6th December

Issues for Christians to consider in this election is our focus today. Of course, we will have different views of what they might be but I try to highlight here those that have a direct effect on things spoken of in the Bible: the sanctity of life, justice, and so forth. The Archbishop Cranmer blog, albeit right of centre, made the following comment last week which is perhaps worth reflecting on:
No political manifesto is wholly or perfectly righteous, not least because Christians have differing apprehensions of the Beatitudes. It is a certain fact that the Tories are not going to be an instrument of millennial reign to all the nations (or even to the United Kingdom). But democracy reveals itself again and again to be a natural ally and agent of Christianity: God is concerned with present individual morality, not political future hopes. When it comes to voting in an election, Christians are exhorted to discern the lesser evil (if ‘evil’ it be); to choose the greater good. In this General Election, there is only one vision which will “get Brexit done” (ie get Brexit started) without preventing Roman Catholics from standing for public life and murdering nine-month-old babies in the womb.You may demur, of course, on which party manifesto better ushers in the Kingdom of God on earth. Argue robustly, by all means, but please do so in love. Also see this post from the same site.
The Christian institute has summaries of manifesto pledges that are of particular interest to Christians. In the end we have to balance our views on Brexit, Abortion, Religious freedom and LGBT issues, and much more and pin it down to one vote for one person. It is not easy!

The Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed this day in 1921. As a result, the island of Ireland was split in two with the south becoming a self-governing Dominion (the same status as Australia and Canada still have) and the north remaining part of the United Kingdom.

  • Pray about the issues that concern you most, asking God to guide you to which candidate in your constituency has the closest heart-leanings to your own
  • Abortion has been a hot topic in the last parliament, with a strong push towards decriminalisation and some arguing for no time limits. Pray about this issue (the Christian Institute website summarises each party’s manifesto pledges on this and other issues)
  • Freedom of speech, the freedom to worship and believe, is another issue that has come up in this election. Pray about this
  • Other issues that we have prayed about this week might be on your personal agenda, so pray again about those things which concern you (we will be praying about the NHS tomorrow)
  • Pray that all of Ireland will know peace, that the distrust of the ‘other’ community will begin to die away and both Protestants and Catholics and also Unionists and Republicans will come to respect and live comfortably with each other

Bible Reading: Psalm 2. EngaGE19.org.uk prayer for today: We praise You, God, that issues of the sanctity of human life and religious freedoms currently have a high profile. Amen

As we pray through Advent, we are preparing for the coming of Jesus. This blog is about praying for our nation in this election, so I suggest using this song as our Advent prayer each day.

Last week a letter, signed by well over 300 clergy and laity from the Church of England, was sent to the Bishops as follows:

Dear Bishops,

Both the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats have, in their manifestos, proposed the “decriminalisation” of abortion. This would remove all sanctions in criminal law for those who perform abortions outside the limits set by the Abortion Act 1967. These changes would amount to a declaration that a foetus is no longer a human being, worthy of the same statutory and common law protections against deliberate harm and termination of life.

In light of the Church of England’s own teaching that it is strongly opposed to abortion, that “the foetus is a human life with the potential to develop relationships, think, pray, choose and love”, and that the Church “would like to see a drastic reduction in the number of abortions carried out and stricter interpretation of abortion law” (press statement of the Mission and Public Affairs Council for General Synod, 30 August 2011), we write, as members of the Church of England (and a small number of other Anglicans in Wales and Northern Ireland), lay and ordained, female and male, to express our sincere concerns about what is being proposed, and to call on you, as shepherds of the Church, to do all you can to speak out against these proposals and in defence of some of the most vulnerable in our society.

Yours sincerely,

(300+ signatories attached to original letter)

CARE have launched a website devoted to information about, and prayer for, the Election. It is www.engaGE19.org.uk and their suggested prayer for today is included above.
 undefined Each week we will be focussing our prayer as below:

THIS WEEK: Policies and Manifestos
NEXT WEEK: Election Week

5th December

Each area of our nation has its own priorities. Today we will pray for those specific issues across the country, as well as just praying for God to move in the regions of our land.
A common complaint has been ‘Westminster is too far away’ so we will also be praying that each MP elected will have a noticeable impact on their constituency and help to bring ‘Westminster to the door’ for many.

