Praying with Those in the Inner City Slums
Pastor Judly Adams a pastor who lives in the inner city of Kingston, Jamaica has allow the Psalmist to teach him how to pray. Kingston is a very poor city where many are untrained, unskilled and therefore unemployable. Many people this pastor works with go to bed hungry, just getting by on handouts. Many families are headed by single women who if they find jobs at all, get rock-bottom wages, not adequate enough to take care of even one child. And then there is violence. Listen how he puts it:
“Violence has certainly increased recently. Many more people than usual have died violent deaths. Much of it comes down to fighting between gangs who support opposing political parties. This area is rife with gangs, and their style of life is revenge – an eye for an eye. Innocent people get caught in the crossfire. And then, too, you have sporadic robberies. Just last week a businessman was gunned down in broad daylight because he refused to hand over his vehicle to some robbers who were trying to make their escape.”
Here is his prayer of disorientation:
Look here, Lord
Things were bad this week in our community.
Someone was shot and killed.
The gun violence keeps increasing.
People are afraid.
Where are you Lord?
Are you asleep?
I need your help.
You’re the one who brought me into this place, so this is your problem too.
Are you going to enlighten me and show me how to respond to this?
Are you going to intervene?
What do we do?
What are you going to do about this situation?
Now if you meet this pastor, you will find that he is one of the gentlest men you will ever meet. Yet his is not one to mince words when he is asking God for help. He tells it like it is. He was no doubt trained by the Psalmist.