4 More Days!

I’ve been told several times in recent days that I’m about to make the most important decision of my life. Well, not quite; the most important decision is whether I receive or reject Jesus Christ. Nevertheless we do all have a big decision to make. A decision that will have a huge impact on the context into which we minister, the nation we love and serve, the lives of our loved ones and future generations.

It’s not my place to tell you how to vote. But it is my place to remind us all to pray.

When Jesus prepared for the momentous decision of choosing his 12 apostles (Luke 6:12-16) he spent all night in prayer. One whole night. One whole hour would be a rarity for many of us! We’re all busy doing things – good things – we’re all surrounded by noise, we all have a countless distractions. Added to that is the fact that many of us are tired of the discussion and debate and are just looking forward to it all being over.

Just 4 days to go, let’s determine to push on in prayer – not just for the referendum, but for our nation itself.

Below you’ll find a letter signed by the Baptist Union of Scotland’s General Director along with other national church leaders, calling us to prayer. Below that some suggested prayer topics (largely taken from the website mentioned in the letter).

If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14

The Referendum & Scotland’s Future – a call to prayer

18 September 2014 is an historic day for Scotland. After a little more than 300 years since the Acts of Union in 1707 we will vote on whether to become an independent nation or remain part of the United Kingdom.

In the year leading up to the Union there was a call to pray and fast for the Queen (Queen Anne) and the two Governments (in Edinburgh and London) as they conducted negotiations on the details, with the following statement in mind, “That all may be done to the glory of God…”

300 years ago the church gave spiritual leadership, without taking sides. Today, there is the same, if not a greater need for the church in Scotland to give such leadership once again. While the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ campaigns focus on the political, economic, social, educational and cultural issues, which are of course essential to the debate, as Christians we also care about Scotland’s moral and spiritual climate. We believe that God is the ultimate authority and we have a biblical responsibility to pray for our nation and its leaders at this crucial time.

Therefore, as Christian leaders we are asking the church in Scotland to join in praying about the Referendum and Scotland’s future. What kind of nation do we wish Scotland to be? History shows us over and over again that prayer changes things and that God responds to the prayers of His people.

Prayer is already taking place. The team who organised The Stand – the St Andrews Day of Prayer – are sending out weekly emails with prayer points on the Referendum and Scotland’s future for use by individuals, home groups and church prayer meetings. If you are not already using them, you can receive them by registering your email address at www.thestand.org.uk/news/.

Suggested prayer topics:

  • Pray that Scotland would be a nation that would uphold religious freedom that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. (1 Timothy 2:2)
  • Pray that the Lord would be pleased to bring revival to our nation, that new churches would be birthed and old churches strengthened and renewed in their work and witness.
  • Pray that the Church of Jesus Christ would truly be salt and light in this nation.
  • Pray that Scotland would be a just nation where the poor, broken and vulnerable are supported, encouraged and sustained.
  • Pray that in every area of life we would seek a justice that restores and redeems, justice that builds aspiration and hope for the future.
  • Pray that as a nation we would not hold too tightly onto possessions, but that we would have the compassionate and sharing heart of God, using what we have been given to give others hope and shape a nation of hope.
  • Pray for the First Minister, Scottish Government and all MSP’s, that those who have been given authority would exercise it with integrity, justice, wisdom and compassion.
  • Pray that in every area of Scottish life the decisions and dealings of all those with authority and responsibility would be marked by honesty.

Continue to pray for the Lord’s will to be done in the Referendum vote:

  • Pray for the leaders on both sides, for wisdom in how to conduct their campaigns, and for the facts to be presented honestly, clearly and fairly.
  • Pray that the arguments will be made in a positive way that connects with voters and encourages them to take part.
  • Pray that God would overrule extreme views, speech and negative behaviour on both sides, and that even though views will differ, there will be respect shown by each side to the other.
  • Pray that God would overrule confusion in our minds, and pray for wisdom, clarity and understanding of the key issues so we may make a good choice.