It is our Christian duty to pray for our governmental leaders and all those in authority over us. God wants us to ask him for rulers who promote peace and dignity so that the gospel can flourish. Technically, this can happen no matter which government is in power. But this does not mean we show no interest in the practical business of politics. Our prayers should be accompanied by real action and involvement.
The General Election, the political campaigns of each of the separate parties and the aftermath of the election all raise issues of deep concern to us as citizens and as Christians. Unless we have been on another planet these last few weeks we have heard politicians repeatedly stress the economy, the NHS, employment, housing, social care, taxation, security and national unity. These things affect us all and, in a democracy, we have responsibility to be directly involved – before, during and after elections.
We also should be asking what God is up to in our nation. He is always speaking and he is speaking to Britain today. It is said that we get the government we deserve, if we are responsible for choosing it. But we have to consider the fact that, ultimately, it is God who decides and who appoints our leaders, even the bad ones!
The New Testament commands that we should not only pray, but also submit to governing authorities because they have been ordained by God. When the Lord allows people who have no fear of God and no respect for Christian beliefs to rule over us, we need to ask ourselves some serious questions. Few, if any, political parties show any real understanding of religion. Most tend to believe it is a private affair and that it involves matters of mere opinion, not public fact. Most also think that all religions teach basically the same thing. This leads to an unhelpful approach to public policies.
If God is allowing all this to happen, it means he is up to something. He wants us to pray, speak up for the truth of the gospel and demonstrate it by our lives and active involvement in our communities.