A sermon and the work of intercessory prayer can shape the future, and it just did so in the United Kingdom.
The Lord invites us into partnership with him to advance His Kingdom through prayer. As the Holy Spirit reveals God’s heart and will to intercessors and prayer warriors, they pray for what the Lord reveals so that God’s power is released, and His Kingdom impacted.
This prayer is powerful. Intercessors partner with God to shape reality in cooperation with the Holy Spirit. Sometimes the effect of the prayer is subtle and may take a long time to see. But sometimes the answer to the prayer occurs quickly. This quick and direct answer was seen just recently in the events surrounding the resignation of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Boris Johnson became Prime Minister in 2019 after the resignation of Theresa May. He came into office with a mandate to implement the Brexit decision, bringing the United Kingdom out of the European Union. But he has faced challenge after challenge, especially throughout the COVID pandemic.
Recently his position as Prime Minister had been called into question by “Partygate,” a controversy centered around integrity in the light of breaches of COVID-19 regulations. Investigations into allegations of government parties during lockdown resulted in the Prime Minister being issued with a fixed penalty notice2 and the Sue Gray Report.3 This report led to a vote of no confidence, which did not pass, but it was followed by questions about hiring Chris Pincher4 as Government Deputy Chief Whip. On July 7, Boris Johnson announced his forthcoming resignation as party leader. It was the result of divine-human cooperation and the work of intercession.
The UK Cohort
In May 2017, the UK Cohort was established to pray for the United Kingdom. This cohort meets weekly to pray for the United Kingdom, led by the Holy Spirit. Specifically, the Cohort works together to discern and pray into demonic strongholds that have been established.
At times this prayer has focused upon the work and role of the church in society or the whole process of Brexit. The group has prayed for Her Majesty the Queen, as well as for other members of the royal family and, of course, for the government of the United Kingdom.
The focus has always been on cooperating with the Holy Spirit to see God’s Kingdom advanced in the United Kingdom and, as necessary, to deal with any blocks to the gospel in the form of strongholds.
Prayer cohorts are effective ways for small groups to gather, pray, and press into the work of strategic intercession.
Prayer Time: Monday, July 4, 2022
On Monday, July 4, the cohort met with three people in attendance. After a time of listening to the Holy Spirit, an individual shared what they were hearing from the Lord. The themes of integrity, as well as the upcoming National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast5, were identified.
The group prayed that members of parliament would speak out in truth and integrity. They asked the Lord to bless all those who would attend the Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast. During the prayer time, a picture was shared. It was a picture of a boat whose rudder was slightly turned. The result was a course change, which at first was unnoticed. But over time, the change would have a huge impact.
As the group prayed into this image, there was a sense that this was how the United Kingdom had gotten into its current state. But it was also the answer to the challenges, and there needed to be a change of direction, even if it was only slight.
National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast
The National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast took place on Tuesday, July 5, 2022. Andrew Selous, MP, chaired it. The main speaker was the Reverend Les Isaac OBE, the founder of Street Pastors, and his theme was Serving the Common Good.6
Later that same day, the then Health Secretary Sajid Javid tendered his resignation, which ultimately triggered a mass resignation of MPs from their Government offices. The growing number of resignations eventually led to Boris Johnson’s announcement that he intended to step down as Prime Minister.
According to Sajid Javid, it was Les Isaac’s sermon that helped him to decide to resign.
“I made my decision then, sitting there listening to his sermon, and I just thought, it’s about integrity, it’s about a duty. If you haven’t got confidence in the boss, you owe it to yourself and the country to tell the boss nicely that you can’t serve and that was it.”7
In another recorded interview, Sajid Javid reaffirmed his decision to resign was based on the sermon given.
The Impact of Prayer
The work of prayer made the difference. The Lord used the cohort’s prayers asking for integrity for members of parliament, along with prayers to bless the prayer breakfast to help bring Sajid Javid to the point of resignation. This triggered multiple resignations and led to the intention of Boris Johnson to step down as Prime Minister. That initial resignation was the shift in the boat’s rudder, eventually leading to a significant change in direction.
The UK cohort was not the only group listening and praying as the Holy Spirit led. But like a symphony orchestra, they responded to the direction of the conductor, the Holy Spirit, and they played their part, and together with others doing their part in prayer, the Lord moved, and change took place.
In reflecting on the work of prayer the cohort did, the focus on praying for integrity and the prayer breakfast had an effect. The picture of the boat with its rudder was a prophetic picture of hope, indicating what the Lord wanted and wants to continue to do with the United Kingdom.