  • Wales: Pray for the devolved Assembly and the issues it faces, also for the problems in the steel industry that affects much of South Wales employment.
  • Ireland: Pray that the divisions in Northern Ireland will be healed and the Stormont Assembly will be resumed in the near future. Also pray about the issues surrounding the open border between north and south, and that there will not be a return to ‘the Troubles’ nor a weakening of good relationships between the people of the island of Ireland
  • Scotland: Pray that there may be an acceptance of the referendum results from both 2014 and 2016 and that Scotland might be able to move on; pray for members of the Scottish Parliament that they may make wise decisions on devolved matters
  • England’s regions:
    • North: pray for the continued development of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’, bringing jobs and opportunities to the region; pray too for better links across the Pennines
    • Midlands: Pray about the radicalisation of many young Moslem men (particularly) in urban cities in the midlands. Pray for the churches in the area and for wise policies from regional and central government
    • South-west: Pray for development and employment opportunities to be brought to the south-west, particularly Cornwall. Pray too for the fishing industry to be able to develop again once free of EU restrictions
    • South-east: Pray that the perceived wealth of the south-east will not stop help coming to those who are struggling in this area, and also pray that those who are relatively well off will not be satisfied with materialism but seek deeper truths
    • London: Pray that a solution will be found to the knife-crime epidemic and also pray for those who will be standing as candidates for Mayor next year.
    • Rural: In all of these areas (except, perhaps, London) there are small rural communities with their own special needs. Pray for farmers that they might have a sufficient income from their work to be able to keep going, and pray too for rural churches (often with a higher percentage of the population attending than is the case in towns and cities) that they will shine light clearly.
  • Pray that each MP will be accessible to their constituents and there will be a growing sense that ‘those in Westminster‘ hear local concerns.

Bible Reading: Isaiah chapter 1 Today’s engaGE19.org.uk prayer for the day: God of Hope, we ask that the issue of Brexit, while important, does not overshadow all other policies. Amen.

As we pray through Advent, we are preparing for the coming of Jesus. This blog is about praying for our nation in this election, so I suggest using this song as our Advent prayer each day.

CARE have launched a website devoted to information about, and prayer for, the Election. It is www.engaGE19.org.uk and their suggested prayer for today is included above.
 undefined Each week we will be focussing our prayer as below:

THIS WEEK: Policies and Manifestos
NEXT WEEK: Election Week

4th December

The United Kingdom combines the characteristics of its participating nations and the Flag is a trinity of crosses representing Andrew, Patrick and George: evangelist, martyr (self-sacrifice) and contender against anti-God forces. We can see these traits in the history of our nation, and as we consider this we see to that the call of God on our land was to build an empire and a commonwealth of nations that together were able to stand side by side and hold back the forces of Naziism last century. Without the Empire, Britain would have fallen and the USA, when it joined the war, would have had nowhere to base its forces to fight against Hitler and thus been unable to save Europe. The call of God does not change, but our response to it has – we need to return as a nation to Him to fulfil our destiny i the future.

Taxation is another key issue in this, as every, election. Not just tax itself, but the spending plans of the parties for the next parliament. During the last decade the deficit in the budget has been reduced (deficit=plan to spend more than was being gathered in tax) but we still have a large debt to the world bank and others. How do we meet these debts and at the same time provide the level of public service at an affordable price? Is this about taxing more to get more money or taxing less to encourage more income to be generated to get more money?

