• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Tales from the Food Bank: the power of prayer

A training session, and a volunteer from the new branch of the food bank in Broomhill brings up the issue of prayer.

The Trussell Trust which runs the Glasgow North West Foodbank is essentially a Christian organisation, after all, and it operates from Church of Scotland premises.

It never plugs the Christian message to food-bank users but the Broomhillian poses a reasonable question: "Should we offer to pray for them?"

I shuffle my feet under the table and look down in embarrassment. I shouldn't offer to pray because I haven't been able to believe since I was about 13 and decided the world was a rotten place no caring God would be in charge of. And He won't be listening to a sin-stained unbeliever like me anyway.

Yet I recognise that churches, especially at the grass-roots level, where they are helping people cope, supporting individuals through tough times and not asking for thanks, can be a powerful force for good in society, and the food bank is a prime example.

I replaced religion at 14 with a vague, generous, socialist idealism, but I don't see political parties organising anything to get troops on the ground, fire-fighting the personal crises so many have been left in by our pathetic, mealy-mouthed governments.

At the training session volunteers are not sure about wading in with offers of prayer.

"Sometimes they ask us to say a prayer for them," offers one. I can imagine even atheist clients thinking there's no harm in trying God: all else has failed, after all.

And although I can't say a prayer as such I recognise that it really can help. For me it's a case of saying: "We're thinking of you, rooting for you," which is good for anyone in times of trouble.

That is something I can do, for sure.

Contextual targeting label: 
Finance

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

229048