At the National Day of Prayer at Wembley Stadium on 29 September, Ian Cole (right, based at the World Prayer Centre in Birmingham) led those gathered in a time of confession and repentance following on the themes that were identified when 80 Christian leaders who had gathered for an hour of listening to God in Westminster in June 2012.
STATEMENT AND PRAYER GIVEN OUT AT THE NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER HELD AT WEMBLEY STADIUM ON SATURDAY 29 SEPTEMBER 2012
Today we stand together representing the body of Christ His Church across our nations. We have also been called to stand in the gap for every man, woman and child in this family of nations.
On 12 June this year, more than eighty Christian leaders from throughout the UK gathered alongside Parliamentarians for an hour of listening to God in silence in Parliament. Anglicans, Baptists, Catholics, and Christian leaders from a wide cross-section of society were present. Following the hour of silence they all had an opportunity to share what they believed they had heard. The summary of these words has been sent to leaders of both church and State.
There were three main themes: ⋅
- An urgent warning of God’s judgement, bringing serious crisis in the nation
- A challenge to the church to take action, to speak the truth boldly
- A promise of restoration – God’s glory coming on this nation again if we turn and submit to Him
As we pray for our nations, let us stand before God in humility and repentance, as we represent the Church, the Body of Christ across our nations.
Today we do not stand in judgment or accusation, but as with Isaiah, Daniel and many who have gone before, we identify with the sin and failures of the church and the nation that is bringing an increased shaking and judgment from God.
We confess that as we pray for the God given structures society has built on down through the centuries, we are seeing in their failure the consequences of turning away from God and abandoning His laws. We have forgotten that God hates sin and the consequences of sin, but has amazing grace, mercy and love for the sinner. We have forgotten that our God is to be feared. Therefore as a nation we are in a time of crisis, a time of serious difficulty and danger.
As we pray today for family, religion, business, government, education, arts and the media we do so giving thanks to God for the many people who serve our nation through these institutions, for the thousands of volunteers who give their time and for the good and beneficial service these institutions provide.
However at the same time we realize that because of pride, greed and arrogance and the acceptance and promotion of an anti God agenda, the foundations of these institutions are crumbling and in some cases crumbling rapidly affecting everyone in our nation.
We confess and are sorry that the break-up of family is as prevalent in the church as outside the church and that so often the church family is itself divided
We confess that because of our unbelief and disunity the truths concerning our Christian faith, both in word and action have at best been misunderstood and at worst ignored.
We confess that as the body of Christ we have not encouraged the entrepreneurs and wealth creators, we have rarely prayed for and supported the business community and at times abandoned the market place.
We confess that we have believed the lie that our Christian faith and secular society must be kept separate. We have been silent when laws have been passed that destroy the very fabric of society and when we have spoken we have often been more critical than constructive.
We confess that we have remained silent when our children are taught that they have evolved and not made in the image of God and when the boundary lines that have kept children secure in society are being removed.
We confess we have ignored God’s word and allowed a spirit of unbelief, cynicism and religion to destroy the Godly foundations our nation was built on.
We confess that both in the arts and the media we have often ignored the wonderful gifts that God the creator has given us to be like Him, to create, to design, to envision, to imagine, and to explore.
We declare today as we stand as part of our broken society, in the midst of this crisis, that there is hope. There is hope for broken families, there is hope and healing for abused children, there is hope for corrupt financial institutions, there is hope for wayward lawmakers, there is hope for a divided church.
The Christian message to our nation today is that as we turn from our sin and unbelief, as we put God first and love Him with all our hearts, as we declare the Lordship of Jesus and follow His teachings through the enabling of His Spirit, God will have mercy, He will forgive, He will heal our land.
Today with the prophets of old we cry, “O Lord the great and awesome God, we have sinned and done wrong, we have been wicked and rebelled, we have turned away from your commands. Today O God, hear the prayers of your people. We are not asking because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. For your great names sake Lord, in your wrath remember mercy.”
If you agree, perhaps you would like to pray this prayer too.
Read also 2 Chronicles 7:14.