  • Pray for the Gospel to be preached, and the Gospel to be heard, in the UK this next year
  • Pray that the Holy Spirit will once more stir the hearts of Britons across the nation to look towards Jesus
  • Pray for wisdom for the new Chancellor and the Treasury to make wise plans about gathering income and how to spend it.
  • Pray that as a nation we might continue to be generous to those in need both in this country and round the world
  • Pray that our economy will once more be blessed by God, which means that our nation will once more be filled with worship for Him

Bible Reading: Revelation 3:14-21 Today’s engaGE19.org.uk election prayer: We ask that those holding opposing political opinions will accept the importance of respect and tolerance during debates. Amen

As we pray through Advent, we are preparing for the coming of Jesus. This blog is about praying for our nation in this election, so I suggest using this song as our Advent prayer each day.

CARE have launched a website devoted to information about, and prayer for, the Election. It is www.engaGE19.org.uk and their suggested prayer for today is included above.
 undefined Each week we will be focussing our prayer as below:

THIS WEEK: Policies and Manifestos
NEXT WEEK: Election Week

3rd December

Saint George is the Patron Saint of England. He never came to these islands, but was adopted because of his martyrdom and example. The story of the Dragon came later, but fits with the ideas in Revelation about the battle between the Kingdom of God and the Empires of the Dragon. England is the largest part of the UK, and its population is about 4 times as big as the combined populations of the rest of the nation. “Blame the English” is therefore not unnaturally the default position of many Scots, Welsh and Irish. Officially, England does not exist as there is no separate legislature and its laws come from Westminster.

Mikhail Gorbachev and George H.W. Bush declared the Cold War to be over this day in 1989.

Immigration continues to be an issue in this election. There are those who claim that this makes people racist, but others argue it is about the capacity of the country not individual people. A related issue, often confused with immigration, is the granting of refugee status to people from war zones and other troubled regions. Then there is also the question of “Foreign Aid”, the amount of money we as a nation give away to overseas nations, both those within the Commonwealth and foreign nations.

  • Pray for England and the English, perhaps concentrate on one city, one town, one countryside area and its villages or one county.
  • Pray for the Christian presence in towns, villages and cities and the work of local churches across England
  • Pray about an area you know where there are large numbers of recent immigrants. Pray for good relations between communities (or give thanks if there is already community harmony)
  • Pray about the planners who seek to predict requirements for things like school places, doctors, and so forth in the years ahead
  • Pray for those trapped within ethnic communities because they cannot speak English, that they might be able to access good English classes and might be encouraged to do so from within their own communities
  • Pray about this country’s reaching out to the needy overseas. Give thanks that we lead the world in our ‘on-the-ground’ help for refugees in places such as the region around Syria, and also in our providing foreign aid to poorer nations. Pray for wisdom in this area for the new Government especially as there is pressure to make cuts here.
  • Pray for trust and understanding between the nations of the West and the East, for talks and not hostilities and give thanks for those who have proclaimed and worked for peace through the last 50 years.

Bible Reading: Matthew 25:31-46 Today’s prayer from engaGE19.org.uk: Holy Spirit, we pray that secularist efforts to uproot Christian principles and practices in our society will not succeed. Amen.

As we pray through Advent, we are preparing for the coming of Jesus. This blog is about praying for our nation in this election, so I suggest using this song as our Advent prayer each day.

EngaGE19.org.uk have put together extracts from all the Party Manifestos with specific reference to those items which Christians might be concerned about (in effect those areas which CARE, who have developed engagGE19, works in). You can access this information here. Alternatively, here is a quick ‘quiz’ which assesses your answers on some of the main items and shows how well the parties are saying what you are thinking (I cannot vouch for the accuracy or lack of bias of the website linked here, only use it as a fun guide).

CARE have launched a website devoted to information about, and prayer for, the Election. It is www.engaGE19.org.uk and their suggested prayer for today is included above.
 undefined Each week we will be focussing our prayer as below:

THIS WEEK: Policies and Manifestos
NEXT WEEK: Election Week

2nd December

Climate Change, Pollution, Plastic in the Oceans, Plastic bags, Diesel fumes, CO2 emissions and so forth. For some, this is the most important issue in this election and, it seems, whatever is promised and whatever is done is not enough. As Christians, we know that human beings have always been called to be stewards of the earth; to have dominion over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and the beasts on the earth.

