01 September 2014
In God we trust: Salmond and Darling urged to pray before referendum vote
First Minister Alex Salmond and Better Together leader Alistair Darling have been encouraged to "do God" by joining with Christians in praying for the future of the nation 24 hours before the independence referendum.
The Evangelical Alliance and Free Church of Scotland have invited both men to join hundreds of thousands of Christians in bringing the good of Scotland before God in prayer on Wednesday, 17 September.
The invitation comes as many of Scotland's main Christian denominations have issued a joint call for two separate days of prayer before the vote.
Churches nationwide have been asked to pray about the referendum in their services on Sunday, 14 September, as well as participate in a national day of prayer and fasting on Wednesday, 17 September.
Fred Drummond, national director of Evangelical Alliance Scotland, said that the Alliance takes no side but strongly believes that the role of the Church is to provide spiritual leadership.
"God's guidance is required for the proper functioning of society, in fact, for 300 years the Church has given spiritual guidance without taking sides. While both sides focus on essential issues on the economy, society, family and environment, among others, God is the ultimate authority and we have a biblical responsibility to pray for our nation and its leaders at this crucial time," said Drummond.
"The Alliance and 15 other partner organisations and churches want church leaders in Scotland, and in fact right across the UK, to join us in prayer about what kind of nation we wish Scotland to be. History has shown that prayer changes the course of history because God responds to the prayers of His people," Drummond added.
Free Church of Scotland Moderator Rev David Miller said: "Thursday, 18 September, will be one of the biggest days for many years in the history of Scotland, and it is important that Christians will be praying for the good of our nation.
"The referendum appears to be an opportunity to have a different country and a different future, but the wisdom and power to bring that about will not come from Holyrood or Westminster –which is why we do not wish to see a Scotland which is independent from God.
"The last thing we want is a secular state, whether called Scotland or Great Britain, in which God's laws are not worth obeying, in which His day is not worth valuing and in which His blessing is not worth considering.
"We will continue to work with our politicians in the run up to as well as after the vote."
On the national day of prayer and fasting, co-ordinated by Pray for Scotland, Scottish churches are being asked to open their doors between 7am and 10pm for people to come in to pray. At each hour, on the hour, Christians are urged to pray the Lord's Prayer and for "an outcome that benefits Christ's kingdom in Scotland".
It is hoped that First Minister Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling, leader of Better Together, will accept an invitation to join in prayer for the nation on Wednesday 17 September by attending for a short time at one of the many churches that will be open across Scotland that day.
Earlier this year, Evangelical Alliance Scotland published its referendum manifesto with 38 recommendations encouraging debate on issues of importance to Christians. It also hosted a seven cities tour with evangelical churches facilitating political debates which attracted a cross-section of politicians including Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Leader of the Scottish Labour Party Johann Lamont, Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie and former Scottish Tory leader Baroness Goldie.
Organisations and churches supporting the prayer call include: Church of Scotland, Catholic Bishops' Conference of Scotland, Scottish Episcopal Church, Baptist Union of Scotland, United Free Church of Scotland, Elim Pentecostal Church, Salvation Army, Destiny Church Network, Church of the Nazarene, Assemblies of God, Methodist Church In Scotland, The Apostolic Church, Pray for Scotland, Parliamentary Prayer for Scotland, and King's Church, Edinburgh (New Frontiers) and many other individual churches.
Notes to Editors
The Evangelical Alliance
We are the largest and oldest body representing the UK’s two million evangelical Christians. For more than 165 years, we have been bringing Christians together and helping them listen to, and be heard by, the government, media and society. We’re here to connect people for a shared mission, whether it’s celebrating the Bible, making a difference in our communities or lobbying the government for a better society. From Skye to Southampton, from Coleraine to Cardiff, we work across 79 denominations, 3,500 churches, 750 organisations and thousands of individual members. And we're not just uniting Christians within the UK – we are a founding member of the World Evangelical Alliance, a global network of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. For more information, go to www.eauk.org
the Free Church of Scotland
The Free Church of Scotland has over 100 congregations and approximately 12,500 members. It has a full-time theological college in Edinburgh for the training of ministers and other Christian workers, and is also involved with mission work in India, Latin America and South Africa. For more information go to www.freechurch.org