In the lead up to the general election there was a lot of talk, bluster and chest beating about who should or should not lead the country (particular about who should not). We all had our favourites and we all had our hopes and dreams – even if for some of us it was just for the whole circus to go away so we could get on with our lives. Now it is finally over and we have a new government. Is it the one you wanted? I doubt it. I doubt anybody really wanted this as it is so hard to predict such an outcome but it’s possible that this rather unique outcome has given us Christians a real opportunity to collectively do something we would normally find hard to do in unison. That is pray for our leaders.
With our usual first past the post result there could be a large section of the Church who struggle to pray for a government they disagree with. Certainly there will be some who even now will find it hard to pray for the Coalition government. Of course the scriptures call us to pray for those who rule over us but this coalition gives us a real opportunity to do so for a change.
Messrs Cameron, Clegg and the rest have a tough job ahead. Working with each other for a start, let alone sorting out the economy, figuring out what to do in Iraq and Afghanistan and trying to restore public faith in a political system which many feel has largely failed us: the people it is supposed to serve. No matter how vehemently we may disagree with the more extreme stances of either the Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats, here we have the possibility that if they work together such policies will be at the least tempered down and at the best not see the light of day.
As Christians we owe it to our country to pray that these two different viewpoints can work together for the good of the country.
As Christians we owe it to our country to pray that happens, to pray that these two different viewpoints can work together for the good of the country, that they will be able to put their differences aside and produce something which while it may not be perfect will be better than if one party had achieved a large majority. We should pray that they will keep each other in check and will be able to concentrate less of party politics and more on government.
We have an opportunity to genuinely pray for our government here not just some half-hearted prayer while thinking “Please God get them out”. Dare I say that the fact this is not a government of one party might make it easier for us to pray – because in this case none of us voted for this government. I didn’t vote for this government and I don’t know whether or for how long it will work but I’m going to pray it does, I’m gong to pray this government achieves what is best for this nation and I’m going to pray for the people involved.
If you weren’t already, I invite you to join me.