Dear Thurrock Churches

Thursday 12th December is the date of the next General Election.  This is probably the most important election for at least 20 years, since it combines decisions on Brexit with very differing party policies on how this country will be governed in the near future.  This election also comes at a time when the public and social media debates about human identity, freedom of speech, personal vs collective responsibility, taxation, systems of government, environmental priorities, equality and enforcement of national borders – to mention just a few examples – are becoming increasingly strident, intolerant and vicious.  Our nation and our world are in a state of flux.  There is an increasing fear of doing or saying the wrong thing, publicly or on social media.  Any mistakes are indelible and rarely forgiven.  Governments set the tone for this.

However, the good news is that God is still in charge of his world: 

Daniel 2:20-21 NIV

“Praise be to the name of God forever and ever; wisdom and power are his.  He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.”

And yet he desires to blend his sovereignty with our prayers…

1 Timothy 2:1-4 NIV

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  This is good, and pleases God our Saviour, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

As churches in Thurrock, we have two opportunities to put important questions to our parliamentary candidates at hustings, beginning with the Basildon and East Thurrock constituency on Friday 22nd November at St Margaret’s Church, Stanford-le-Hope.  The Grays constituency has its hustings on Thursday 28th November at Grays Parish Church.  I believe that it is important for these events to be well attended and for some thoughtful questions to be directed at each candidate, as we listen to God for guidance on how we personally should vote.

The 21st day counting from the first hustings is the General Election.  In Daniel chapter 10, the prophet engaged in a partial fast for at least 21 days, calling on God for all that period of time.  I encourage members of Thurrock’s churches to follow in Daniel’s footsteps and to deny themselves certain ‘luxury’ food and drink items for these 21 days, calling on God for his grace, mercy and favour towards this nation.  Let’s have the government that God believes we should have.  And, of course, let’s make sure that we vote!

Andy Acreman

Leadership Team Member, Thurrock Christian Fellowship.

Link to Eveangelical Alliance prayer guide