State of the Nation: a Call to a Season of Prayer
Leaders in England are calling for a Season of Prayer and Fasting for the UK. Prayer groups in the Highlands and Islands will be standing with them.
National churches and organisations in England are planning to institute a season of prayer and fasting for our nation commencing with gatherings in London and Birmingham on Saturday, 28 February 2009. The 'season' is envisaged to last through to Easter, or Pentecost, or even beyond as the Spirit leads.
In December last year eighty Christian Leaders from most branches of the church, from both Houses of Parliament, business and education met in the House of Lords to consider the moral and spiritual implications of the financial crisis.
The meeting, which was jointly chaired by
Lord Anderson of Swansea and Lord Forster the Bishop of Chester, agreed that :
1. The current financial situation is primarily the result of the pursuit of moral choices and values that do not accord with the word of God.
2. God is calling all churches in Britain to a season of prayer and fasting for the nation.
3. The Christian church should reach out to those who are already suffering as a result of the present financial crisis.
Subsequent to the December meeting a summary document has been produced entitled:
In the context of the current financial crisis the document states: "Our nation is in trouble; deep trouble; far more than most people realise or our Government wishes to acknowledge.
The financial crisis has highlighted the culture of debt that has ensnared the nation. It has also exposed the underlying problems that are rooted in the values of society."
In terms of responsibility it further suggests: "the responsibility for the present state of our nation does not primarily lie with the bankers and the financial traders, but we all bear some responsibility for the moral and spiritual health of the nation."
In a brief analysis of the principle factors which have brought us to where we are the authors suggest:
In every civilised society there are five major social institutions that form the structure of society. They are:
Law and Government
There is a rule recognised by sociologists whereby changes generated in any one of these five major social institutions affect all the others. Since 1960 Britain has been experiencing a social revolution in which each of the five major social institutions has been generating change while also being affected by the changes in each of the others. This has created highly destabilising and dysfunctional social forces resulting in the present situation.
The document also lays responsibility on the media and their “power and influence dominated by secular values that [have been] largely hostile to the Christian gospel". Further paragraphs cover: ‘Consequences, Our Responsibilty and Prayer'.
Ian Cole, one of the faciliting group has written to his prayer constituency:
"This letter is a Call to Action! We believe that God wants us to begin a journey of seeking his face in large and small meetings wherever we are in the UK. This season of prayer with fasting will take us through to Easter or Pentecost. It may be that the whole of this year needs to be given over to corporate prayer across our villages,towns and cities calling upon the Lord to save our nation from the calamity that threatens to engulf us. As we wait on him together, it is our hope that God will give to His church His clear mandate and instructions.
May God visit The United Kingdom once again in mercy not judgment. May the united Church rise up in the fullness of the Holy Spirit – infused with the word of God and our fellowship in Christ. May the legacy of our Christian forebears not be forsaken or forgotten.
The meeting in Birmingham is open to all whilst the London meeting is for leaders.
Prayer groups around the area
In Inverness, Wednesdays each week have been the day for the early-morning leaders' prayer meeting (7.00 - 8.00am) and the lunchtime city prayer meeting in the YMCA (12.30pm - 1.30pm); whilst many of the churches hold their mid-week prayer meetings on Wednesday evenings.
Accordingly it is hoped to stand with those meeting in England by having the YMCA (Bank Street) open for prayer continuously from 7.00am - 4.00pm on Wednesday, 25 February 2009.
Prayer groups may find it helpful to focus on the issues about and around the material contained in the 'State of the Nation - Unpacking Britain's woes'
and also the Maranatha documents mentioned above and entitled 'The State of our Nation'
and 'Crisis and Glory'.
-------------Footnote:The Prayer Group Directory
is a 'work in progress'. It is in no way complete; and please send in your details if your group is not on the map.