we “mess up”, if we turn to him in prayer.
Mr Beattie, who is an Anglican, said he had asked Church leaders to back a prayer campaign.
He encouraged Queenslanders to come together to support those who are doing it tough on the land.