Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Christmas wifi

I wonder how many millions of extra devices will connect to the internet this Christmas. Wifi networks will be challenged to respond to a huge increase in conversations from smart devices, and increasingly intelligent domestic items which can switch themselves on and off from remotely sent commands. All this wifi traffic is unbelievable.

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There will be parents who pray a thank you as their little child marvels in Christmas delights. Prisoners might pray in sorrow at living such a bodged life. Tired carers will call out for strength, as they feel a kind of permanent jet-lag. Southern hemisphere folk will be lying in the sun, thanking God that Christmas falls at such a sensible time of year! We will continue to pray for war torn areas across the world. Think of all that traffic.

Thing is, I can't see any of it. Prayer signals and mobile signals are a mystery, winging their ways through the ether. Huge banks of servers consume about 10% of all the electricity we generate in order to maintain internet flows. God's prayer-net on the other hand has infinite capacity, and can never be overloaded.

But neither unseen communications should be taken for granted. We are becoming incredibly vulnerable to cyber attack, scams, and the like. It wouldn't take much to close down our amazingly complicated communications system ~ and then we couldn't shop, chat, or organise our lives. However, nobody can jam up God's network.

Sometimes, at a crucial moment a laptop will decide it needs to upgrade. It becomes temporarily useless, and then improved, although some things that worked OK before no longer do. We can feel our prayer signal is weak, because we are expecting God to answer in our predetermined way. I've often felt as if banging my head against a brick wall, only to step back in sheer frustration and notice an easy way through a few feet away.



Sometimes our prayers are 'unanswered' because we are pointing in the wrong direction. I remember some advice which has helped me over the years. When feeling frustrated or confused, stop. Collect yourself, and offer a simple prayer. Then take notice of new things that occur to you.

If you have a wifi gadget for Christmas, I hope it works well and doesn't drive you Christmad!? Far more important, whatever your circumstances, do enjoy God's totally free prayer network. It's available to everyone he created. It never jams up, upgrades, or loses signal. Prayer operates in both directions, and can challenge us to see things in a new light. In my experience regular use is best.

Enjoy your Christmas celebrations, and new perspectives in the year ahead.

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