The results of the 2021 UK census showed up some interesting changes in society. For the first time, fewer than 50% of the UK population identify as Christian.
Yet in both the House of Commons and the House of the Lords, the day begins with prayers. These follow the Christian faith, and attendance is voluntary. The main prayer includes the words, “Grant to our King and his government, to Members of Parliament and all in positions of responsibility, the guidance of your Spirit. May they never lead the nation wrongly through love of power, desire to please, or unworthy ideals but laying aside all private interests and prejudices keep in mind their responsibility to seek to improve the condition of all mankind; so may your kingdom come and your name be hallowed.”
This practice of prayers started in about 1558 and the present form of prayers probably dates from the reign of Charles II in the 17th Century.
Whatever the individual members of the UK government believe, they begin each day praying for God’s Kingdom to come. By this they acknowledge that the government in which they serve is temporary. It does not matter who is ruling in the nations of the world now; it will change when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to the earth. There is a story that Queen Victoria once exclaimed: “Oh! How I wish that the Lord would come in my lifetime!” When asked why, she replied, “I should so love to lay my crown at His feet.”
Perhaps not every world leader feels this way, but it will make no difference. The Lord Jesus described what would happen when he returns: ‘Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats’ (Matthew 25:32). Then he described how the “sheep” will be welcomed into the Kingdom of God, while the “goats” will be rejected.
God’s Kingdom could come very soon. It truly will change the world!
photo credit: UK government, OGL 3, via Wikimedia Commons