George Orwell wrote that "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." Those words ring truer today than when Orwell imagined a dystopian future as he wrote 1984 in the last months of the second world war.
I think we could explore together what that might mean today but I want to consider a different idea. I wonder if we might say that 'in a time of universal cynicism, prayer becomes a revolutionary act?'
Christians have at times been criticized for praying for a better world whilst doing little to bring about transformation. And sometimes we have despaired of knowing what to do other than pray in the face of complex systems that oppress the poor – systems of which we know we are a part and which we find it impossible to extricate ourselves.
Pray seems like a last resort, all that is left to us, what else can we do? Like the disciples on the lake in a storm, we wait until the water is threatening to sink us before we turn to Christ in our fear and frustration.
Yet I want to argue that prayer is not such a small thing, it is not to be approached lightly and it should be the first port of call, not the last thing we try when all else has failed.
For the rest of this blog, given at a Prayer Breakfast at this year's Labour Party Conference, click here.