Christian Life 

'Big Ticket' prayer points for the UK (and beyond?)

...and the vital importance of discerning the will of God in corporate intercession.
 

praying togetherJPGPreamble


Praying regularly in a small intimate group with fellow believers whom we know well is a great blessing indeed: but what happens when – on very important issues – there are differing views?  When asked by one of his disciples, “teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1) Jesus answered in what has since become known as ‘The Lord’s Prayer’. (In fact it should be more correctly called ‘The Disciples’ Prayer’.) And so we pray: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Luke 11:2 KJV).

It’s a great prayer; but it come sometimes be employed as a ‘catch all’ petition with little thought and even less spiritual discernment behind the plea. But surely we are called to pray in an ‘informed’ manner; in the will of the Lord as revealed by His Word and His Spirit?

 
Differing views

At the time preceding the vote in the UK on whether or not to leave the European Union, a group of mature Christian leaders who had met and prayed together for a period of years found that they were at odds in their opinions on that major yes/no issue of great spiritual import.
Accordingly, this situation revealed a serious problem: in fact it highlighted more than one serious problem.

First of all it showed that half (let’s say) of the grouping were – in terms of God’s will – right; and the other half wrong.
The God we serve and pray to is not double-minded: nor does the Holy Spirit speak with a forked tongue.
Leaving aside the issue itself, it would therefore also seem that a substantial number of ‘leaders’ were not in fact hearing from the Lord. Indeed in the particular situation it appeared that some supported their views with reference to socio-political/economic rationale and personal leanings than on God-given spiritual direction.
 
The God we serve and pray to is not double-minded: nor does the Holy Spirit speak with a forked tongue. Jesus instructed in his ‘Revelation’ letters to the seven churches,
“Let he who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev. 2:7 ff).

And so too today. It is therefore incumbent on us to discern the will of God so we can pray into the will of God, that indeed God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
But how do we – collectively in the case of communal prayer – hear from God? How do we, at any one moment or on any one issue know for certain how to pray? On issues on which the Word of God gives no clear direction, one very important means of discerning the mind of God is to share our thoughts with one another and then hold these views before the Lord in prayer for the Holy Spirit’s affirmation (or not).
 
Major spiritual issues in our day and age

In our present day there are major spiritual issues facing the United Kingdom and the world beyond.
The nature of the issues and the respective views listed below are shared by a number of spiritually mature and discerning Christian believers who feel the need to recognise and pray regarding: -
 
  • The extreme danger – political, physical, societal and supremely, spiritual – of a totalitarian, often extremely violent ideology which operates on the foundation of an anti-Christian and anti-Semitic religious belief system.

  • The extreme danger of the continuing and strenuous efforts to totally subvert and distort the God-given model for marriage and personal identity; and to outrageously abuse and corrupt the minds of even the youngest children through indoctrination (masquerading as 'education').

  • The sexual abuse of, and the attacks upon infants, older children and adults.

  • The anti-God spirit resident in the heart of the European experiment which seeks to enslave and dominate every country under its control.

  • The universal and enduring racial and religious hatred of the Jewish people and the land of Israel.

  • The dark spirit behind nationalism in Scotland (and perhaps elsewhere) which would seek the breakup of the United Kingdom as a (unwritten) constitutional monarchy i.e. the ‘Queen in Parliament’ as a reigning monarch who is in sworn allegiance to the ultimate authority of God.

  • The increasing suppression and criminalisation of free speech through the legal system, and the outlawing of expressions of the Christian faith in both public bodies and private enterprise.

  • The attacks on the sanctity of life; principally at both ends of the age spectrum.

  • The profanity, immorality, perversion and violence which are regular features of television, video and electronic media.

  • The corruption, greed and illicit behaviour which continues to be exposed (but also covered-up) in many areas of life including the main pillars of society.
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For meaningful fellowship in corporate prayer there needs to be a consensus on all major topics amongst any group of believers.

Do these views reflect the mind of God in this present hour and generation? Can those who regularly pray together find a corporate "Amen" regarding these points? If not, how meaningful is that prayer fellowship?
 
