The Prayer Wave to End Hunger
by: John Tyrrell
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On Tuesday, this week, Pope Francis has called for a prayer wave to go round the world, starting in Tonga and finishing in American Samoa 24 hours later. Citizens from majority of the countries in the world are expected to participate as the "wave" passes over them.
The aim of this global prayer is to end world hunger by 2025.
God supposedly created the world in six days, but we have to give him a full eleven years to solve hunger. That's what happens when you rush a product to market I suppose - it takes forever to implement the bug fix - and work on it doesn't even get started until enough people notify tech support.
Of course they are not really asking God to solve the hunger problem. They are asking God to tell governments to solve the hunger problem. You know - the same governments whose mismanagement and whose conflicts have been a major part of creating the hunger problem; the same governments whose attempts to solve the problem have, thanks to the law of unintended consequences, generally worsened the problem; the same governments which, if recipients of aid, have focused on lining the pockets of the elites; the same governments which, if donors of aid, have focused on ensuring as much of the funds as possible were spent in their own countries rather than focusing on the needs of the hungry. And these are the governments that the participants in the prayer wave are asking God to use in resolving world hunger.
It's not going to work. All it is going to do is prove once again, the powerlessness of prayer. Oh - I'd like to see the world hunger problem resolved by 2025; even better by 2020; and much much better by 2015. If there truly was an all-powerful God - he could handle it in a moment.
I hope both the Pope and I are still alive in 2025 so one old man can say to another "I told you so." The odds would be very much in favour of it being me doing the talking.
I think Pope Francis is a good man - he apparently actually sneaks out of the Vatican occasionally by night and deals with the poor face to face. That's what is needed to solve the problem of world hunger - direct action; not prayer.
Oh - one other thing - birth control. The Pope could get an insight from God which tells him that overpopulation due to lack of access to effective birth control is one of the major contributors to world hunger.
But as to prayer - well it might contribute to a moment of Catholic unity - or even ecumenical unity - but it will do nothing for world hunger.
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