Can The Voice of God Be Heard in Politics?

The question, “What do you think of the politicians of today”, will, more often than not, bring negative responses. “They are only in it for the money – the power – the position”; “It is impossible to find an honest politician”; “Westminster is full of hot air” are likely replies. Seldom is there a positive or sympathetic thought for the politician and the challenges of a personal and family life while fulfilling his or her demanding public role on behalf of their constituents. The media makes us very much aware of the faults and failings of any politician.

HoP - pubic domainYet, the Houses of Parliament, described as the ‘Mother of Parliaments’ (because of the adoption of the Westminster Model of Parliamentary Democracy by many countries) has thereby had a world-wide influence. The Palace of Westminster houses the debating chambers of the House of Commons and the House of Lords and may seem far beyond the influence of most citizens, yet, through prayer, it is possible to have a powerful influence on politicians and, through them, the government of the nation.

It was Alfred, Lord Tennyson, who said, “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” It is through prayer that we, as Christians, can reach into the Palace of Westminster and have a greater influence than we can imagine. There is power in the spoken word and to speak critically or negatively, is destructive. To take our anxieties, concerns and desires to the Lord in prayer is constructive and opens the door for the Lord to move on our behalf.

As we, as Christians, have become more aware that laws that once reflected godly standards are being eroded, belatedly, we have become more concerned about the laws that have been passed or are under consideration. Previously, we have been guilty of doing nothing or of failing to pray for our parliament and our politicians. Before praying for our politicians, should we not come to the Lord in repentance that we have failed to be obedient to His word? Today, there is a greater awareness of our need to pray, but has repentance been missing?

How should we pray? Begin by praying for the politician that represents the constituency in which you live. Pray for him or her according to 1 Timothy 2:1 & 2. To begin, try to imagine what pressures you would experience if you were a Member of Parliament. Take a walk in their shoes, so to speak, then you will pray with greater understanding. Pray similarly for the Prime Minister.

Pray for the parliamentary business of the day. Ask the Holy Spirit to presence Himself in the Palace of Westminster that He may influence the business of the day. Proverbs 21:1 says “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water: He turns it wherever He wishes.” Remember, it is also true that “we have not, because we do not ask”. Have we been asking God why some ungodly laws have been passed, and forgotten or overlooked that we have failed to pray?

When it comes to laws that do not reflect a godly standard, it is tempting to pray only for the law to be changed, or not to be passed at all. This leaves the situation that prompted the proposed change untouched. For example, the Abortion Law of 1967 brought a great outcry and many did pray that it would not be passed. What would have happened, if we had prayed also that the spiritual eyes and ears of the politicians had been opened to see and understand the full result that such a law would bring? Perhaps the understanding that has come as a result of the passing of the Abortion Law would have been realised much earlier. At the time of writing, records showed that UK had the greatest percentage of teenage pregnancies and the greatest percentage of abortions in Europe.

What Party should we pray for? Let us remember that God is not a Party member. Testimonies have been given by members of various parties of how God called them to be a Member of Parliament! Truly it is “in the multitude of counsellors that there is safety”. Proverbs 11:14. Within Westminster Palace, there are a number of Christian groups that meet regularly for fellowship. These groups have representatives from different Political Parties and meet in fellowship as members of the body of Christ – while their parties oppose each other in the House!

The godly members of both houses do have a voice, and they do have an influence. Let us pray for them that God will open a way for their influence to be more powerful. It is through them that God can speak into the affairs of this nation.

Praying for government leaders as Paul instructed Timothy is vital. Someone once said, “We get the government we pray for!” This should challenge us to pray more fervently and consistently, not just when we consider there is a special situation.

But prayer alone is not enough! Prayer never stands alone. David would never have overcome Goliath by prayer alone. David had developed a life style of prayerful relationship with God. When the occasion arose, he was ready to act. He had a definite impact on Goliath! There are times to pray and there are times to act. As we develop our personal and corporate prayer relationship with God, we, too, can have an impact on the situations around us that will be beyond our natural ability.

A courteous letter to your Member of Parliament will not pass unnoticed. Public non-violent demonstrations will not be overlooked. Laws have been changed when the will of the people has been evident. Standing firm for what one believes in has already had a positive impact.

Challenges to religious liberty have already been experienced and there will be more. Now is the time to pray and to act. The saying “Evil triumphs when good people do nothing” is well known. It is equally true that religious liberty will be lost if we Christians do nothing.

June Freudenburg

(This article first appeared in "Directions" and "Prayer")

June Freudenberg, 22/10/2011