Tomorrow the UK is having a referendum on whether to remain in or leave the European Union. It is a major decision that is going to have a huge impact on the UK whichever way we vote. (Yes, I have an opinion on whether we should remain or leave, and no, I’m not going to share that here.)
In the midst of our referendum headlines, news about America’s elections have been trickling through as the presidential candidates have been chosen, and later this year a president will be chosen.
I will confess I haven’t a clue what other, if any, big elections are going on in other countries, but even if there isn’t a major election going on, there will be other things of national importance going on, bills being put forward, debated and then voted on.
I am not someone who loves politics. When I was a teenager, it was actually something I thought was tedious and guaranteed to make me switch off very quickly. However, both my parents and my church taught that it was important to pray for those in leadership of our country. For me living in the UK, that meant the Queen and the Royal Family along with the government in power at the time, and I prayed for wisdom in ruling us and protection for them in leadership, as well as making wise decisions that would protect us as a country.
In the last few years though, I have started taking more of an interest in what is going on…and not because I have developed a sudden liking for politics, because I most certainly haven’t. But as bills have been put forward and passed, whether in the UK itself or the higher authority of the EU, things have started to concern me, and while the vague prayers I’ve prayed before are certainly honourable and pleasing to God I have come to realise that not only does the present government need those prayers, but that we actually need to intercede for our country when a new government is being elected, and when bills are being put forward, debated and then either passed or rejected.
It talks about how we are to be subject to the governing authority, because that is who God has appointed for our country.
That is a sobering thought.
Particularly if we don’t like or approve of the government we have at the time, or just of certain policies that they are promoting at a particular time.
If we aren’t happy, then what went wrong? Why did God allow this person/government to rule?
Could one reason be that the people of the country didn’t take the time to pray? Or if they did pray was it a vague “please give us the best person to rule” rather than investing in the prayer passionately for a leader who would guide the country in ways honouring to God? I wonder…?
Do you pray as a family for your country?
Do you pray as a church for your country?
One of the most powerful ways we can pray is to pray God’s Word to Him. The Bible is a living word and God takes delight when we say His words to Him. So if there is a policy you are concerned about, yes, pray to God about it, tell Him why you are concerned, and then repeat what it says in His word about that subject.
Another thing to do is to pray for mercy and forgiveness for our country. We all know that we as individuals mess up and need to keep short accounts with God, asking for forgiveness. Do we take responsibility for our country when it messes up too? Daniel did. In Daniel 9 we read of Daniel’s intercession for his people – and you can definitely feel the passion in the words of that prayer! That prayer could easily be adapted for you to intercede for your country.
A few weeks ago my sister showed me a leaflet a church leader had produced on the referendum and what he felt the church’s position should be and gave Bible references for it. Now I did read this carefully as I was intrigued as to what the Bible would say, and I have gone and looked up the references for myself to see if they would be in keeping with today and not taken out of context. Yes, those references were sound and actually have given me verses to include in my prayers. What surprised me was that the things that concerned me were things that the Bible talks about as things to protect, and that it wasn’t just something I felt strongly about, it was something God felt strongly about too!
While before I was pleading about these things that concerned me and asking God for a particular outcome, now adding those verses has added more passion to my cause. I am rather ashamed to admit that while on most things I go to Scripture and find out what God has to say then pray it, on this issue I hadn’t. It didn’t cross my mind. And yet, when I pray using His Word, I know I am praying according to His Word, and if I am doing that, then I have the confidence He hears my prayers. (I John 5:14-15). So, lesson learned, and a big “Thank You” to the person who wrote that leaflet, who listened to the concerns on his heart, and went to the Bible to see what God has to say about it, and then shared that information for others to read.
I know that there are Christians who feel very strongly that we should vote in elections. I also know that there are Christians who feel very strongly that we shouldn’t be taking part in voting. I understand where both sides are coming from and why they feel that way. (And yes, I have an opinion on that too, which I’m also not going to share.) Whatever your view, I firmly believe we should be praying. Praying as individuals, as families, as churches, and also as a nation for our country.
Do your children know they should be praying for their country?
Are you praying?
~ Wendy Sparkes ~
(The flags I have used in this post have been chosen because they represent the 3 countries the authors of CCA come from. If you as a reader would like your flag added, then please leave a comment saying that you are praying for your country and your country’s name, and I will put at the bottom of this post a reader’s prayer board of flags.)