Christian Life 

Thy Will be done on Earth...

In the run-up to the 2014 Referendum there was an uncertainty in the Scottish praying community in knowing quite how to pray. In the run-up to the general election, it’s not much different now.
 
 
Shofar"Gather together, gather together, O shameful nation, before the appointed time arrives and that day sweeps on like chaff, before the fierce anger of the Lord comes upon you, before the day of the Lord's wrath comes upon you.

Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord's anger. "
Zephaniah 2:1-3













National prayerIn giving a framework to his disciples who asked for guidance, Jesus gave them what is now commonly-called ‘the Lord’s prayer’. [The term is a misnomer: it should be more correctly entitled 'the Disciples’ prayer'.]

Those who are familiar with this ‘prayer pattern’ which Jesus taught, will know those verses which commence:

“Our Father, who art in heaven...” ;

and the following entreaty:
 
“Thy will be done on earth.....”
 
But the question - for earnest intercessors  not least – is:
 
"What is the Lord’s will..?"
There is absolutely no point in praying for anything other than that which is in line with His purposes.

There is an extremely fine balance between judgement and mercy in the courts of heaven.  God’s grace has been defined as: “Giving us (the good things) we don’t deserve, and withholding from us the punishments which we do deserve.”

The Bible tells us that God takes “no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.” (Ezek. 33:11). And He is “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Pet 3:9)

But the Almighty is also a God of righteousness who cannot abide sin. “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing” (Hab. 1:13).
 
"Modern-day Scotland is certainly deserving of coming under the most profound of judgements."
In his letter to the church in Rome Paul wrote:
 
“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness.” (Rom 1:18).

There were times in the Old Testament era when God used the enemies of His ancient Hebrew people to bring judgement on them for their sins. The Assyrians who overran the northern tribes of Israel were referred to by God as ‘a rod of My anger’ (Is 10:5). While the southern tribes were later carted off into captivity in Babylon for 70 years (Jer 25:8-11).
 
Post-referendum/Pre-election

It is a common view amongst the intercessors in Scotland who prayed most earnestly at the time of the independence referendum, that the outcome of the vote (to maintain the union) was an act of Sovereign mercy. But that it was 'interim' mercy. The feeling was then, and now, that Scotland was being given no more than a ‘second chance’.

So we were not ‘off the hook’ but merely being granted a ‘temporary reprieve’ by a long-suffering sovereign God.

However there is absolutely no obvious indication that those who govern the nation are in any way more inclined to live by and uphold God’s righteous standards; and all the while the proud and bellicose rhetoric has continued.

To say that we will be living in a different UK following the forthcoming general election is to state the obvious. However it remains to be seen what will be the scale and nature of the changes that will come upon us.

Modern-day Scotland is certainly deserving of coming under the most profound of judgements.

The prophet Habbakuk cried out to God:
 
“How long, O LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, "Violence!" but you do not save? Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.” (Hab 1:2-4)
 
 
The Islamic State?

“Look at the nations and watch—and be utterly amazed.

For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.

I am raising up the Babylonians, that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwellings not their own.

They are a feared and dreaded people; they are a law to themselves and promote their own honour.

Their horses are swifter than leopards, fiercer than wolves at dusk. Their cavalry gallops headlong; their horsemen come from afar.

They fly like an eagle swooping to devour; they all come intent on violence.

Their hordes advance like a desert wind and gather prisoners like sand.

They mock kings and scoff at rulers. They laugh at all fortified cities; by building earthen ramps they capture them.

Then they sweep past like the wind and go on — guilty people, whose own strength is their god.”
    
(Hab 1:5-11)
God’s answer to the prophet's plaintiff cry could be a a word-for-word description of the self-proclaimed Islamic State. (And let us not think that the UK is immune from these things.)
 
In response to Habakkuk’s promise to be attentively watchful, God continued:
 
“Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.

For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false.

Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”
(Hab 2:2-3).
 
