The UK has just emerged from its most extraordinary election in living memory. An election where a significant Conservative lead was whittled away by a far-left version of the Labour Party at the same time as two Islamic terrorist attacks on Manchester and London took thirty lives in the name of Allah, left dozens seriously injured and scarred the lives of the many hundreds who were caught up in the events. As the commentators and politicians pick over the pieces of all that has happened in the past few weeks, it is incumbent upon God’s people to not only pray for their nation but to seek His face afresh for how they should respond in the face of chaos, fear and spiritual darkness.
I have always followed closely the unfolding story of all the elections in my lifetime. But the one I remember the most is the 18th June 1970. Not, primarily, for the fact that Ted Heath surprised the nation by coming out on top, but because that was the night when God spoke to me, as I began the work of restoring the wreck of an Alvis Speed 20 car, and said “You could restore this broken car, but I can restore broken lives.” In that moment, my life was changed for ever and the seeds were sown for the founding of Ellel Ministries sixteen years later.
As I stare now at the moral confusion that dominates most of the main political parties – which all espouse what is termed social liberalism and embrace policies which allow all manner of conduct and relational behaviour, without restriction – I felt the grief of God and found myself weeping in my spirit. It wasn’t Buddha, or the gods worshipped by Hindus, Sikhs and Moslems that answered the desperate prayers of our nation during the second world war. The King called the nation to prayer, and the people flocked to the Churches to pray to the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ. God graciously heard and answered their prayers in a miraculous manner. But after the war the people forgot and today we have a younger generation that is largely ignorant of the Christian faith, the faith which has been the guiding light of our nation and its laws for generations.
There is no doubt that our nation is once again at war – not with a physical enemy from without, but with a spiritual enemy that has been turning the hearts of the people away from the living God for two generations and has now invited into the vacuum every alien spirit imaginable. Lawlessness is always the consequence of rebellion.
Last night, I dwelt on the chaos that reigned in the eighteenth century and remembered how God raised up John Wesley, among others, a fearless evangelist who spent his whole life traversing the nation, and once again turning the hearts of the common people towards God. I ended the day in prayer that once again God would raise up fearless evangelists who would uncompromisingly declare the truths of God’s Word to the people and that the Holy Spirit would unleash a spirit of repentance on the people.
I found myself weeping for the lack of a credible public Christian voice among the clergy of our churches, a voice which would command the respect of our political leaders. Then I was reminded of what God said through Ezekiel about the leaders of Israel: “Her priests do violence to my law and profane my holy things, they do not distinguish between the holy and the common; they teach that there is no difference between the unclean and the clean” (Ezekiel 22:26).
I read on and was encouraged that in verse 30 it says that God “looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land, so I would not have to destroy it”, but then I was dismayed when I read that God had to say “I found none” and that judgement of the nation was the consequence.
Surely, Lord, there are those in our nation who will stand in the gap on behalf of the land? Where are those with the gift of leadership who have been honed by the spirit in the secret place so that at the right time they will ‘come out of hiding’ and speak with a voice of holy authority in the public place?
Lord, I cry out to you to have mercy on our nation and to look for the men and women who are willing to stand in the gap for the land. Lord, I ask you to raise up those who will become a Wesley or a Spurgeon for the twenty-first century and give them a platform for their voices to be heard. We are desperately in need and our eyes, Lord, are on You.