Whether we have any personal family connections with the events of 1916 or not, few would dispute that there is a very powerful collective memory of these events (accurate or otherwise) which continue to shape opinions and attitudes all around us in Ireland, North and South.
I am no historian, I have only just begun to appreciate some of the subtleties, and common misconceptions, of the history of our wee island. Of course, it is entirely likely that, today, many 'victors' are busy trying to write the history of the past 100 years so my first prayer concerning 'healing of the past' must be a prayer for understanding, a basic understanding of the 'facts'. Granted this is the sort of prayer that requires us to do something about it and during those 100 days I am committing to sifting and finding out more about those 100 years.
My second prayer for understanding is much harder - it is about motives, ambitions, hurts. Getting a sense of how others around us experience life, and why they might feel the way they feel, is an important step in reconciliation. I am looking forward to having the chance to hear many personal stories throughout the prayer movement and I do intend to listen to, and read about, the lives of others in my own 'community' and the 'other side'.
Finally, I'll be asking God the Father for wisdom and the strength to submit. I guess this is not a popular word in Northern Ireland politics in fact we are quite famous for the other phrase - No Surrender! But unless we surrender our will to His then we are at a very real risk of creating an idol out of our earthly 'citizenship'. I'm not talking about simple political capitulation, everyone has the right to have their own aspirations, but I am suggesting that my first concern must be to submit myself to God and His plan. As Christians we have bigger loyalties.
There you have it. I think I'll be starting with prayer for understanding, prayer for empathy and then prayer for submission. More info about the movement can be found at 100 days for 100 years.