Reflecting on the religious and political matters we discuss at AATW, I find myself asking, “What do we want?” In the Bible, we are instructed to bring our needs and the thoughts of our hearts to God in prayer. We are not guaranteed positive answers to our requests, because our requests are not always in line with the Kingdom. Nevertheless, prayer is part of our relationship with God: people who know and love each other deeply share their lives with each other. Our cynicism and disappointments over the years have made it harder to share our hopes and desires at times: but now is the time to be forthright. We are seeing a change, a return of God’s favour, and we must press in, praying for God to raise up godly leaders to govern our nations, and that He will direct them to enact just policies and laws. So, dear reader, what would you like to see in your country and in the Church? Here are a few of my prayers.

Restoring freedom of speech in the UK

I pray that God will lead Parliament to repeal either in their entirety or parts of the Public Order Act 1986 and Contempt of Court Act 1981. I pray that there will be no more arrests of street preachers, online commenters, and public officials for sharing genuine Christian principles as a prophetic witness in this land. I pray that there will be true, fair, informative public debate about what Christianity really means, and why Jesus is the hope of nations. I pray that we will have careful, thoughtful, and productive discourse about our wider national and economic problems and what we can do as individuals and as a nation to bring education, finance, policing, territorial matters, and healthcare in line with biblical ethics in a way that leaves people with genuine liberty.

Sanctity of life

I pray that in the UK and USA abortion will once again become illegal, except such rare occasions as are permitted under the Catholic doctrine of double effect, and that there will be proper frameworks to enable practitioners to identify when that principle applies without leaving room for its abuse. I pray that churches, communities, and entrepreneurs will find ways of effectively using resources to support mothers and families who find themselves unable to care for their children, and that the state will be guided not to hinder this work by imposing rules and regulations on counsellors, caregivers, and other agents of mercy.

Financial misfeasance

I pray that through changes in the culture of financial and non-financial institutions, and through legislation, where appropriate, the UK and US will see true banking reform that honours the principles of transparency, good faith, fiduciary duty, fairness, and self-restraint. I pray that through the power and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, our nations will find the courage and wisdom to master money, and not to let it be our master.