We’re now a little over a month on from the general election on May 7th. The result was a shock – a nice surprise for some, more of a nightmare result for others, but either way, what has happened has happened. And yet it is so important that we don’t now shrug our shoulders and lose interest in who is running our country for the next 5 years. The run up to the election was exciting; people of all ages were engaging in the action, you couldn’t sit in a pub for 5 minutes without over-hearing someone involved in a lively discussion about who they were voting for, but within days of the election result being declared, this enthusiasm had ground to a halt, myself included.
An election is perhaps the only time when we feel we really have a say in how our country is run, and it’s true that this is the essence of democracy, but our voice is not limited to once every 5 years. We live in a country where we are free to speak our mind, to campaign for what we believe in. We have MPs whose job it is to listen to what we have to say, and yet so often we (I) complain about what the government are doing wrong and yet don’t do anything about it. I don’t want to be someone who moans and shrugs their shoulders for the next 5 years, so I am going to commit to start doing three things:
I’ll admit, I’ve never taken this one very seriously, but it is so important we do! Paul writes to Timothy:
‘I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.’ – 1 Timothy 2:1-3 (NLT)
We know that prayer is powerful. When we pray persistently for something, God knows we’re serious. How much more serious if all the Christians in the UK are praying for our government?
Campaign, not Complain
Again, not one I’ve excelled at, particularly over the last month. And yet, Paul is pretty clear about God’s attitude to complaining:
‘14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.’ – Philippians 2:14-15 (NLT)
This doesn’t mean that we just accept policies that we don’t agree with, but instead of complaining to our friends, we need to be more active with our voice. Write to our MP, join a political party, start or sign a petition. I want to use my voice to be proactive, not a whinger.
Don’t Dial Out
Finally, if we want to have a say in how our country is run, and to be able to pray specifically, we need to know what is going on! We need to stay up to date with the news, what bills are being passed, and what the big issues are in our area. As in the election run up, we are in a powerful position. The way that we talk about and pray for our government will be noticed, and we really can be a positive influence on the people that are around us.