Preparation for the Next Great Awakening
The picture is an invitation to continue to pray. It is a prophetic word in which the Lord invites his intercessors and prayer warriors to pray into reality. The events that are unfolding are part of the Lord’s greater plan to position the United Kingdom for God’s purposes in the Next Great Awakening.
In 1947 Smith Wigglesworth, the plumber evangelist from Yorkshire, UK shared a prophetic word about a future revival.
During the next few decades, there will be two distinct moves of the Holy Spirit across the church in Great Britain. The first move will affect every church that is open to receive it and will be characterised by the restoration of the baptism and gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The second move of the Holy Spirit will result in people leaving historic churches and planting new churches. In the duration of each of these moves, the people who are involved will say, ‘This is a great revival.’ But the Lord says, ‘No, neither is this the great revival but both are steps towards it.’
When the new church phase is on the wane, there will be evidence in the churches of something that has not been seen before: a coming together of those with an emphasis on the word and those with an emphasis on the Spirit.
When the word and the Spirit come together, there will be the biggest move of the Holy Spirit that the nations, and indeed, the world have ever seen. It will mark the beginning of a revival that will eclipse anything that has been witnessed within these shores, even the Wesleyan and Welsh revivals of former years. The outpouring of God’s Spirit will flow over from the United Kingdom to mainland Europe, and from there, will begin a missionary move to the ends of the earth.Smith Wigglesworth prophecy: The Last Move – 1947 8
This course correction may well be part of the necessary preparation for outpourings of the Holy Spirit which could lead to a revival in the UK. A revival that would spread to Europe and the rest of the world. The Lord may be moving the United Kingdom into a Kairos moment, preparing for what is next, but only as intercessors continue to seek His face and pray for his purpose and will to be manifested.
Paul Stokes (Academic Dean for the Dunamis Institute and Director of DFB&I) explores the question “Is this a Kairos moment” in this video taken from the recent Awake my Soul event hosted by the DFB&I.
But beyond this, the Lord invites His intercessors and prayer warriors to pray prayers that shape the future. Prayers that can impact a nation and even change the world.
The resignation of Boris Johnson is only the beginning. It has triggered a leadership race for the next leader of the Conservative party and, ex officio, Prime Minister. A selection process that must also be covered in prayer. Is the Lord calling you to be part of that kingdom-building prayer?
Some Suggestions for Prayer
Below are some prayer points that can help you begin to pray for what is happening in the United Kingdom and for all leaders wherever they are. As you pray, give thanks for how the Lord shaped history, and the United Kingdom, through a sermon and intercession.
Prayer points for praying for the United Kingdom
- Pray that the Lord would raise up the next leader for the Conservative party and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
- Pray for servant hearts for those who seek leadership roles
- Pray that government leaders would pursue integrity in how they speak and how they act
- Pray for God’s will to be done
- Pray that the enemy would not be able to interfere with this leadership selection process
- Pray that Christians in Parliament to have a godly influence on the course of British politics
- Pray for the Lord to continue to shape the United Kingdom for His purposes
- Pray for outpourings of the Holy Spirit which may lead to a Next Great Awakening
Praying for Leaders in General
- Pray that our leaders would act in integrity
- Pray that anything hidden would be exposed
- Pray for wisdom and godly counsel for leaders
- Pray for healthy government, good debate between parties, and a focus on issues, not personalities
- Pray that the Lord would remove politicians and civil servants who do not have God’s plans and purposes in mind
- Pray that we could all live peaceful and godly lives (1Timothy 2:1-2)
Share With Your Friends
- Ben Shread / Cabinet Office https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Boris_Johnson_official_portrait.jpg
- a fixed penalty notice (FPN) is a notification of what is usually a minor fine for an alleged criminal offence, that unless settled will result in prosecution. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixed_penalty_notice)
An internal investigation was launched following media reports of multiple gatherings in or near Downing Street – where the prime minister lives and works – throughout the pandemic.
Senior civil servant Sue Gray was asked to look at the nature and purpose of the gatherings, including who went to them, and whether they broke Covid rules.
Ms. Gray delivered an initial report at the end of January, but delayed publication of the full report until the Met Police concluded its investigation into some of the events in question. (https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-60045126)
- The Chris Pincher scandal is a political controversy in the United Kingdom related to allegations of sexual misconduct by the former Conservative Party Deputy Chief Whip, Chris Pincher. In early July 2022, allegations of Pincher’s misconduct emerged, including allegations that dated back prior to his appointment as Deputy Chief Whip. (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Pincher_scandal)
- The National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast is an annual recognition of the contribution that Christianity makes to the national life of the UK, hosted by Christians In Parliament.(https://www.christiansinparliament.org.uk/prayer-breakfast/)