The Praying Cynic

“Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” – Jer 29:7

Also Read: 1 Tim 2:1-3; Rom 13:1; Ezr 6:10

That the Democratic Labour Party had been voted in for a second term in the 2013 General Elections of Barbados, came as a shock to many, including some of the party’s faithful followers. There had been a prevailing lack of confidence in the fairly new kids on the block who now were the face of a party that had spent 14 long years in political wilderness.

And though they proved their worthiness for the second time at the polls, Barbadians did not give them an easy time. For all their good, history will recall how long Al Barack had to wait to be paid, Leroy Parris and the CLICO fiasco,  Income Tax Certificates instead of Returns, and for the first time since the early nineties, the looming threat of the International Monetary Fund.

As a young reporter during those years, I saw up-close how headlines could sway public opinion, causing people to be gripped by fear without even being armed with all the facts. Depressing news sells faster. It also draws out from the wood works self-acclaimed political analysts bent on arguing without reason.

In his book Attitude 101, Leadership expert John C. Maxwell says: “There’s only one thing more contagious than a good attitude – a bad attitude. For some reason many people think it’s chic to be negative. I suspect that they think it makes them appear smart or important”.

Guess what!

We Christians can be just as depressing to be around for that same reason. At times, I found myself being the chief culprit of a bad attitude as I absorbed daily doses of negativity being broadcast in the media.

It dawned on me one evening, while preparing some national prayer points for church meeting, that my prayers for national peace and prosperity were counter-productive if I returned the next morning to work and continued in the gloom and doom talk. If my words, added to the flood of criticism and scathing attacks of our leaders by many others both in Barbados and abroad, were creating a spiritual ceiling of brass that prevented our prayers from reaching heaven, it could not come as a surprise then that economic recovery was long in coming.

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