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5 ways to get ready for the election 

Author: Paul Woolley, 30 May 2017

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If we are to love God and love our neighbours as ourselves, influencing the institutions and forums that impact the lives of our neighbours is desperately important. What can you do practically? Here are just five suggestions:

1. Vote! 

We should use our vote wisely on 4 July. Which of the people and the parties on the ballot paper will recognise the limited but important role of government in enabling individuals and groups to flourish?

2. Pray

The Apostle Paul urges his readers to pray for people in positions of political authority (1 Timothy 2.2). In teaching his disciples how to pray, Jesus told them to pray for God's Kingdom to come and his will to be done (at the supermarket, on the bus, in government) as it is in heaven. Prayer is a political act. Karl Barth is reported to have once said, 'The clasping of the hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of this world.' Pray for the candidates standing for election in your constituency.

3. Get informed

It's difficult to pray intelligently for God's Kingdom to come and his will to be done unless we are aware of the issues facing our society and wider world. Identify and engage with reliable sources of news and analysis.

4. Get involved

It's easy to point fingers and criticise politicians, but the challenge is to get involved. Consider joining a political party. Get involved in your community as a school governor, street pastor or prison visitor. Join a campaigning group that's focused on issues of concern to you. Change your shopping habits to prioritise justice over low prices.

5. Contact your MP

Contact your newly elected MP after the election and congratulate them, regardless of whether or not you voted for them. Commit yourself to helping them work for the common good, and encourage them whenever possible. Encouragement is in short supply and can make a world of difference.

On 4 July, 45 million people have the opportunity to decide who they want in charge of the UK government. The elected Prime Minister and their government will exercise significant power, but that power will be limited and subordinate to God's power. In the end, after all, it's God who is in charge.

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