OK, I’m going to do it. I’m going to write about Brexit.
(Is anyone still reading?)
But I’m not going to write about these things:
• Whether I favour Leave or Remain
• Whether you should favour Leave or Remain
• Whether we should leave on 31st October with or without a deal
• Whether we should have another referendum
All of these issues divide the country and indeed on all of these there is a range of opinions within our own church and I have my own views. Yet we can disagree about them and still love each other!
So, for the few who are still reading, what is there left to write about?
Perhaps the one very distinctive thing a Christian can do about Brexit is to pray about it. But what should we pray for? I guess if you are inclined to Leave, you could pray for that and if you are inclined to Remain you could pray for that. However, since it’s not clear to me which of these is God’s will, I would be hesitant to pray for one or the other!
These are the ways I think we should pray about Brexit:
We should pray for the vulnerable. The Lord is always concerned for the vulnerable – ‘Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…’ James 1:27 – and one way to do that (among many others) is to pray. “Heavenly Father, whatever the Brexit outcome, we pray for the most vulnerable for their care, protection, provision and well-being. And help me to roll up my own sleeves and lend a hand where I can.”
We should pray for evangelism. This is the great task Christ has given the church to do and no-one else will do it or pray for it except the church – us. Therefore I think we should pray for an outcome that would be most spiritually beneficial to the people of this nation, both in terms of ongoing freedom to bear witness to Christ and in terms of an increased openness to Him. I don’t know what that outcome would be… but we can pray for it.
This is the kind of prayer that Paul encouraged: ‘I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – 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 men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.’ 1 Timothy 2:1-4
Therefore we should also keep praying for our government. ‘Those in authority’, as Paul puts it, have a tremendously difficult task. Let us pray for wisdom for them.
One day, the European Union and the United Kingdom will be no more – just distant memories. But the Kingdom of God will last forever. So since, as Solomon puts it, ‘The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD’ (Proverbs 21:1). Let’s pray that the Lord would overrule for the sake of His Kingdom.
With love in Christ,