It was just a short four years ago I remember watching the raw video feed come into the newsroom from the G20 in Toronto. Police in riot gear. People smashing windows. Black-clad protestors lighting cars on fire. People jumping on cars. That was not the beautiful city I was used to seeing.
Can we assume that Brisbane will be any different? Or will this G20 simply be a case of history – or dare I say humanity – repeating itself?
There are groups of anti-establishment protestors unifying online. Nearly two dozen groups of also registered to protest during this weekend’s G20 meetings. Sure, it’s important to let governments know if ‘the people’ want change. But it’s an entirely different matter to destroy your own city in the process, or allow outsiders to do the same.
Even though I don't always agree with everything governments decide,
Ahead of the G20 I’ve been praying that not only will the city of Brisbane be kept safe and peaceful, but that the meetings themselves will be fruitful. At YWAM Brisbane, I oversee our intercessory prayer ministry, so had us weekly praying for the G20 for the last six weeks. At first I was a bit skeptical that there would be enough interest or focus to keep praying for this situation. But God knew what He was doing when He impressed on my heart to have us pray.
Each week, the prayer facilitators have found unique ways to pray for a wide variety of topics. One week we sat around a make-shift G20 conference table and prayed for wisdom for world leaders. Another week we waited on God to get ideas about responding to economic policy and then prayed about the solutions the leaders would need. Another week we prayed for each nation that will be represented at the G20 for specific needs in those countries.
I know churches in Brisbane have been doing the same thing, by hosting prayer nights to focus on the G20. While this is my adopted hometown, I’m willing to pray for its “peace and prosperity” just like God asks of the Israelites when they are living away from their homes. Will you join me?