We found this a very helpful analysis to fuel our prayers for mercy, hope and to see breakthrough by our God for whom nothing is impossible:

From Belfast City Cllr Brian Smyth (10 April):

‘We are dealing with multiple crises at the minute. Sectarianism and a divided society, Stormont was out for three years and now we have a failure of leadership. We’re dealing now with Brexit and the Protocol and all the ramifications of that. And now we are struggling with COVID-19. Northern Ireland is a traumatised society and we are dealing with layers and layers of trauma, and we have never got around to unpicking that’.  ‘Twenty three years on from the Good Friday Agreement, suicides have now taken more people than were murdered in the Troubles.  We have particularly failed working class communities. They are facing generational unemployment, there is just no hope. We have failed to invest…’

‘It all goes back to a failure of leadership from the top down. There is a huge gap between Stormont and working class communities right across NI.  Irrespective of whatever flag is on the lamp post, politicians are so disconnected from communities. We are dealing with systemic poverty and people’s dignity being stripped back.  You look at terms like ‘working poor’ and the use of food banks. It’s almost like we’ve given up. The challenge for us is how do we reinvigorate ourselves. And we have to put young people at the heart of the decision making, because we’re passing all of this onto them’.

Checkout this Premier article, this as a good encouragement for how church leaders are engaging.

 

Jane Holloway is the National Prayer Director for World prayer Centre.