Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of June 10, 2002
Prayer power hits G-8 Summit
Woman of faith plans worship vigil to guide leaders
By BYRON PRICE
Special to the WCR
The power of prayer is one unsung force that will be attending the G-8 Summit being held in the beautiful Kananaskis Country on June 26 and 27.
At this summit, eight industrialized nations, including Russia, will discuss such weighty subjects as the global economy and how to address the debt situation in Africa.
And then there is Maureen Ranaghan. A former member of a religious order (Faithful Companions of Jesus), a retired high school teacher and a philanthropist, Ranaghan has taken a unique approach to the G-8 Summit.
"This is a great time for people of different faiths to get together and pray for something bigger than any of us," says Ranaghan.
"It is a time to pray for protection, wisdom and guidance for the leaders and the protesters."
Ranaghan's motivation comes from her Catholic faith, her journey with the FCJ's and her strong ecumenical spirit. She believes that as a nation with a Christian tradition, we cannot stand back and watch world leaders make decisions without asking for God's guidance:
"We will pray the "Our Father" that God's kingdom will come to the world and not just to our little churches."
It seems to be such a peaceful action in the face of such anticipated violent protests.
For many months, Calgary has been host to security personnel from Canada and other countries to ensure the security of world leaders and to prevent the history of violence that occurred at Summits in Quebec City and Genoa, Italy.
International decisions that affect us all are on the geo-political agenda and thus engender emotion, protest and sometimes violence.
Kananaskis Village has become an armed fortress with the best high tech equipment money can buy.
Protesters cannot enter Kananaskis Country and have also been refused access to public areas in the city of Calgary to stage demonstrations.
So how does an ordinary citizen become involved in issues of such magnitude?
How does an ordinary citizen affect international decisions?
Does God have any place in the temporal business of nations?
Pray for those answers, says Ranaghan.
And pray they will. There will be people from different faiths in continuous prayer during the G-8 Summit.
"If hearts and minds are not open to the wisdom of God, force and might cannot solve problems rooted in hatred."
- Maureen Ranaghan
The Prayer Summit at Victory Village near Canada Olympic Park will play a part in promoting Jesus' love and peace in the world, says Ranaghan.
She says in the Old Testament, the gates of the city were strategic places for spiritual power and that the gates of the city of Calgary, people from all faiths will gather, armed with prayer and the love of God.
Through these prayers, the leaders may be influenced in a profound way, believes Ranaghan.
"There can be no New World Order without God's intercession into the decision making process; without God there is only chaos and great suffering."
People from all over the globe will bow their heads at the Prayer Summit.
Included are 20 women from the Handmaidens of Prayer, a group founded in 1948. These women dedicate their lives to prayer. They come from many countries and travel the world praying that God's love will reign over all.
Ranaghan shares their belief in the power of prayer.
"You can have all the police and military might of the strongest nations in the world, but if hearts and minds are not open to the wisdom of God, force and might cannot solve problems rooted in hatred: Recent history has striking examples in 9/11 and the Middle East situation.
"Some people say that I am naive about the power of prayer and they question the benefits of organizing this small endeavour. Being too sophisticated for prayer is not a small mistake, but pure folly for our species."