The dust is settling from the UK General Election and Labour is gearing up to lead our nation for another term. Personally, I’d have loved to see the Liberal Democrats having a shot at government, and perhaps that will happen in the not too distant future, but the result’s not too bad. There are a few issues I feel that Tony Blair’s administration has really let us down on (for example, a new lease of life for the catchphrase “don’t mention the war”) but they’ve done some good things as well. I hope that the greatly reduced commons majority will give us a period of cautiously concentrating on building rather than destroying.
As I was listening to the post election commentary, I also heard that the Iraqi people now have their government defined, after elections earlier in the year. That made me reflect back on the verse I shared with my church several times during the run up to the UK election:
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. (1 Timothy 2:1-2, NASB)
We’ve been praying that in the UK; the Bible reminds us that it’s a duty, encouraging us to overcome complacency. Whatever you think of the Labour government, most of us in the UK have been able to enjoy relatively tranquil and quiet lives. We might find ourselves feeling far too busy or perhaps not choosing godliness as a characteristic to strive towards but that’s down to our choices and not something forced upon us.
As far as I can see, things are a little different in Iraq. Even if the foreign occupation were to end overnight, tranquillity and quiet might be some time coming. Far too many Iraqis have been killed – and continue to be killed – by all manner of violent men with blood on their hands.
However, the Bible doesn’t just ask us to pray for our national governments. I’m grateful for the peace I enjoy in the UK; I’m lifting up my voice that Ibrahim al-Jaafari and his cabinet will help the Iraqi people move toward a peace of their own.