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We need to intercede

Amid a rise in violent crime among, mainly, young men in the capital, it's clear we need to pray

It was heart-wrenching to hear on Tuesday, 3 April 2018 that on bank holiday Monday there were two shootings in London within the space of an hour which left a 17-year-old girl dead and a boy, just 16, in a critical condition before he too passed away.

This tragic news came a couple of days after we joined in fellowship to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour. But, the reality is, that deaths and life-threatening injuries of this nature are a regular occurrence in the capital.

Two days after the shootings, a teenage boy was stabbed to death. A few days before that, on resurrection Sunday itself, a 20-year-old man died in the street after being fatally stabbed. It was a few days before this incident that two men were knifed to death in unrelated attacks within 12 hours of each other.

A London MP said there has been a big spike” in both gun crime and knife crime across the city. Statistics, meanwhile, revealed that there have been 50 murders in London so far this year, and the most recent stabbing has brought the number of fatal knife attacks to 32.

What are we going to do?

A Downing Street spokesman stated: There can be no place in our society for violent crime. The government is determined to do everything it can to break this cycle.” A consultation on new laws on offensive and dangerous weapons is already underway.

It’s our, the church’s, responsibility to do something too. We rejoiced over the weekend because we have a new, glorious life in Jesus. As long as we don’t turn our backs on the Son of God, we’re set for an eternity with Him.

But, what about those who don’t know Jesus yet? Such as, perhaps, the victims in the news items detailed above, or the perpetrators, or government ministers who are probably using human wisdom to find solutions to spiritual problems.

That’s why we need to intercede: not just when a youngster is murdered, or when it’s someone we know, or when things go down in London. No – every day, for the lost all over the UK, and for our leaders, police forces and medics.

How do we intercede?

The apostle Paul urged that petitions, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving be made for all people; for kings and all those in authority” (1 Timothy 2:1 – 2).

The book of Jeremiah reads: But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf” (29:7).

First John says we have confidence in approaching God and that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (5:14).

So, let’s pray and…

  • bring the needs of the nations before the Lord.
  • ask God to guide those in authority and give them His divine wisdom to run the country.
  • be precise in our prayers: quote scripture, and mention specific people and situations.
  • pray with a friend, relative or spouse. (Matthew 18:20: Where two or three gather in My name, there am I with them”.)
  • cry out to the Lord for the salvation of teenagers and young adults – the next generation – UK-wide.
  • spread the need to intercede among fellow Christians.
  • make a conscious effort to plead another’s case daily.

What kind of society?

In addition to making intercessory prayer a regular part of our daily conversations with God, why not consider ordering What kind of society? from the Evangelical Alliance? The resource helps Christians to cast, and make their contributions towards, a better vision for society. Visit eauk​.org/wkos to find out more, or email d.​webster@​eauk.​org today for your free copy.

About the author

After asking God to bless her with the right role at a God-centred organisation, Naomi joined the Evangelical Alliance in 2018 as editorial content manager. Positions with publishers and within the marketing and communications faculty of a higher education institution, plus stints as a reporter, have enabled the media and cultural studies graduate, who has an NCTJ diploma in newspaper journalism, to hone the necessary skills and qualities to serve members well.

See more from Naomi Osinnowo

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