Whether an integral part of daily life, something used in times of need or just empty words to fill a tweet, prayer will be part of many if not most people’s lives at some point. Why then, when Poland held a day of prayer on Saturday to seek God for a return to Christian values did the BBC decide to label the event as “controversial”?
After every appalling terrorist atrocity or natural disaster, the general response from many people is to offer prayers for those effected. Of course, many of these prayers will never materialise into anything more than a hashtag on Twitter, but the fact that so many people turn to prayer in either thought, action or both as their default reaction to a dreadful event says something about our natural instinct. In fact, so common is this response that prayer itself is something that should be entirely uncontroversial – even to the secularised BBC.
Prayer means different things to different people, but put simply, it is our primary method of communication directly with God. Prayer enables the humble, broken man to come before God and be made whole. Prayer enables the person in need to seek God’s help. Prayer enables praise to be given to God. Prayer enables our requests to be presented to God. Whatever the circumstance, prayer is always available and its importance cannot be underestimated.
During the Second World War, when Hitler’s Nazi army was advancing against the allied forces to the point where there was severe risk of defeat, the king called the nation to prayer. All across the United Kingdom, people filled churches, came together in living rooms and cried out to God alone in their bedrooms that God would rescue our army and preserve the nation. God heard those prayers and the result was the miraculous rescue of thousands of soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk whilst (for reasons historians are still debating and researching) Hitler turned his army around to fight the Russians.
Over the years since I have been a Christian I have lost count of the number of people I have prayed for and I cannot remember the last time someone refused prayer. Recently, whilst out shopping, a homeless man outside Tesco who had fallen on hard times gladly accepted prayer saying “it can’t do any harm can it” when I offered to pray. Even those who do not themselves believe in God will usually gladly accept prayer because even if they don’t know it yet, they are also the creation of God and are (like all of us) created by God, in his image to be objects of worship unto Him.
It is in this context of prayer having such a natural place within our lives that it becomes so odd that a nation coming together to pray, such as Poland on Saturday would be considered “controversial”. In France, Muslims in Paris pray in the street blocking traffic and read often inflammatory passages from the Quran including portions describing the true enemy as Christians and Jews. Every time this happens (even the first time it happened), the BBC and their merry band of liberal ‘progressives’ did not even bat one eyelid. The mass coming together of (often) hundreds of Muslims to pray publicly to their god is not considered newsworthy, but a nation seeking national salvation is not just worthy of coverage, but also the label “controversial”.
Reverence for Islam over Christian Values
Praying for national salvation & a return to Christian values is "Controversial" for the BBC! https://t.co/ldAC5dt3or
— Heal Your Land (@healyourlanduk) October 9, 2017
It is quite clear that for the BBC and their ilk, reverence for Islam is far more important than protecting the heritage of Judaeo-Christian values which have been the bedrock of our society for over a thousand years. One only has to witness the way Islam is completely left out in reports of radical Islamic terrorist attacks to see the lengths the BBC and other similar media outlets are going to to desperately try to create a false distance between Islam, the Quran, the teachings of Muhammed and the jihadist outcome of vehicle ramming attacks in London, Jerusalem and elsewhere. Of course, critics would say it isn’t the prayer itself that the BBC is calling “controversial”, its the idea they were supposedly praying to seek an end to the ‘Islamification’ of Europe. Ignore for a moment that is simply a smear on the event. If they did gather to pray for an end to the rise of Islam in Europe (remember that isn’t the actual reason they gathered) would that really be such a bad thing? Would it really be “controversial”? If Christians (albeit unreformed Roman Catholics), who by their nature consider other religions to be false and dangerous (a belief which is hardly new) want to desire more people following the teachings of Jesus over Muhammed is that really “controversial”?
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) October 7, 2017
Called to Sound the Alarm & Pray for the Nations
The bible teaches us in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that, “If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and I will forgive their sins and will heal their land”. This is a powerful piece of scripture and one that is a ‘call to arms’ for Christians across the world. Throughout the UK, various recent prayer events show that there is a remnant who are dissatisfied with the direction of the nation and not prepared to just sit and watch the nation crumble into hell. Several thousand people came to London in September for a day of Prayer organised by David Hathaway. The evening before the General Election earlier this year hundreds gathered in Parliament Square to seek God for the nation and just last Friday and Saturday over 1000 leaders met to discuss how various initiatives can work together to bring about transformation in society. What happened in Poland on Saturday was not a coincidence, or an accident. It was the deliberate act of hundreds of thousands of people who want to see Europe return to the Judaeo-Christian values that have been steadily eroded which has created a vacuum that the devil has filled with the spirits of Islam and secular humanism.
We need to wake up, sound the alarm of the damage Islam and secular humanism is doing to Europe and get to our knees in prayer for the nations that God would raise up a church unafraid of the gospel, that does not compromise and that refuses to bow the knee to the spirit of the age. Islam and secular humanism are wrong and because they reject God, they are of the devil but they are not in themselves the problem. They are symptoms of the wider issue. The problem is so much of the church has rejected the authority of God and his Word, reducing the Bible to ‘containing the word of God’ rather than being the whole and actual word of God. This has led to various compromises on the essential absolute truths of the gospel, opening the door to relativism and accommodating all sorts of spirits that are not of God. An inevitable capitulation to the spirit of the age follows and then the church voluntarily withdraws from the public sphere for fear of being seen as ‘irrelevant’, ‘bigoted’ or ‘out-dated’. This all results in a vacuum that the devil pounces on and fills with his own things that further drag those who know no better away from God.
Two thousand years ago, a man named Jesus was himself seen by many as controversial. His followers, inspired by the Holy Spirit sparked off the greatest revival there has ever been and the church today is the fruit of their labour. The continent of Europe has faced the threat of Islam and secularism before and now, in this great hour of need we must resolve to rise up and cry out to God for the salvation of these nations for the clock is ticking and time is running out.
The BBC may have decided that Christian prayer is “controversial”, especially prayer that calls for a change to the status quo. However, we serve a God far greater and infinitely more important than the BBC or any other human construct. We must keep our eyes open to the media’s deception and attempt to manipulate our minds whilst never taking our eyes off the task in hand – that of spreading the gospel and seeking to see God save people from the eternal fires of hell. Let us be unashamed of the gospel, unashamed of whatever label the world chooses to attach to us and instead choose for our identity to be in Christ, for “we are more than conquerors” (even “controversial” ones.)