Prayer initiative hopes for God’s blessing on the work of politicians

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Home > Media > News > Prayer initiative hopes for God’s blessing on the work of politicians
Prayer initiative hopes for God’s blessing on the work of politicians

Eleven times a year for nearly four years the Long Room in Hobart's Parliament House has been occupied by people who have gathered for the sole purpose of praying for Tasmania's politicians and all those who work there.

In October, the prayer meeting was held for the 42nd time.

“There's a lot happening in the world today – there's always been – but even more so these days, and prayer is one of the things we can do,” says South Hobart parishioner Kevin Morgan who has been attending the Prayer for Politicians almost as long as it's been running.

“Fr Gerald invited me. He's very persuasive,” Mr Morgan said, explaining how he first became involved.

The monthly gatherings are an initiative of Passionist priest Fr Gerald Quinn who still attends each session, personally calls to remind some attendees, and puts together the prayer booklet.

“I'll give the Lord the credit for that,” Fr Quinn says about beginning the prayer-initiative.

“The idea just came to me that this would be a good, positive thing to do, because 'More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of',” he says, quoting Alfred Lord Tennyson whose comment appears each month in the prayer booklet.

“It's something practical that we can do to make things better for the people of Tasmania.”

An ecumenical prayer initiative, most of the attendees are Catholic, but others come from Wellspring Anglican Church and St David’s Anglican Cathedral.

Numbers change each month (“It varies between about eight or nine through to 28 or 29”) and sometimes politicians attend, and sometimes they don't.

“We have had them in the past ... not recently, but our idea is that we're praying for them whether they're able to come or not.”

Interestingly, Fr Quinn says the prayer meeting is received positively by those who work in Parliament House.

“We've never had a negative comment ... [we've had] lots of positive comments,” he said.

“I think they're just recognising that this is good – asking God to help us. And in a very special way the Prayer for Politicians is bringing the Lord into Parliament because – for 20 minutes each month – there is prayer in Parliament House.”

Mr Morgan points out that there is no way to measure the impact of the prayer, but he says he hopes that that it will give the politicians strength.

“Hopefully it will have an effect on the politicians, give them the strength that they need to make the judgements and the decisions they need to make.”

Fr Quinn hopes that through the prayer God will bless the work of the politicians.

“... That Tasmania will be a state that will become more and more a state of good harmony and peace and good neighbourliness.”