David (or Dewi), the Patron saint of Wales was a bishop and renowned preacher of the 6th Century and founded monasteries across the lands of the ancient Britons. His flag is a yellow cross on a black background, although that is not used as the modern Welsh flag. Wales is a mix of an industrial (and post-industrial) south with large cities and towns and a mountainous and sparse north where the Welsh language is widely spoken.

  • Thank God that the UK is a world-leader in tackling issues of pollution and things which may lead to climate change
  • Thank God too for the action taken recently to reduce the use of single-use plastics and that this has got widespread public support
  • Pray for politicians of all parties, especially those who will be elected to the new Parliament, that they might be given wisdom to know what needs to be done and how to balance this with the requirements of life today
  • Pray that this issue will not be ‘over-hyped’ so that unsustainable decisions are made quickly, but that positive change might be built into all planning for the long-term future
  • Give thanks for men like David/Dewi who have committed their lives to spreading the Gospel in ways that are relevant to their generation
  • Pray that the legacy of the Welsh revival 100 years ago might bring about a renewed seeking of God in the valleys, towns and cities of Wales

Bible Reading: Genesis 1:26-31 engaGE19.org.uk prayer for today: Almighty God, may the issues that are raised during this election campaign be those that are on Your heart. Amen.

As we pray through Advent, we are preparing for the coming of Jesus. This blog is about praying for our nation in this election, so I suggest using this song as our Advent prayer each day.

CARE have launched a website devoted to information about, and prayer for, the Election. It is www.engaGE19.org.uk and their suggested prayer for today is included above.
 undefined Each week we will be focussing our prayer as below:

THIS WEEK: Policies and Manifestos
NEXT WEEK: Election Week

Advent Sunday

Advent Sunday, the first day of the church’s year, and the beginning of our preparation time for the coming of the Messiah. You may be forgiven if you do not know that, for in our secularisation Advent has become the season to prepare for the coming of Father Christmas. We will be praying today for a restoration of the true meaning of Advent in our nation.

Manifestos and Contracts have been published by all the parties, and this week we select a few of the issues to pray over.
We will also spend the first few days of the week praying for the other nations of the U.K as we did for Scotland yesterday. Today is the turn of Northern Ireland, and whilst St Patrick’s flag is not used as that of the Province it is the one that forms part of the Union Flag.
St Patrick was taken to Ireland from his home in what we now call England before finding Christ and becoming the great missionary to these islands.

Brexit, or to be more accurate, Britain’s leaving of the European Union, is the reason the last parliament floundered and the reason this election has been called. It may or may not be the issue that will decide your vote but it is certainly the issue where there is the clearest divide between what the different parties are promising.
* Leave with No Deal (Brexit Party)
*Leave with the deal that has been negotiated (Conservative Party)
*Re-negotiate a new deal more aligned to the EU and then have another referendum (Labour Party)
*Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU (Liberal Democrats and Green parties)

  • Pray that this election will bring closure to this issue
  • Democracy can only survive if the losing side accepts the result. There has been a growing trend in both this country and the USA for results of votes to be challenged in the courts and not accepted. Pray that this time, whatever happens, the result is accepted and we can move on
  • Pray that the democratic processes are accepted both for this election and also decisions made in the parliaments and assemblies of this nation in the coming years
  • Pray for a healing of the divisions in families and across the nation that have been exposed by the ‘leaving the EU’ debates
  • God has humbled our nation, pray that we will hear His voice and that pray that this will allow an opening for the Gospel to be heard again and for there to be a return to Jesus in our land
  • Pray that the EU changes as a result of the Brexit process, that it listens more to the concerns of people across the continent for the benefit of all

EngaGE19.org.uk have put together extracts from all the Party Manifestos with specific reference to those items which Christians might be concerned about (in effect those areas which CARE, who have developed engagGE19, works in). You can access this information here. Alternatively, here is a quick ‘quiz’ which assesses your answers on some of the main items and shows how well the parties are saying what you are thinking (I cannot vouch for the accuracy or lack of bias of the website linked here, only use it as a fun guide).

