Consider this possibility. The election is over, the votes have been counted, and you have won the seat for your constituency. Now the real business begins. The public persona becomes the professional persona with the responsibility of representing all those who voted for you – and those who didn’t.
Now people begin to watch you to see what you will do. There are surgeries to run; people will write to you for all manner of reasons; you will be invited to public events. You take your seat in the House; attend committees; make speeches; organise your support staff – and pay for them.
What will the media say about you? How do you balance party and political requirements with your personal responsibilities? What about the unexpected aspects? And, there is likely to be a family to include somehow.
The fact is that voters who hoped for great things from you before the election may be the first to criticise you. Things you say may be misinterpreted, even misquoted, or quoted out of context. You may become overwhelmed because you find it difficult to achieve all that you hoped. The days will seem too short.
So why did you want to be an MP? Was it because you had a desire to serve your country; or a desire for authority or power; or to make a difference in society; or maybe it is political ambition that is the driving force? For nearly thirty years I have been privileged, mainly through association with a Parliamentary Prayer Group, to observe one reason that has stood out above them all.
Some MP’s can truly say that God has called them. They have a God-given sense of vocation. As surely as there are people whom God has called and who have been ordained as ministers of the gospel, there are those whom God has ordained to be his ‘ministers’ in the political sphere. This does not mean that God has become a party member preferring one party above another. Rather, it is that in ‘the multitude of counsellors there is wisdom’.
It is no wonder that the Holy Spirit through Paul’s letter to Timothy exhorted him to pray for those in authority. Why did Paul need to exhort Timothy? Similarly, have we been so caught up with our day to day situations that we have missed this significance? Is that why Paul was exhorting Timothy?
Not only does it seem that Timothy had missed this but Paul exhorts Timothy to pray first of all. This could be paraphrased - I urge and admonish you, before you pray for anything else, pray for those in authority. The fact is that all our daily lives are affected by the laws of the land - laws already in existence and those that are under consideration. They will affect our daily lives, our business lives, our church life and even the expression of our Christian experience.
Should we pray only for people we can agree with? Only for Christian MP’s? The Bible's exhortation is to pray for all. Let us pray according to Scripture that our MP’s will not only be politically able but also they will be:
As you pray for your MP, you open the doors for God to move in his/her life. As you pray it could be that the greatest joy of all will become theirs as they open their life to Him Who is Lord of all.
Let me exhort you with Paul’s words to Timothy –
‘First of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority,’
And the result?
‘that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.’ 1 Timothy 2:1&2
Now that is something to be greatly desired. So, let us pray.