A Litany of 'Woes'

The Almighty then enumerates a series of woes (Hab 2:6-20) which will befall those who follow the ways of dishonesty, violence, lust, injustice, greed, idolatry and self-indulgence.
 
But finally the prophet comes to a point where he reminds himself of all the great things that God has done:
 
“Lord, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord.
Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known.

 
And ends with the plea to a righteous God:
 
(Hab 3:2).

   This must surely be our plead, our cry; our earnest supplication; our heart-felt hope.

And all for His glory; in Jesus' Name. Amen.
 

See: 'Prayer/Anthem for the nation(s)
Postscript: The principal means by which God is already judging the nation(s) in the socio-political realm is through Islam, secular humanism and neo-atheism.
 

Christians Together, 13/03/2015

Feedback:
Dale M 14/03/2015 12:16
Since there is no 'Response' facility for the recent topical item enitiled 'A Prayer-Anthem for Scotland and the UK', I just what to say here that more and more I feel that the people of our nation have lost the sense of who God is! Even His elect people within the Church approach Him in worship and prayer in a flippant manner. He is not recognised as the one 'who dwells in inapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see' (1 Tim 6:16). We need to heed the promise of the almighty God '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 forgive their sin and heal their land'(2 Chron 7:14). The clouds are gathering for judgement unless the above verse is seriously heeded by God's people.
Editor 15/03/2015 19:00
Dale (and any other site members), I have put a 'Response' facility onto the 'Prayer-Anthem' piece.
Fraser Mackinnon 16/03/2015 08:28
What a truthful and balanced article oh to appreciate the depth of sorrow expressed in the word Woe and to appreciate there is still time for us all to change and act.
Editor 17/04/2015 12:37
The following response has come in from Elma -

For some time now I have been feeling like Jeremiah did prior to the 3rd Babylonian invasion of Judah. I've been amazed at the similarities between Scotland now and Judah then.
The same righteous , faithful, Holy God is still on His throne.

What has God purposed for Scotland at this time and for the future? We need divine revelation so we know how to pray. If we believe we are in the end times, it would be foolish to be praying against what God has said would happen.

God promised Moses that He would bless when people were obedient and curse them when they were disobedient. (Confirmed in Sinai Covenant) So when God punished Israel and Judah for their sin, He was keeping His promises.
If he didn't spare His Chosen People from their punishment, should we expect Him to show mercy to us in Scotland who deserve it? Will prevailing prayer change His mind?

Conditionally, He said, see 2 Chron. 7:14 If MY (God's) People (not the people in the world) .................... then God says He will will hear, forgive and heal the land...
It is just so so, so important that we hear from Him!! As a nation we need to be on our faces repenting and crying out for His forgveness .


In Matt. 25:31 - 33 We see the nations gathering before the throne of Jesus. So there is judgement for nations as well as individuals. Nations still have a role to play in the NT. Will Scotland be counted as a "sheep" or a "goat" nation? Much of Scotland's antisemitic treatment of the Jewish people and hostility to the Nation of Israel, seems to have originated in Scottish left wing politics ,which is evil and akin to the extreme right politics of La Pen in France and the National Socialism of Hitler.
Has the spirit of Antisemitism been able to put down deep roots in our nation?


In Zech 4:6, the Lord is encouraging Zerubbabel to continue building the temple. It can't be done by military might or political power but by "My Spirit" says the Lord.
Eventually the temple is finished and against all odds , Zerubbabel singlehandedly lifted the heavy, heavy capstone up the building and put it in position.
Only the Holy Spirit could empower Zerubbabel to do such a momentous task.

It is only by the gracious out pouring of God's Holy Sprit that Scotland's hearts can be softened and people turn to Him.

But we must never limit God- He is the God of the impossible.

God did give the OT Prophets of Hope to pass on to the people but the people rejected them and still had to go through the persecutions. They never believed God would allow the temple and His Holy City to be destroyed, and the people exiled.

He gave repeated opportunities to return to Him.

It's wonderful that the Christians in the nations are feeling the need to come together to cry out to God for our land, the people and the government -- long, long overdue, hopefully not too late.

