Thursday, 14 July 2016

Living our prayers by Sue Irving 14th July 2016

A month ago I wrote a prayer for the referendum. Writing it was comparatively easy, especially when I hoped for a different outcome of the vote. The challenge now is to find ways of living my prayer. How can I build bridges and tear down walls? I believe that this requires both love and wisdom.
Like probably most of you, I know people in all camps: Those who are passionate about the Brexit, those who are equally passionate about staying as part of the EU, those who did not vote and those who like me could not vote.

There are people in both camps who now seem to be unsure whether they have cast the right vote. There are others who are convinced that they know what God wants. I have seen the bible quoted by advocates of both camps.

I don’t know whether God is pro-Brexit or pro-EU - I am convinced that God is pro-love. Jesus has always stressed that we have to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. That neighbour may be the person down your road or in your own family who voted differently. It also includes the stranger, whether they have been in the UK for decades or have only arrived yesterday. Most challenging of all, it even includes our enemies.

I believe that God has given us free will and so genuine choices. The referendum has shown that our choices – even the decision not to choose - have consequences. So have our words. Our choices and words will continue to have consequences for the future. If our attitude is wrong, we will ultimately all be losers.

As writers, we can ask ourselves whether the way we express our ideas or write about the other will lead to greater or lesser love for the other person. Are we unfairly labelling a whole group of people or do we still see the individual, who had been “fearfully and wonderfully made”?

Then there is the need for wisdom. We are asked to pray for those in authority. Thinking of Solomon, I am praying for current and future leaders to be humble enough to seek wisdom. Things went well for Solomon and his nation when he acknowledged that the task of governing Israel well was beyond his human ability. His kingdom collapsed when his focus shifted and he was ruled by greed and lust – it is not easy to handle power and authority with integrity, probably one of the reasons we are asked to pray for leaders.

Wisdom is of course equally important for all of us. James reminds us that we should ask God for wisdom when we don’t know what to do. For us writers this includes what to write and how to write it.

About the author:
Sue Irving is the co-ordinator for the Creative Communicators in Petersfield. Sue has co-written a book with her husband John about their experiences when climbing Kilimanjaro. How to conquer a mountain: Kilimanjaro lessons is available as a paperback and an e-book on Amazon, with all proceeds going to charity.


  1. Well done, Sue. In my post, I almost wrote that I know that God is not a Remainer or a Leaver AND I almost also wrote about Him giving us free will, so you and I clearly think alike. I know that, whatever, He will use the decision to His praise and glory.

  2. "Things went well....when he acknowledged that the task of governing Israel well was beyond his human ability." Yes, I've been thinking along these lines and praying too for our leaders to feel inadequate to the task - it seems that for a leader, knowing/acknowledging "I can't do it alone" (second part "God help me!") is the start of wisdom.