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29 June 2016

Praying after the EU referendum

Andy Milligan Politics
Houses of Parliament (James Blunt CC-BY-ND-2.0)

It goes without saying that this has been a tumultuous week for our nation politically. We have had a vote which divided the country nearly straight down the middle. This split has been more or less the same across almost every demographic and geography – England, the South East, and indeed Southampton City – all around the 50/50 mark.

We’ve produced this short prayer guide to help you to focus your prayers through the coming weeks.

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, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1–4)

Need for wisdom

Please pray for the Government and our political leaders. Pray that they would have heavenly wisdom at this time of uncertainty: Pray particularly for wisdom in:

  • handling their public office – in running the country as business as usual
  • navigating the coming weeks and months of exploration and questioning, specifically following the referendum result
  • rmanaging and leading their parties – especially as we are now witnessing further party-political fallout on both sides of the House of Commons

Pray for the party leaders:

  • Rt Hon David Cameron MP (Conservative)
  • Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP (Labour)
  • Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MP (Scottish Nationalist Party)
  • Rt Hon Tim Farron MP (Liberal Democrat)

The Conservative Party

David Cameron resignation Crown Copyright CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0

The Prime Minister has announced his intention to resign to make way for a new party leader to manage the exit negotiations. This process will be run by the Conservative 1922 Committee under the chairmanship of Graham Brady MP. Pray for him and the Conservative Party (both the Parliamentary Party and ordinary members) that they would have wisdom and discernment in choosing a new leader.

Pray for:

  • Graham Brady MP and the 1922 Committee
  • Conservative party members

The Labour Party

Jeremy Corbyn (70023venus2009 CC-BY-ND-2.0)

At the time of writing there are signs of growing division among the Parliamentary Labour Party. Pray for passions to be tempered, and for great caution and wisdom to be exercised by all those in a position to influence matters. If a leadership contest occurs, pray for wisdom and discernment for the Labour Party, too.

Pray for:

  • John Cryer MP (Chairman of the Parliamentary Labour Party)
  • the Shadow Cabinet
  • Labour party members

A divided country

The vote has shown a strong difference of opinion in the country: between colleagues, friends, even families. Pray that a spirit of division will not become a dominant force in our society. Pray for a spirit of unity over discord – particularly in Christ’s Church, and especially in our own congregation. Pray that, where harsh words may have been spoken, forgiveness may be sought and given.

Pray for:

  • the public
  • the Church across the UK
  • Above Bar Church

Vision for the future

UK satellite (NASA)

Now, as the country looks forward to a post-Brexit existence, pray for great wisdom and vision for what that may look like. In the words of last Friday’s joint statement from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York:

The vote to withdraw from the European Union means that now we must all re-imagine both what it means to be the United Kingdom in an interdependent world and what values and virtues should shape and guide our relationships with others.

Pray for:

  • vision
  • our future place in the world

God is sovereign

And in all that is going on, let’s praise God that, no matter the circumstances, He is the one who sustains kings and governors, and He is the God who holds ultimate sovereignty over all things. Hallelujah!

Finally, you may wish to pray this prayer suggested by the Church of England following the vote:

Eternal God, Light of the nations,
In Christ you make all things new:
Guide our nation in the coming days
Through the inspiration of your Spirit,
That understanding may put an end to discord and all bitterness.
Give us grace to rebuild bonds of trust
That together we may work for the dignity and flourishing of all;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.


Image credits (from top):
© James Blunt, used under a CC-BY-ND licence
© Crown Copyright, used under a CC-BY-NC-ND licence
© 70023venus2009, used under a CC-BY-ND licence
© NASA Visible Earth. Used by permission.

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