As you will long since have realised, articles in the Malvern Mashals alternate between personal, intercessory, teaching and devotional material – all liberally interspersed with beautiful music. We are well aware that whilst some people are attracted by articles addressing wider situations, others are drawn by the devotional, whilst others again find the teaching articles to be the most helpful.
With the shadow of the Manchester atrocity hanging over the nation, to say nothing of the forthcoming elections and the Brexit negotiations beyond that again, I am focusing here primarily on providing a few insights into the British spiritual and political landscape. Just as we are being urged to remember at the political level that our vote counts, how much more so our prayers!
Beyond the ebb and flow our personal circumstances, Europe is facing the rising challenge which Jesus predicted so clearly when He spoke of a time when those who kill people will think that they are offering a service to God (John 16:2).
We featured an in depth look in the last edition about praying for the media. Now the spotlight is firmly on the political arena. How the Lord longs for people – and politicians in particular one might add! – to live in wonder, love and praise and to speak words of encouragement rather than the language of narrow party spirit and even of hate.
It is entirely right that we should make praying for our national leaders a priority. They face so many multi-faceted challenges – and poor decisions can so swiftly lead to unpredictable and even deadly consequences. I cannot think of any Prime Minister since Winston Churchill who has had to face – from day one of her time in office – such a plethora of challenges as Theresa May has.
In terms of the intelligence services, let’s continue to pray that ‘leads’ that need to be followed up will be.
Many mistakes are made when leaders fail to pay sufficient attention to wise warnings, whether in the world of politics, business or the intelligence services. I have long felt that this applied particularly in the realm of institutions not taking the threat of cyber warfare seriously enough. May the recent virus that has affected so many nations serve as a major wake up call!
Being alert to pray on a wider level
A friend with a prophetic calling got in touch to say that that she had had a very strong sense of foreboding the day before the bomb went off in Manchester that something awful was about to happen, and that there was going to be an attack. For those who are walking in step with the Spirit such awarenesses are not psychic but rather prophetic; it should even be natural as part of our calling to be watchmen for the Lord. Why does God share such things? Because He is looking for people who will share His heart.
When such awarenesses are given before events, however, we should see them as being a summons to pray, trusting that our prayers can minimise if not always completely avert the forthcoming catastrophe. As you may have heard, it was because Ariana Grande gave an unscheduled encore that the Foyer may not have been quite as full as it would have been a few minutes later. This may be of no immediate help to the victims, but we can certainly thank God that more people were not killed or injured as a result.
If we do receive premonitions that something is wrong, our first challenge is to recognise whether the concerns that we are feeling are pointing to something in us or to matters far beyond ourselves. We must always be open to the Lord alerting us to pray ‘over the horizon’ as it were for wider events.
I have often experienced a great sense of flatness, heaviness even, on occult days and bank holidays. Until or unless I realise what is going on, I am merely lumbered with these horrible feelings – but the moment I twig what is going on, my spirit goes to action stations.
Another issue to pray into concerns the long term knock on effects from the Manchester bombing. Judging from the experience of other countries, these have often proved severe. Following attacks on Egypt’s Red Sea coast, Tunisia and Kenya, for example, the Tourist industries have received massive blows. Does this mean that people attending music and sporting events in Britain will now feel nervous? More than ever let’s pray that the fear this shaking is causing will lead not to a nervous withdrawal but to a divine opening of hearts – and to an ever deepening sense of heart unity.
There here have indeed been repeated promises that the Lord is going to revive people’s hearts in such ways.
There have been repeated promises to prepare for a reviving of people’s hearts. World Prayer Centre Trumpet Call
“Your country needs you” – in prayer . . .
A friend of mine was in the garden a few days ago when she and her husband saw a remarkable pattern in the clouds, in which the whole of the British Isles were clearly sketched out in the sky. It felt like a sign that we are very much on His heart at this time when the nation is experiencing so much grief.
Back in the 1970s, Alex Buchanan, a leading prophet, brought some lengthy and serious words concerning our nation. In essence the Lord was lamenting that because we have turned to lewdness and invited other spirit powers to be central in our land, He can no longer stretch out His hand to give us the protection He would otherwise have loved to extend over us. He warned of a time when there would be blood in our streets, and traced this back to our national pride that has caused so many of our problems.
The Lord used these prophecies to trigger a wave of prayer and repentance that gave birth to a substantial number of prayer initiatives – not least for the then pressing problems with Ireland. Since then it has been wonderful how many groups of believers, not least those from nations such as Nigeria, have taken up the call to pour out their hearts in prayer for Britain.
May the Lord add our prayers to the cry that is rising before His throne.