Footnotes:
1. The above points have been developed in consultation with a number of spiritually-discerning prayerful believers. The list could be much longer but these are posited as being issues of prime importance in consensual prayer. 
2. It is hoped to do a 'sister' article regarding issues within the church, so any responses should be restricted to issues within the nation.
3. The response facility (below) can be used  by Christian believers to express any thoughts on the above. (Comments from other sources are liable to be removed.)
4. Bona fide responses can be made using a pseudonym if so desired, but the writer should make themselves known to the Editor by private e-mail.
 
Feedback:
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Colin Ford (Guest) 28/02/2018 23:11
Tom Cunliffe makes some very astute points. Christians are to be IN the world, but not OF the world (John 17.16, 1 john 2.15, 12.12 etc.)
What can be more worldly than getting mired down in (worldly) politics?

My old friend Jack also raises a very salient issue (among others); the Islamic problem. As a staunch pre-millennial believer, certainly, I would agree with him, that in "praying for revival" it is somewhat tantamount to "praying against God's will." The Bible says Antichrist must come first then God in Christ will destroy him "with the brightness of His Coming." 2 Thessalonians 2.8. As a believer resident on that once Reformed Calvinistic stronghold hitherto known as the Isle of Lewis, I hardly need to tell you what I think of our first mosque, currently under construction!?
As regards "our national redemptive calling" I trust Editor will clarify exactly what he means. Perhaps, he is alluding to the part our once great nation will take part in Christ's soon coming reign on Earth?
Dr John N Sutherland (Guest) 01/03/2018 11:10
I am in complete agreement with these points. A friend shared 14 points of a fascist state, and I counted 11 active in Scotland today. My reflections are not knee-jerk, but from a sincere Bible-believing convert from atheism. I find the people hardened, deaf and blind. No-one wants (I choose the word carefully) to hear the gospel. It seems that the response is better even in Islamic states. I take heart from the great things being achieved abroad, but I am petrified Scotland is (being) lost.
I am also a Gideon, and so I see open doors in some schools and bitterly closed doors elsewhere. And, do these children read the Ns we distribute? I pray so, but wide is the road and many are travelling the wrong way, narrow is the gate and few are finding it.
Re nationalism. I used to be an SNP member. but now my family have plans to leave this country if it becomes an independent, and inevitably, atheist republic.
jack (Guest) 01/03/2018 12:42
Given that Christians are not to identify themselves with or extend affection (care and concern?) to the world (1 John 2/15-16) I wonder if Christ’s words in Matthew 5/13-14 have been correctly interpreted to mean that believers must attempt to impose divine precepts on godless societies.
Might the description of believers being the salt of the earth not be better understood to mean that presence of believers on earth is the only reason that God preserves it from destruction?
Just a thought..........

Editor 01/03/2018 17:00
Jack, the article is about 'points for prayer' and this discussion thread is to discuss same. Any further posts which deviate into other issues will be removed. In fact one (or possibly) two comments from any one person is sufficient.

Colin, please revisit earlier post. The phrase "our national redemptive calling" is not mine but was included in something sent to me.
Jack (Guest) 01/03/2018 18:50
Sorry ed.
Colin Ford (Guest) 07/03/2018 22:09
Yes Editor, after re-reading the post in question, I can clearly see the phrase in question was not yours. However, it would be good to know exactly what your anonymous correspondent means by "our national redemptive calling"?
Perhaps he/she would enlighten us? I can only believe that this person must be a pre-millennial believer, otherwise (in my opinion at least) the phrase makes no sense!

Editor 09/03/2018 17:48
I think what was/is meant by the remark relates to the view that Britain has been, is being (Brexit) and will be used by God in his end-time prophetic purposes e.g. saved from the Spanish Armada/Napoleon/Hitler; the Balfour Declaration which paved the way for the modern state of Israel. I don't know whether the remark also has shades of 'British Israelism'? (A view I do not hold, but on which others may think differently.)

What I would say is that I believe the EU is a godless/God-defying spiritual entity.