Bible Reading: Isaiah 66:18-24 Prayer for today from engaGE19.org.uk: We give thanks for the increased turnout in recent elections, and pray that everyone will find the chance to vote. Amen.

As we pray through Advent, we are preparing for the coming of Jesus. This blog is about praying for our nation in this election, so I suggest using this song as our Advent prayer each day.

CARE have launched a website devoted to information about, and prayer for, the Election. It is www.engaGE19.org.uk and their suggested prayer for today is included above.
 undefined Each week we will be focussing our prayer as below:

THIS WEEK: Policies and Manifestos
NEXT WEEK: Election Week

St Andrew’s Day

St Andrew, the Patron Saint of Scotland, has his feast day today. Of all the saints celebrated as patrons in the U.K, Andrew is the only one to be one of the 12 Disciples. He is particularly celebrated for being a witness who, hearing Jesus, goes to get his brother Simon (Peter) and brings him to meet the Lord. We will be praying for Scotland today as well as concluding our prayers for the Media.

King Charles I was captured by Parliamentary forces on this day in 1648. The Civil War between those who wanted “Parliament, with the King” and those who wanted “the King, with Parliament” had claimed many lives and came to shape our democracy as it is today.

In our final day of praying for the Media Coverage of this election we are going to focus on the so-called new media: Social Network sites such as Facebook and Twitter; places where the general public get to say what they feel in an unregulated and often unrestricted way.

  • Give thanks for the example that Andrew gives us of enthusiastically bringing others to Jesus
  • Pray for Scotland in this election, where the issues of Union v Independence are still to the fore. Remember the far flung and very remote communities in the Highlands and Islands who live several hours away from towns and cities and whose MPs have the most difficult journeys week by week between Parliament and their constituencies
  • Give thanks for the way our parliamentary democracy has evolved, pray that any changes that might be happening now will be genuinely beneficial and that strengths in the system will not be discarded simply to be more ‘up to date’
  • Pray for those, mostly young people, who get their information from New Media sources. Pray that they may be able to discern bias and seek to find balance by examining different streams and threads and not just the one they most agree with
  • Pray that the ability to debate with those with whom we do not agree will not be lost as people spend more and more time simply engaging online with those who have similar views to their own
  • Finally, in this week of prayer about the Media, pray that Christians will not allow the Media to shape their thinking more than the Bible does, and there will be a turning back to significant time with Scripture for many in the Church

Bible Reading: John 1: 35-42 Today’s engaGE19.org.uk prayer: Holy Spirit, please raise up a diverse range of candidates to allow everyone to feel represented. Amen.

CARE have launched a website devoted to information about, and prayer for, the Election. It is www.engaGE19.org.uk and their suggested prayer for today is included above.
 undefined Each week we will be focussing our prayer as below:

  • THIS WEEK: The Media and Election Communication
  • NEXT WEEK: Policies and Manifestos
  • W/c 8th December: Election Week

29th November

Personalities often get in the way during elections.Today we are praying that during the rest of the campaign it will be issues and not personalities that are focussed on. We will be looking more closely at what the issues are next week, but for today let us just focus on making the issues stand out above the flaws and strengths of the various party leaders and local candidates.

  • Reflectively consider what the most important issues are for you in this election and pray that they might be covered by the media in the week ahead in a way that highlights the differences between the party’s policies on those issues
  • Pray for those politicians whose own characters get in the way of their policies being clearly heard, and pray too that they might be supported by others who can fill the gaps caused by those defects
  • Similarly, pray for those candidates whose strength of character might shine so strongly that weaknesses in their proposals are not properly scrutinised, that there will be good examination of all policies by both media and electorate
  • Pray that policies which are more extreme will not be buried in long manifestos but will have sufficient light shone on them that they are known about and considered by the electorate
  • Pray that you will sense God’s priorities for your vote as you weigh up the pros and cons of different policies (if only we could have six of one party’s plans and half a dozen from another!)

