Same sex marriage – are we allowed to pray about it?

By Andrew Symes

Marriage has now been redefined according to law, and there are fewer than two weeks to go before the first ‘gay weddings’, the symbolic enactment of this new understanding of the “honourable estate”. The media narrative is that this is no big deal – we are really just catching up with the more ‘advanced’ Western countries – everyone will soon get used to the more inclusive idea of marriage and family. The thousands who wrote to their MP’s and signed petitions last year have been told: you’ve lost the argument. Certainly I don’t intend to go over the arguments again about why same sex “marriage” is a bad idea and against God’s created order, arguments which remain valid today.
I’m not going to try now to convince those Christians who are shrugging their shoulders and saying “whatever” why they should be more concerned. But I do want to ask those who believe that the nation is taking a profoundly wrong step on March 29th, if we are disturbed in our spirits but seem paralysed into inaction, what do we do about it? In particular, what are the options for PRAYER?
The title seems rather dramatic – are we not allowed to pray? When I first started suggesting the idea of calling the church to pray for the nation on March 29th, I was told in no uncertain terms by senior evangelical Anglican leaders that this would send out a negative message. So I approached individual churches, asking if they were planning to pray about this issue. Would it be possible for a concerned group of Christians to use the building to pray on the day that the ancient concept of the covenant of marriage is parodied and violated? “Er, no – we have many different views in our congregation, and this would cause controversy”. Well what about encouraging people to pray in their living rooms? “Well, we always encourage prayer, but we should pray for all the issues affecting the nation and the world, not focus on marriage alone”. These are people who will agree privately that the Bible prohibits same gender sexual relationships, who are actively discouraging prayer for the nation in this crucial area of life.
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