Parliament is now back in session, having been officially opened today by the Queen. The Queen’s Speech on such occasions sets out the government’s priorities for the next year, so it’s worth taking a moment to look them over, and pray for the things they want to implement over the next 12 months.
The main priorities were listed as:
Economy: Building a stronger economy, growing the private sector, creating more jobs, reducing the deficit, keeping interest rates low, helping small businesses get started and reducing red tape were all mentioned. Pray that all these things can happen, and that especially the poorest in our society will benefit as a result.
Welfare: The government’s plans for a welfare cap and a universal credit are definitely controversial. They claim it will make work pay, and reward aspiration and responsibility. Pray the new systems do that, but don’t criminalise the poor, and don’t discriminate against those who cannot work.
Infrastructure: The long-discussed HS2 plans for high speed rail linking London with Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester will finally be put to Parliament. Pray that we can have a green train network that links our major cities, promotes economic growth, and reduces CO2 emissions, and all at only a fair cost to the passengers. And pray also that the changes in energy and water infrastructure result in cleaner and cheaper energy and water for the country.
Education: This is again controversial, but the government seems determined to tinker more with our secondary schools. Pray for wise decisions, and ultimately for a system that government, teachers, pupils and parents all find to be ‘world class.’ And pray also that the plans for all school leavers to move on to either training, apprenticeships or university make a positive to young people leaving school and looking for work.
Retirement: Pension reforms will supposedly reward those who have saved for retirement, protect all pensioners, and ensure homes don’t need to be sold to pay for end of life care. Pray for the eldest and most vulnerable in our society to be protected.
Why not pray the Queen’s prayer over Parliament; “My Lord’s, and members of the House of Commons, I pray that the blessing of almighty God may rest upon your counsels.”
And every hour, the Westminster Chimes ring out over Parliament from the Great Clock. The original words to accompany to the tune are “All through this hour, Lord be my guide. And by Thy power, no foot shall slide,” which is another great prayer you can remember to say over the politicians every time you see Big Ben.
Mark Williamson also blogs regularly at One Rock International, a training organisation resourcing missionary leaders across the globe. He’s passionate about good films, good food, getting into deep conversations, and going for long walks with his wife Joanna.