Tomorrow Northern Ireland goes back to the polls. This election is significant for the future of Northern Ireland. Those elected will be entrusted with leading Northern Ireland forward in to the future and determining the directions that will be taken in a whole raft of policy areas.
We at CARE have sought to help Christians in Northern Ireland think through a number of policy areas which a new Assembly may consider. We hope many have found the content on engage17 helpful in thinking through some of the key policy issues for which the Northern Ireland Assembly has responsibility. This new Assembly will have powers in areas such as human trafficking, gambling, abortion, religious liberty, marriage and the end of life along many other issues of major significance. We at CARE strongly believe that Christians should engage with the political process. For us, Christians have a duty to take part in the political process if we truly want to love our neighbours as we love ourselves. We hope that Christians will turn out to vote tomorrow and will vote for the common good of the entire community living in Northern Ireland.
It is not clear at this moment what is likely to happen in the aftermath of the election. A new executive may be formed, perhaps Northern Ireland faces another period of Direct Rule or maybe another option will emerge. Regardless of what the future holds for Northern Ireland we at CARE will continue to work with and support political representatives to make a Christian difference for the sake of the future in Northern Ireland.
The apostle Paul, in 1 Timothy 2:1-4, writes that “I urge you first of all, then, to offer petitions, prayers, requests, and thanksgiving on behalf of all persons, for kings and all those in high places, so that we can lead a quiet and tranquil life of the greatest piety and purity, as is good and proper in the eyes of our saviour God, who wants all people to be saved and come to the perception of truth.”
If we want to seek the prosperity of our province today we need to pray that God would have grace on Northern Ireland and use this election to provide and Assembly and an Executive that will govern wisely and make laws that promote righteousness and restrain evil. (1 Peter 2. 14.)
We also urge you to join with us in praying for every MLA elected to the Assembly tomorrow especially the Party Leaders as they engage in negotiations about forming a new Executive. They face many difficult challenges in the months and years ahead. We pray that God would give wisdom and insight to every single one of our 90 MLAs as they seek to serve the people of Northern Ireland.
Written by Nola Leach, CARE Chief Executive.