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Just prior to the call by Pope Francis for an evening of prayer and fasting in aid of peace in Syria, the British Government narrowly voted against supporting the American call to punish the Syrian regime for using chemical weapons against its own people.

Within days of fasting and prayer across the world, Secretary John Kerry in an off-the-cuff, off-script comment suggested that missile strikes might be avoided if Syria were to give up all its chemical weapons. It appears that not even the President of the United States was aware this would be said. Following up this suggestion, the Russians not only voiced their support for this suggestion but volunteered to take a leading role.

Now whilst politicians may have all sorts of political and tactical reasons for being involved, the fact is that military strikes against Syria are much more distant than they were before Pope Francis led the world-wide vigil of prayer and fasting for Syria. This is no coincidence, it is an incredible sign of the power of prayer. It is a sign that we must all return to a life of prayer and regular fasting. In doing so, we really can change the course of history.

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