In the light of the literal earthquakes in Nepal it is unfortunate that everyone is speaking of the political earthquake that has significantly altered the landscape of the British political system. A week really is a long time in politics, and one thing is for certain: politics is not going to be boring for some time to come! As I shared last week, the Lord tipped me off at 9.58 pm on the election night, just before the booths closed, that He had brought something unexpected about. He said quite a bit more in fact, including the fact that Nigel Farage was not going to win his seat.
This is the second time that the Lord has spoken to me clearly about unexpected election results. 35,000 feet in the air in 1992 on my way back from ministering in Dresden I asked the l.ord what was going to happen in the forthcoming election then, and He replied immediately that He was going to allow John Major to be re-elected, (which was not what the polls were predicting), but with a greatly reduced majority “because it is not good for the Conservatives to have a large majority.”
Concerning this “surprise effect” in overturning polls, David Cowling, editor, BBC Political Research Unit wrote, “I monitored 91 GB-wide voting intention polls during the 2015 election campaign and found nothing in them to prepare me for the final outcome.” Election 2015.
Whatever your personal feelings towards him, and the party that he represents, let’s overcome our own party politics and press in and pray for David Cameron and the present Cabinet. Pray for genuine diplomatic skills and a spirit of great wisdom and generosity, rather than partisan spirit, to prevail.
The alternative is not attractive. I was disturbed to hear Labour’s acting leader, Harriet Harman, urging her party’s MPs to use their media appearances to “land one on the Tories in every interview you do“.
To say the very least this is no more helpful a spirit than that of one of Scottish SNPS as they arrived en masse in Westminster declaring, “Hell hath no fury like. . .” “God’s righteousness doesn’t grow out of human anger.” (James 1:20). That is going to be an important theme to pray into for the nation, to find ways to safely channel the intense pain and frustration so many are feeling in the country.
Acts of Remembrance
The people asked the priests of the house of the Lord Almighty and the prophets, ‘Should we continue to mourn and fast in the fifth month, as we have done for so many years?’ (Zech. 7:3)
I am a great believer that history is His Story and often mourn because people do not know where they have come from. (There are many fifteen year olds who are entirely unaware that there was a Civil War in England!)
We found it strangely moving that the election was immediately followed this year by the VE day services of remembrance. Should such services continue? That was the sort of question that was being asked in Zechariah’s day, and the answer then is surely the same today; yes, provided it remains spiritual and relevant, no if it is just for tradition’s sake. It is important for our country to keep in touch with its past, and with the real sacrifices that have been made, along with real victories over evil. True remembering reaches far deeper into people’s hearts than nostalgia can; may this rather be a case of deep calling to deep, a reaching out to the God who was there, and who is here with us now.
There was a snippet of history in the making as Nick Clegg, David Cameron and Ed Milliband stood before the Cenotaph; an opportunity to begin the deep process of grieving for two of them, (and for many others who lost their seats). The words of Churchill broadcast to the nation at the end of the Second World War must have resonated particularly as they were read out again.
“We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing; but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead. We must now devote all our strength and resources to the completion of our task, both at home and abroad.”
There is no way we can overestimate the impact Churchill’s finely polished speeches made. Praise God that he persevered through the deep depression that dogged him all but continually (he called it his black dog). It is almost impossible to imagine the spiritual oppression he must have been under for all those years. I wanted however to focus more on what happened when Churchill went to report to the House of Commons on May 8th 1945. He read the same report again, but it contained a few significant extra paragraphs calling the House to give thanks to God. Here are the “extra” paragraphs.
‘That is the message which I have been instructed to deliver to the British Nation and Commonwealth. I have only two or three sentences to add. They will convey to the House my deep gratitude to this House of Commons, which has proved itself the strongest foundation for waging war that has ever been seen in the whole of our long history. We have all of us made our mistakes, but the strength of the Parliamentary institution has been shown to enable it at the same moment to preserve all the title-deeds of democracy while waging war in the most stern and protracted form.
I wish to give my hearty thanks to men of all Parties, to everyone in every part of the House where they sit, for the way in which the liveliness of Parliamentary institutions has been maintained under the fire of the enemy, and for the way in which we have been able to persevere – and we could have persevered much longer if need had been – till all the objectives which we set before us for the procuring of the unlimited and unconditional surrender of the enemy had been achieved.
I recollect well at the end of the last war, more than a quarter of a century ago, that the House, when it heard the long list of the surrender terms, the armistice terms, which had been imposed upon the Germans, did not feel inclined for debate or business, but desired to offer thanks to Almighty God, to the Great Power which seems to shape and design the fortunes of nations and the destiny of man; and I therefore beg, Sir, with your permission to move:
That this House do now attend at the Church of St. Margaret, Westminster, to give humble and reverent thanks to Almighty God for our deliverance from the threat of [Nazi] domination.
May our nation heed and recover this determination to honour God. It is certainly the best antidote to pain and best way to defuse the pain and disturbances that will otherwise lie ahead.