Thought for the Month July 2024

In last month’s ‘Thought’ we considered, among other things, how we use our freedom and power to vote and, our responsibility to use that freedom and power responsibly. Well, that’s all happened now and we have a new government, and some of them have had to hit the ground running, and as the brand new MPs settle in people will be looking on in anticipation of what will happen next. What will the government do?  There are so many aspects of both foreign affairs and the domestic life of the nation that require attention by any government, and the question we so often ask is ’What are the government going to do about them?’ And of course, at times, that is a very legitimate question. But, having voted, is that where our responsibility ends? In many cases surely we should also be asking, ‘What are we going to do?’ be it as individuals, churches, communities, or society as a whole.

Let’s take a step back and look at a crime scenario Jesus painted in one of His famous parables, that of the ‘Good Samaritan’, I’m sure most will be familiar with it, but if not perhaps read it first, it’s in Luke 10: 25-37, and attached to this thought. In the story he didn’t say ‘What’s the Roman government going to do about street crime in the area? It’s about time they got tough.’ No, Instead He taught how we should respond to those in need, and as important, but occasionally missed, by using a Samaritan as the good guy He taught us how we shouldn’t judge people by their background or Nationality. If fact throughout the gospels, whilst He very often takes the religious authorities to task, Jesus never seems to criticise, or even mention, the Roman government! He does however continuously point to our responsibilities.

Just to take just one example, we know that there are many disaffected young people in our society, knife crime in our towns and cities has almost become a norm! And we can blame governments of all persuasions for lack of funding leading to the closure of youth facilities, clubs, playgrounds… But in truth, how much of it is down to public apathy and too many children being side-lined and ignored. Are people more concerned about their taxes rising than they are about the closure of a local youth club which helps to keep young people off the streets and out of danger? On the other side, there are families struggling, having to juggle multiple jobs, not able to spend the time with their children they’d desperately like to. With the extended family not being what is used to be, the government does have a role to play, but so do people and individuals in local communities. 

it’s not all doom and gloom, there is some great work being done. I have the privilege of being involved in the Scouting movement and at the end of this month we have the Essex International Jamboree with 10,000 participants, where young people of many nationalities will come together and share fellowship and friendship. This is just one of the fantastic youth projects that go on in the country. But none of these can continue without the support of adult volunteers and finance. We cannot leave it all to government.

I could have used other examples for this, like the NHS. Yes, governments have responsibilities, but so do we in caring for our own health and the care and health of each other. We cannot leave it all to government. God has given us so much in the way of gifts and resources too numerous to mention. If we waste them, we shouldn’t always blame government and expect them to pick up the tab, using money that came from us in the first place, that could be used so much more efficiently for the good of all, and to help sustain those who really need it.

So let us pray for our new government and governments around the world and let us pray for the strength, courage and wisdom to play our part in caring for God’s people and His wonderful creation.



Almighty God, ruler of the ends of the earth,

We pray for those to whom you have entrusted

Power and responsibility.

We Think of our own country

And those elected to office as members of parliament –

Those who serve in government,

Whether in cabinet office, junior posts

or on backbench committees;

those in opposition with their mandate

to challenge and debate government policies and decisions;

and especially for our Prime Minister

and leaders of all other parties. *

We pray for governments throughout the world.

And ask,

Almighty God,

Grant them wisdom,

Insight, patience,

Dedication, integrity

Open-mindedness and humility

That each may be equipped

To honour the trust placed in them. *

Lord, forgive us when we have taken for granted

All that you give us

Help us Lord to play our part

In caring for each other, our communities

And your wonderful creation.

For the sake of your Son

Our Saviour Jesus Christ


* Taken form Nick Fawcett ‘Prayers for all Seasons’ Pg. 590