Bible Reading: Psalm 33:10-22 The engaGE19.org.uk prayer for today is: We praise You, Lord, for raising up Godly people who can make a positive difference in society. Amen.

CARE have launched a website devoted to information about, and prayer for, the Election. It is www.engaGE19.org.uk and their suggested prayer for today is included above.
 undefined Each week we will be focussing our prayer as below:

  • THIS WEEK: The Media and Election Communication
  • NEXT WEEK: Policies and Manifestos
  • W/c 8th December: Election Week

28th November

The Media often likes to portray itself as being authoritative, even when it is simply guessing or aiming to look powerful.Today we are praying that the Election Coverage will be genuinely Authoritative, that the Press and Broadcasters will speak from a position of knowledge and not guess work and will have the ring of Truth as the hallmark of their work.

Two significant electoral firsts happened on this date in history. In 1893 women were voting for the first time in the world, in the New Zealand General Election; just twenty six years later in the U.K Lady Nancy Astor became the first woman elected to the House of Commons on this day in 1919.

  • Give thanks for the work of groups such as the Suffragettes and the men who backed them across the world enabling there to be an equal franchise for men and women in elections
  • Pray for those countries where women are still unable to enjoy equal rights as citizens
  • As we pray for the Media, pray that it will not be pompous in the way that it covers this election but will speak with humility and honesty
  • In its humility, pray that it will be able to speak with Authority about what it knows and honesty about what it does not
  • Pray that all sections of the Media will be at the forefront of accepting the result of this election and not seek to undermine it by calling for legal challenges, etc.
  • Pray for those who conduct interviews, and those who host debates and other programmes, that they may have authority to conduct those occasions fairly and well and that in so doing they will enable the politicians to make their policies clear and also to reveal their strengths and weaknesses

Bible Reading: Proverbs 11:2,3 Today’s prayer from engaGE19.org.uk: Father, we intercede for the candidates standing in our own constituencies; would You bless and guide them. Amen.

CARE have launched a website devoted to information about, and prayer for, the Election. It is www.engaGE19.org.uk and their suggested prayer for today is included above.
 undefined Each week we will be focussing our prayer as below:

  • THIS WEEK: The Media and Election Communication
  • NEXT WEEK: Policies and Manifestos
  • W/c 8th December: Election Week

27th November

Truth, which we prayed for a fortnight ago, is such an important concept that we will pray for it again today undefined– this time in the context of the Media’s coverage of the Election. You might also find this article from Prophecy Today of interest, reminding us that the Church has a duty to speak the Truth to the nation at all times.

  • Pray that newspapers, especially when reporting on the plans of parties they do not support, will be careful to print truthful reports and avoid the temptation to use short statements taken out of context
  • Pray that there might be an awareness of Truth in our land, that people will learn to inherently recognise when something that has been said is True and equally when it is a deliberate falsehood
  • Even outside of election times, pray that the media will value truth and not publish something just because it will get an audience; issuing apologies afterwards when stories are found to be untrue rarely reduces the damage done by the initial report
  • Pray that the Truth of the Gospel, the Truth that is Jesus, might begin once more to permeate the printed and broadcast media and become part of the national narrative

Bible Reading: 1 John 2:18-29 Today’s prayer from engaGE19.org.uk: Dear God, we pray for the safety and welfare of the party leaders and other politicians as they make their final campaign visits around the country. Amen.

CARE have launched a website devoted to information about, and prayer for, the Election. It is www.engaGE19.org.uk and their suggested prayer for today is included above.
 undefined Each week we will be focussing our prayer as below:

  • THIS WEEK: The Media and Election Communication
  • NEXT WEEK: Policies and Manifestos
  • W/c 8th December: Election Week

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