Friday, 30 March 2012

#PrayForMuamba; But to Who?

Fabrice Muamba has become famous across the United Kingdom and indeed further in the past few weeks but probably not for the way he would have had it.  On the 17th of March, Muamba collapsed during Bolton's FA-Cup Quarter Final against Tottenham Hotspur, suffering a cardiac arrest and spending 6 minutes on the pitch under CPR from medics and a doctor from the crowd.  He was rushed to hospital amidst the players and fans at the stadium visibly praying for his safety and the world of Twitter showing their support through the hashtag #PrayForMuamba.

I was shocked to see that the world of Twitter, and seemingly spreading the the wider world, turned to prayer to deal with this tragedy.  In the light of things, though, I shouldn't really be surprised.

Players in disbelief as Muamba is treated on the pitch.
Fab Muamba did indeed survive this heart attack, today posting on his Twitter account a picture of himself smiling and sitting up in bed, but a similar footballing tragedy has emerged this week with Aston Villa's Stiliyan Petrov being diagnosed with leukaemia and a similar hashtag #PrayForPetrov being used.  The fact of the matter is that, whether it is a way of being unified in support or otherwise, the majority of those concerned see praying as the right way to deal with what has happened.

But this society doesn't seem to know what or who they are praying to; simply an unknown higher power.  People throughout history have worshipped something considered higher than humanity, be it a mystical celestial being or a legend passed through the generations, and even in the secular society of today, this feeling of a higher power seems to still show itself.

Rafael Van Der Vaart reaches out in prayer on the pitch.
The Bible says that God has 'put eternity in their hearts' (Ecclesiastes 3:11), or in other words, God has purposefully put the idea of the supernatural, of something higher, in the nature of every man.  It shouldn't be surprising then that the world reaches out to such a higher power in times of trouble.  

This same thing happened in first century Greece where an empty altar amongst the other gods of the time was inscribed simply with 'TO AN UNKNOWN GOD' (Acts 17:23).  Paul the Apostle noticed this and went on to tell the Greeks about the person they worshipped unknowingly: Jesus Christ and who he was, what he did, what he offers.

This power that people reach out in prayer to in times of trouble, both in today's society and in Greece two thousand years ago, is Jesus Christ, the God of the Bible.  He lived on earth, teaching the basis of today's laws across the world, and was murdered innocently in a way kept for the lowest criminals of the low.  After a series of supernatural events, he rose again three days later and ascended into the heavens.  Left behind were 11 men who made it their mission to tell others about what had happened and what Jesus had taught when on earth.  

Today there are millions upon millions who follow this same man and fortunately, in the UK, we are free to find out more about him.  He offers a new life in this life, a way to live life to the full, and eternal life in the life to come, in a glorified and completely fulfilled way.

Have you ever felt compelled to reach out in prayer?  Why not find out who is the one listening to those prayers and offers so much more?

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