While Scripture makes specific mentions of (some) countries in end-time prophesies I do not find any references that speak of Britain (or the USA for that matter).
John Winlow (Guest) 17/04/2018 09:33
What an interesting topic!
I have been encouraged to join a few intercessory prayer groups but politely declined. I like to pray with other Christians, and to add my prayers to theirs. We are of course encouraged to pray, and I believe God uses our prayers although perhaps He uses the general intent more than the particulars..!
But for me intercessory prayer groups can be fraught with danger, especially if strong personalities and a prophetic element are present. However devout our intent the human element remains. We differ in our personalities, character and intelligence. We have different life experiences.
So the voice of the Lord is in a sense filtered through our humanity.
In a prayer group it requires a degree of openness, humility, acceptance of each other as members of the Body of Christ and gentle discerning wisdom on the part of those leading the group.
I could tell personal experiences where earnest intercessory prayer sometimes ended with unfortunate or negative outcomes.
God is Sovereign.
For me the best way of group prayer is in recognising that God is pleased when we come together with pure and humble hearts, and that He takes our prayers and use them to achieve His purposes.
Finally intercessory prayer should never contradict the will of God as revealed through the Scriptures..
Vivian Chapman (Guest) 20/09/2018 08:09
Could we not pray together for the Will of God to materialise in our own lives, and in the life of the nation, even though we don't know what it is? If we lay our selves, our opinions and our own insights firmly on the alter, becoming "co-crucified with Christ", denying ourselves and our own desires, so that His Will may be done in us, then do we need to know exactly what that Will is, in advance?
There is a legend that God offered The Law to one nation after another, asking them each if they would do it, and each nation said, well, can we see what it says first? But when God offered it to Israel, they just said, yes, we will do it! OK not biblical, but it proves a point.
The main issue for us as Christians today, is not to know the Fathers Will, but to unconditionally offer ourselves to that Will, despite ourselves as it were.
As Simeon said to Mary, a sword will go through your own soul, also, as she watched her baby being circumcised, but also a prophecy that the work of the Cross would enter her own soul. The Cross of Jesus is not just for salvation and then leave it behind. The Cross must enter our own selves, to continue its work in us.
If we know God, and have known Him for many years, we know His character, and we can launch ourselves upon His Will, without mistrust. It is called obedience. It is like Abraham.
This is something we can agree on, and pray together as one upon.
Perhaps if we did this, God would eventually reveal His Will to us, in response to our faith and obedience.
Editor 23/11/2018 09:12
There is a veritable 'Battle for Britain' raging: but not just for Britain.
What is indeed most vital in it all is urgent corporate and personal intercession.

It seems clear from Scripture that the Will of God is not always obvious (e.g. Rom 8:26 - which I never believed is confined to be merely an argument for praying in tongues. Paul and Barnabas disagreed on how they should proceed Acts 15:39).

Indeed Rees Howells - that intercessor of great renown - initially prayed (circa 1939) believing that God would prevent us being attacked by Hitler. It is not always easy, and sometime very difficult, to know what to pray (in the will of God).

And of course we have the classical Sunday school dilemma of the farmer praying for rain on the same day as the SS leaders are praying for a dry day for their annual outing to the beach.

However these things do not remove from us the responsibility for and the expedient of concerted prayer; not least in times of great crises such as the present hour.

While seeking together the will of the Lord in expectant believing concerted prayer there is never a guarantee that a universal consensus will be reached.
However what can be said with a fair degree of certainty is that those who do come together with intent need to lay aside personal prejudices, profiles and ministries; taking all these to the foot of the cross.

Very very sadly, even as I write, there would appear to be (some) national leaders in the Christian world who are competing for a Churchillian role and status in the salvation of the nation, rather than taking up combined spiritual arms against the anti-God forces that threaten to overwhelm us.

In the rooms of true God-honouring intercession there should be no prejudices, agendas, microphones, platforms, ministry banners or badges of rank.

A unity born in humility is something that brings down The Lord's divine blessing (Ps 133).


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Christians Together in the Highlands and Islands > Christian Life > Christians and Politics > 'Big Ticket' prayer points for the UK (and beyond?)