The Election in a Word
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people–for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Saviour.”
1 Timothy 2:1-3 (NIV UK)
If you live in the UK you can’t have failed to notice that there is a General Election coming on 7 May 2015. In the past we haven’t known the date of a forthcoming election too far in advance, but with the advent of fixed-term parliaments we have known for a considerable period.
This has resulted in the election campaign kicking off much sooner than might have been the case. Short, sharp rhetoric aimed to hit the news headlines or make the front page of a national rag comes at us thick and fast. We’ve had ‘weaponise the NHS’, ‘a long-term economic plan’, ‘scrap Trident’, ‘reduce student fees’, ‘introduce a mansion tax’, ‘greater home-rule for Scotland’, ‘stop immigration’ and ‘hold a referendum on whether to stay in Europe’ to name just a few. The comedian Al Murray has even promised that a pint of beer will cost 1p if he’s elected (although the price of crisps will remain unchanged).
What can we make of all this? After all, this election has been called ‘the most important in a generation’? Recently the BBC asked a group of young voters to summarize their thoughts of the election in one word. The responses were quite revealing, and included: ‘Scared’, ‘Tedious’, ‘Doomed’, ‘Unbalanced’, ‘Comical’, ‘Close’, ‘Competitive’, ‘Hopeless’, ‘Confused’, and ‘Important’. Having read those responses I thought about how I, as a Christian, might respond to that question. The one word that kept coming to my mind was ‘prayer’.
It is critically important that we have more Christian MPs elected to parliament who can put across a Christian perspective in debates, policy making and the drafting of laws. It is critically important that the government from the 7th May onwards, of whatever colour(s), enables Christians to live out their faith peaceably and allows the gospel message to go forth without hindrance.
How can we as Christians influence the outcome of the election to ensure these things happen? Only by prayer! I say ‘only’, and yet it is the most powerful thing we can do; not because we are great prayer warriors, but because the God we pray to is great and mighty and is able to do the impossible.
There’s a lot of talk today about people being turned off politics, with many young people not bothered about registering to vote. As Christians, let’s ensure that we are engaged with the political process through prayer. To petition God about the upcoming election and to intercede on behalf of the newly elected government is good and pleases God our Saviour.
Father, please watch over our nation during the election period and may the results release your blessing, enabling Christians to live peaceful lives as they witness of Jesus.
Study by Barry Robinson
About the Author:
Barry Robinson is an Elder in and pastoral worker in the Greater London area, particularly the Camberwell and North London congregations of the Worldwide Church of God UK.
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