A few weeks ago I found myself in Canberra, worshipping God with a bunch of MPs, church, and parachurch leaders. This was the National Prayer Breakfast, an annual event organised by Christians who work in Parliament.
It was an incredibly encouraging experience to be in a room with people who govern our nation and to recognise that, although there may have been a variety of political opinions and perspectives represented, everyone there had one thing in common – Jesus.
I reflected also on Ephesians 6:12, which says: “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against … the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” It occurred to me that I was in the company of men and women who are daily dealing with the so-called natural world of budget deficits, domestic violence, crime, unemployment and so on. But as well as serving our nation they also serve a supernatural God.
What part can we play in this? We can recognise that often there are spiritual forces behind many of the “natural” challenges we face and our part can be to pray. We can stand with our politicians, we can pray for them and we can pray against the forces of darkness.
There were two strong takeaways for me from this weekend:
- Our politicians really appreciate our prayers.
- Regardless of our differences we have a powerful commonality in Jesus.
The Apostle Paul is clear that we should pray for government: “The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know. Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation. This is the way our Saviour God wants us to live.” (1Timothy 2:1- 3, The Message)