Things are certainly hotting up today, for not only has The Met Office issued a red warning (level 4) indicating a state of national emergency as the country braces itself for a heat wave that could exceed 40oC, but also Conservative politicians are in a race to see who will be the next leader of the Conservative party and with it, the next Prime Minister. At the time of writing 5 candidates remain, Kemi Badenoch, Penny Mordaunt, Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss and Tom Tugendhat and as they appeared in the first TV debate, sparks began to fly.
But whatever your politics or personal preference, it’s worth taking a step back and asking yourself seriously, who would really want the job at this particular time in the nation’s life? Oh yes, there is certainly plenty of power, prestige and glory to be had if you get things right and make the right decisions, but if you get things wrong, or make a mistake or simply have a run of bad luck, you can very quickly find all that power and authority slipping away from you, as Boris Johnson was to discover, and before you know it – you’re toast! Or as Boris Johnson strangely put it ‘them’s the breaks’. And of course the problems upon any future successor are considerable, such as the cost of living crisis and inflation (with huge pressures by trade unions for higher wages and pay settlements); sorting out the Northern Ireland protocol and making the most of Brexit; and most seriously of all, the terrible war in Ukraine which looks like it is only going to get worse before it gets better, leading to an immense loss of life, tremendous pain and suffering, and global food shortages exasperated by climate change; not forgetting that the coronavirus is still with us. Any one of these would be a real headache for any Prime Minster, but to face them all at once is an immense challenge.
The Bible encourages us to pray ‘for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness’ and whatever your politics or religious outlook, we should all prayerfully, support and encourage our politicians to act with fairness, honesty and integrity, and with strength to meet the challenges of the day upon which all our lives depend.
I urge, then,… that …prayers, …be made for everyone— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
1 Timothy 2.1–2