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Pray concerning the vote of confidence

Ross Hendry

Boris

The Prime Minister's future has been a matter of speculation for months. This morning has seen a conclusive step by Conservative MPs. A vote of confidence in the PM's leadership of his party will take place later today (Monday, 6 June).

I suspect that in some quarters, the day will be full of excitement and speculation about the Prime Minster’s future. In other quarters the matter will seem distant and be received with tiredness and apathy.

I can see the temptation for both perspectives, but we must not be tempted to either extreme and instead pray concerning the seriousness of the decisions ahead and what they might mean for the country at large.

The process is relatively straightforward. Conservative MPs can write to the chair of the 1922 Committee at any time to state that they no longer have confidence in their Party leader.

Once 15 percent of Conservative MPs have written to the chair of this committee within a 12-month period, a confidence vote in the Conservative Party leader is triggered. That threshold was met over the weekend.

Only Conservative MPs can take part in this vote – both those who work in Government and backbenchers. As we have seen today, with such a small electorate, the vote and the result can take place very quickly. So by 9 or 10pm today, we will know the outcome.

The controversy over parties in Downing Street during the pandemic is the reason why many conservative MPs say they have lost confidence in the Prime Minster. But it is also fair to say that ‘Partygate’ may just be the presenting issue amid wider unease about Mr Johnson's suitability for his role.

I will write again after we know the outcome of today’s vote on how we can respond over the coming days and weeks. For now, the best thing we can do is pray. In doing so I would like to suggest that our prayers, words, and actions today reflect some key biblical principles:

  • Fear of the world is never a good place to start or end in making important decisions. Let us pray as people of hope for decisions over our country’s leadership to be borne out of seeking to love mercy and seek justice, rather than fear of election outcomes. (1 Tim 4:10)
  • We seek leaders who fear the Lord and trust in His goodness. Jesus spoke about the rulers of the Gentiles lording it over the people and the high officials exercising authority over them. Pray that all MPs will be servant leaders who seek the welfare of the nation before themselves. (Micah 6:8)
  • Honour the institution of government as one ordained by God. Let's pray for the institution of government and that in and through this vote we build not diminish trust in government and the integrity of those who serve in it.
  • Trust in God’s faithfulness and sovereignty. We should not use God’s sovereignty as an excuse to disengage or to avoid responsibility. But we beseech our heavenly Father to be compassionate and pour out His grace on our nation, changing it as only he can.
  • Acknowledge our own sin. As fallen human beings, we are rebellious in what we seek and love. As followers of Jesus we should repent on behalf of our nation and thank God for his faithfulness in the many blessings he continues to provide.
  • Give thanks: We must thank our heavenly Father that whatever the outcome of today’s vote, he will “cause (the) sun to rise on the evil and the good, and send rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:45)

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