UK Praying G-20 Will Meet Expectations

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LONDON -- President Barack Obama made his first trip overseas this week as commander-in-chief. He left Tuesday for the G-20 summit in London where world leaders met to try and find solutions for the global recession.

Under the famous clock tower known as Big Ben, Christians took time to pray for G-20 leaders.

"Help them to talk to each other well and listen to each other," one prayed.

"You've seen greater troubles than these come and you've seen them go," another said.

Hit Hard By The Recession

London is preparing for the biggest meeting of world leaders here in 50 years. Violent protests are expected. The anger at bankers is palpable.

The United Kingdom has been hit hard by the recession. Unemployment is at a record high with two million people out of work.

"No one really saw this coming," said Suzie Shiells, a local resident.

Londoners Suzie and Dan Shiells have felt the pinch. Six months ago, life was great. The two Bible-believing Christians had a steady income and Suzie was pregnant. Now, he's struggling to find freelance jobs and the bad economy has forced her down to three-days-a-week at work

"No more cinema," Shiells told CBN News. "No more eating out. No more bowling. No Mother's Day presents. You're dependency on God defintely grows."

"Everything is in his timing," Suzie explained. "So you think it might not be the best time to have a baby, but God plans everything and every little life."

The Shiells along with hundreds of other worshippers gathered in London this past weekend to pray for the G-20.

"As the G-20 meet, we ask for wisdom for the leaders of the world," the worship leader prayed.

They also marched peacefully hoping to bring attention to those less fortunate than them.

"Does anyone want a prayer resource to pray for the G-20?," one man asked.

Will the G-20 Accomplish Anything?

The countries represented at the G-20 summit combine to make up more than 85 percent of the global economy. The feeling here is that the Brits do not hold out too much hope that anything significant will get accomplished.

CBN News asked local residents about the G-20 and if the leaders meeting together will mean anything.

"For ordinary people like me and you, it doesn't mean anything," one resident replied.

But can President Obama help make a difference?

"Jolly good," one resident said. "I hope he has a super time."

CBN News asked if they thought anything would be accomplished.

"I think he might have some nice tea with the Queen and enjoy Gordon Brown," the resident replied.

Obama's Challenge

President Obama comes to the G-20 Summit in London with a major challenge. While there will be smiles for the cameras, behind the scenes lurks a different story. He is trying to convince European world leaders to drop more money into their own economies to help the global recession. Those leaders say not so fast Mr. President.

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel says nobody is going to tell her how much money to spend. Other European countries feel the same way. The other semi-controversy has to do with international regulatory reform. European countries are pushing tighter controls, even on private hedge funds.

"Part of why they want to do that is that they again will have confidence in the United States financial system and hopefully over the long term that will bring investment and lead to economic growth," explained the Center for American Progress' Heather Boushey.

The U.S. agrees with the concept of more regulation but it's unclear as to what specific commitments they'll make.

While the world leaders try and solve the global crisis, the Shiells have their own crisis to deal with. Their prayer is simple and honest.

"Lord, just pray that you'll send us work," Suzie prayed. " pray that you'll send the money, but also Lord give me that peace."

This story originally aired March 30, 2009.

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CBN News
David Brody

David Brody

CBN News White House Correspondent

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