Sunderland Echo - - News -

On Tues­day there will be a land­mark vote in Par­lia­ment con­cern­ing the With­drawal Bill from the Euro­pean Union.

You may now be heartily fed up with the “B” word, but like it or hate it, sig­nif­i­cant things are hap­pen­ing in our coun­try.

So what can we do? St Paul is very clear – we should pray.

He writes to Tim­o­thy and says: “I urge that sup­pli­ca­tions, prayers in­ter­ces­sions, and thanks­giv­ings be made for ev­ery­one, for Kings and all those who are in high po­si­tions.” I Tim­o­thy 2.1-2.

Pray for our politi­cians of all par­ties as they come to vote on Tues­day.

But what to pray that is the ques­tion? I con­fess I have been strug­gling with this lately.

I am one of those who does not want to leave the EU and be­lieves deeply that it is all our in­ter­ests to stay. Of course I know that many dis­agree with that po­si­tion not least in this city. So what do we pray? I have been pray­ing for God’s wis­dom to be at the heart of these dis­cus­sions and that a real de­sire for the com­mon good of our na­tion and all peo­ple to be at the heart of any de­ci­sion that is made.

Of course the strug­gle I have is that I believe the com­mon good lies not in leav­ing but re­main­ing.

How­ever, I deeply want to see the fu­ture shot through with hope that God can bring about the heal­ing of our di­vided and an­gry na­tion what­ever the re­sult and the af­ter­math of Tues­day’s vote.

In or­der for this to hap­pen we have to learn how to dis­agree well and con­sider hard what we say and how we say it when we talk about those who hold op­pos­ing views.

There has been too much shout­ing and not enough lis­ten­ing. So where am I left. Well in the end I have to pray by putting this sit­u­a­tion in the hands of God rec­og­niz­ing that I do not have the words that will lead to peace. But that he does, and I must lis­ten and wait.

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