St Paul exhorts us to pray for those in authority and it is something that is very often included in our intercessions offered during the Eucharist. Perhaps at this present time these prayers seem particularly important.
Many years ago I attended General Election hustings in the City of Lincoln where I was living at the time. The sitting MP (a Conservative as it happens) was challenged by several questioners about his attitude to capital punishment. Five years previously he had been elected stating that he agreed with hanging, but in the debate in parliament he had voted against it. The MP explained to his questioners that he had changed his mind during the debate. In particular he had listened to the arguments put forward by the police. And that was why he had voted against the re-introduction of the death penalty.
I have always felt admiration for that MP. He had paid attention to the debate, had been willing to change his mind, and had voted in a way that he knew would upset many of those who had voted for him.
As we continue to cope with the political turmoil following the EU Referendum vote it is our Members of Parliament who face the responsibility of finding the right way forward. They, in the end, will have to agree a process, undertake the negotiations and make the final decisions (or at least decide who makes the final decisions). It is an onerous task. Few will have experience of decisions that are as complex and important. The pressures will be enormous.
And for our own local MPs there will be the added tension of sitting on a very pro-Scotland ticket but sharing responsibility for the whole of the UK in this matter.
So please pray for our leaders – and if you see your MP perhaps give them a hug even if you didn’t vote for them. They are going to need all the prayers and hugs they can get.