Response to terrorist attacks on US 'should be measured and just'

Statement by the President of the Methodist Conference

"We have all been caught up in the terrible events of 11September in America. We share with millions of our neighbours adeep sympathy for those upon whom intense suffering has beeninflicted. We share with millions across the world a fearfulconcern that the response of the American government, and of othergovernments, including our own, should be a measured and justresponse, which will make the world a safer and not a moredangerous place.

But as a Christian community we have a particular response tomake: we have to look and listen for God in this situation, and tryto understand what he may be saying; and we have to pray mostearnestly for his mercy and grace to help in time of need. Thereflection will continue. Today, may I ask that the Methodistpeople take with all possible seriousness their ministry of prayer?I know that they will already have offered many prayers.I simplywant to share my conviction that praying is both something we cando, and probably what is needed just now more than anything else.For prayer releases spiritual energy, and the world has rarelyneeded it so much.

I ask your prayers for:

  • The American people, that they may find comfort and hope, thegrace to forgo a desire for revenge, and in due course the courageto ask questions about the causes of terrorism
  • those who mourn family members and friends (not only in theUnited States); those who clear debris; those who support them
  • President Bush and his fellow-decision-makers, burdened withresponsibilities that it is hard for us to imagine
  • Our own Prime Minister and government, that they may use ourspecial relationship with the United States not only to support butto give honest and wise advice
  • Church leaders as they seek appropriate ways and times toarticulate a Christian response to what is happening
  • The media, that they may use their influence responsibly andwisely
  • All those who live in fear of reprisals, not forgetting Muslimcommunities in these islands.

And for us all:

Lord, you wept over Jerusalem, saying, 'Would that even todayyou knew the things that make for peace'. Have mercy upon us. Openour eyes to the truth, and turn our hearts to your way, for yourname's sake. Amen.

Christina Le Moignan