Editor 17/04/2015 19:24
The following response has come in from Elma -

For some time now I have been feeling like Jeremiah did prior to the 3rd Babylonian invasion of Judah. I've been amazed at the similarities between Scotland now and Judah then.
The same righteous , faithful, Holy God is still on His throne.

What has God purposed for Scotland at this time and for the future? We need divine revelation so we know how to pray. If we believe we are in the end times, it would be foolish to be praying against what God has said would happen.

God promised Moses that He would bless when people were obedient and curse them when they were disobedient. (Confirmed in Sinai Covenant) So when God punished Israel and Judah for their sin, He was keeping His promises.
If he didn't spare His Chosen People from their punishment, should we expect Him to show mercy to us in Scotland who deserve it? Will prevailing prayer change His mind?

Conditionally, He said, see 2 Chron. 7:14 If MY (God's) People (not the people in the world) .................... then God says He will will hear, forgive and heal the land...
It is just so so, so important that we hear from Him!! As a nation we need to be on our faces repenting and crying out for His forgveness .


In Matt. 25:31 - 33 We see the nations gathering before the throne of Jesus. So there is judgement for nations as well as individuals. Nations still have a role to play in the NT. Will Scotland be counted as a "sheep" or a "goat" nation? Much of Scotland's antisemitic treatment of the Jewish people and hostility to the Nation of Israel, seems to have originated in Scottish left wing politics ,which is evil and akin to the extreme right politics of La Pen in France and the National Socialism of Hitler.
Has the spirit of Antisemitism been able to put down deep roots in our nation?


In Zech 4:6, the Lord is encouraging Zerubbabel to continue building the temple. It can't be done by military might or political power but by "My Spirit" says the Lord.
Eventually the temple is finished and against all odds , Zerubbabel singlehandedly lifted the heavy, heavy capstone up the building and put it in position.
Only the Holy Spirit could empower Zerubbabel to do such a momentous task.

It is only by the gracious out pouring of God's Holy Sprit that Scotland's hearts can be softened and people turn to Him.

But we must never limit God- He is the God of the impossible.

God did give the OT Prophets of Hope to pass on to the people but the people rejected them and still had to go through the persecutions. They never believed God would allow the temple and His Holy City to be destroyed, and the people exiled.

He gave repeated opportunities to return to Him.

It's wonderful that the Christians in the nations are feeling the need to come together to cry out to God for our land, the people and the government -- long, long overdue, hopefully not too late.

John Miller 27/04/2015 11:40
Leaders of nations, whatever their particular political agendas may be, react to circumstances that arise. Political parties adapt to popular demands as their leadership teams observe the opinions of their constituencies being influenced by national and international events and trends. Before an election political leaders make promises, some of which they have no intention to keep and others they find impossible to keep.

Our God neither reacts to changing circumstances, changes His ways of grace and government nor makes promises that He will not keep.

In all of history God has only ever singled out one nation upon whom He has set His name and made specific promises in regard to their future and boundaries. That nation is not Great Britain or Scotland. As Christian believers we need to be restfully but prayerfully assured that God is in control. In the perfection of His governmental wisdom He will reward or rebuke as He sees fit.

This nation of ours was once exalted in God's ways. We cannot expect that now. Only righteousness exalts a nation according to his word.
Gordon 18/05/2015 22:45
It must be quite obvious that persons who approve of and practise sexual immorality are not born again believers. If they will not repent of their behaviour, they must then be put out from the assembly because just a little leaven can leaven the whole lump.
If, however, the congregation willingly tolerates the unholy situation, then the born again believers have a duty of care to quickly separate themselves and join up with God's faithful people elsewhere. It is sinful to support blind leaders of the blind. You can't carve rotten wood, and life is too short to waste it on fruitless in-fighting within a fallen church.

NOTICE: - The 'Response' facility on some articles may be restricted to CT site members. In these circumstances comments/questions from non-site members should be sent to the Editor by e-mail: editor<atsign>christianstogether.net

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