Michael Ramsey on goodness and prayer

Michael Ramsey (1904-1988) was the 100th Archbishop of Canterbury in the Church of England and held the office from 1961 to 1974. Ramsey was engaging many of the issues we are facing today early on. If you read the Wikipedia entry (!) about him and find him a kindred spirit, I recommend  ‘Through the Year with Michael Ramsey’ edited by Margaret Duggan. Below are two things he has said.

“God’s purpose is like a stream of goodness flowing out into the world and all its needs. But it is our privilege as God’s children to help this stream of goodness to reach other people, becoming ourselves like channels. Our good actions can be channels of God’s goodness, and so too can our prayers.  ….We do not bombard God with our desires; no, we bring our desires into tune with His, so that He, waiting upon our cooperation, and using the channel of our prayers, brings the stream of His good purpose into the parched deserts of human need.”


“Our service in Christ’s name to those who suffer is not something that we do to try to advertise Christianity as a good, useful public show. Our service to people who suffer is just a natural outflowing of our love of God, of our love of others.  ….Every Christian congregation should, as a true part of Christian discipleship, be setting itself deliberately to the task of helping and caring for those who suffer.”

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