National Day of Prayer: Suggested guidance

Covid, political turmoil, increasing Russian and Chinese aggression and the threat of war, collapse of the global economy, cultural disintegration, climate change, famine, cost of living crisis … what next?  Only God can save us from the challenges and dangers that lie ahead.  Only God can bring order to this disordered world.

There is, however, a problem.  In our current culture, men and women have become so blind that they are no longer able to perceive the difference between what is ‘good’ and leads to life, and what it ‘evil’, leading to death.  Where this happens, we know from Paul’s epistle to the Romans that God gives us up to our sin – to the consequences – so that the situation becomes infinitely worse.

This is where we are now.    As a nation, we’re promiscuous, immoral, self-centred, hypocritical … in fact, we’ve broken every one of God’s laws, as set down in Scripture.   As result, God has withdrawn His protection.   While we persist in ‘going our own way’, God will not help and things can only get worse.  The only way to break through this, therefore, is to acknowledge our sin, and to repent.

“… if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

Preparation

  • Ps 24 v.3 ‘Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.’  For God to hear our prayers for the nation, we need first to be in a right relationship with Him ourselves.  We need, therefore, to examine where we have fallen short and to repent, asking for the Lord’s forgiveness.
  • Then, and only then, can we ask the Lord to show us how the nation has gone astray.  Be prepared to be challenged.
    n.b. That we ourselves might not have given way to a particular sin is irrelevant.  Prayer opens a door for the Lord to act.  We are being called to stand in the gap and open that door, so that the Lord may enter with power and shine His light into the darkness.

Some Suggested Specific Areas for Repentance 
(the list is not exhaustive)

  • We have rejected God.  As a nation we have said He doesn’t exist, is irrelevant, or ‘reframed’ Him to match our own desires, so that we can do whatever we want.
  • We have denied the Lord’s sovereignty, saying all religions are the same, and that Christ is only one among many spiritual guides and prophets.
  • We have prioritised personal satisfaction and pleasure over obedience to God’s law, as set down in the Bible.
  • We have made a god of sex, celebrating sexual licence and immorality.
  • We have followed and celebrated behaviours expressly prohibited in the Bible, and we have said that they are ‘good’.
  • We teach our young to be promiscuous.
  • We put children in the way of harm, teaching them they are not fearfully and wonderfully made, male and female, in the image of God, but that they can choose their gender for themselves, irrespective of biology, and that sexual experimentation is to be applauded.
  • Since 1967, in England and Wales alone, we have denied the right to life of 10,000,000 children, sacrificing our ‘unwanted’ unborn on the altar of Self.  This is an abomination before God.
  • We have failed to uphold and protect the covenant of marriage, given to us by God at the dawn of creation for our wellbeing and protection.
  • We have attempted to reconfigure society, so as to normalise and promote more ‘sophisticated’ life-style choices and exclude God.
  • We have attempted to silence all who disagree with this new ideology, suppressing scientific and biological truth in conflict with the new metanarrative.
  • In our greed, we have ignored and abused the needs of others.

Prayers for deliverance

  • Pray, in His mercy, that the Lord even now intervene to deliver us from evil and renew a right spirit within us.  
  • Pray that the eyes and ears of the lost be opened, so that they may know and acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord, and be saved.
  • Pray that spirits of chaos and confusion holding the nation be bound, and that the Lord bring clarity and unity of purpose to our fatally divided land.
  • Pray for ‘nominal’ Christians in this nation to encounter Christ and be awakened fully to truth.
  • Pray the Lord raise up strong leaders who will walk in the ways of Godliness and truth.
  • Pray our leaders be given wisdom and insight, courage to lead without fear, and strength to stand against all the tactics and diversions of the enemy.  
  • Pray that those who wish to suppress truth for their own ends be supernaturally stopped, and that the full truth be revealed.
  • Pray protection over the unborn.
  • Pray protection over the minds and hearts of our young, in both education and the media.  Pray they be allowed to be children. 
  • Pray that the foundations of our society be renewed and reaffirmed, and that we recover the values of truth, honesty, justice, righteousness, purity, discipline, courage in the face of adversity, and steadfastness.
  • Pray for the protection of the Nation from acts of terrorism, and from all those plotting covertly to undermine and subvert us. 
  • Pray that faithfulness to Christ be once again recognised and valued, and that the Lord raise up Godly men and women to positions of influence and power. 
  • Pray that the Church be purified and become once again a moral compass and beacon to the nation, fearlessly proclaiming the Gospel and steadfastly upholding truth.   
‘When I pray, coincidences happen,
and when I don’t, they don’t.’

William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury 1942 – 1944

 
We are in a ‘new’ Battle for Britain, but we have faced the threat of destruction and unbearable suffering before.
 
In WW2, alone and faced by what looked like certain annihilation before the relentless advance of the German forces, on 7 occasions King George VI called the nation to pray.  The nation responded magnificently, packing out the cathedrals and churches across the land.  And on 7 occasions, by act of God, we were delivered. 

 Before the rescue of our troops from the beaches of Dunkirk, for example, with no possibility that the big naval ships could get close enough to shore to pick up the soldiers, who were trying vainly to shelter from constant attack by the Luftwaffe, Churchill was told we would be lucky if 30,000 men could be brought home.  
 

The King called the nation to pray.
At the same time, in response to a plea for help from the Prime Minister, over 850 small boats, some hardly bigger than rowing boats and crewed by ordinary men and women of all ages, volunteered their help.   Ordinarily, in attempting to cross the turbulent waters of the Channel, the majority wouldn’t have had a chance of making it to the other side, but a wholly unforeseen and unexpected calm suddenly descended on the Channel, enabling them to cross in safety.  At the same time, a violent storm in France grounded the German planes, so that they could no longer carry out their deadly attacks.  
            
Of the 400,000 men cowering defenceless on the beaches, 338,000 were rescued, and our army was saved – allowing us to continue the fight … and eventually win.  For further information see the powerful ten minute film: A Dramatic Answer to Prayer – The Miracle of Dunkirk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8vyfp0aVHk).
 
Just as then, let us now seek God’s help, trusting that, as we humble ourselves, we will once again see miracles of blessing and protection over our nation.
National Day of Repentance and Prayer
Friday, 16th September
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