Have we forgotten how to pray? Is there time for prayer in our busy world? Are people aware of God's presence in their lives?
These are some of the questions asked in an episode of ‘Where Do We Stand?’, part of a Lenten Religious Programmes series broadcast on RTÉ television. In search of answers, the programme team took their cameras to the streets, to find out what people think about prayer in the Ireland of 1979.
One answer that does come across is that each person prays in a way that is meaningful for them, and some do not pray regularly at all.
While one lady says that she is aware of a divine presence in her life, another is not impressed with the changes in the Roman Catholic Mass in recent times,
The folk Masses are ok, but they’re not like the old masses.
One gentleman admits to not giving much thought to God at all,
Unfortunately I don’t think of him a lot.
Faith in God could have something to do with a person’s upbringing, because, as this man admits,
You honestly can’t give any real reason for it.
The ways people pray are as different as each individual person. Sitting in a church for a few minutes to have a chat with God works best for this lady,
I talk to God more than pray, in the sense of the prayers that we were given in school, you know.
‘Where Do We Stand’ is a five part religious programmes series which ran on the five consecutive Sunday nights during Lent in 1979. Presented by Morgan O’Sullivan, it was produced by RTÉ’s Head of Religious Programmes Father Billy Fitzgerald.
An article in the RTÉ Guide of 6 April 1979 describes it as a series which "reports on how ordinary people now regard the basic tenets of traditional Christian faith."
Each episode considers a different aspect of traditional Christian beliefs: the existence of God; the basis of morality; forgiveness and redemption; prayer; and Jesus the risen Christ. During each episode people on the street give their opinions on traditional Christian principles.
This episode of ‘Where Do We Stand?’ was broadcast on 8 April 1979. The presenter is Morgan O’Sullivan.