LGBT Christians will go head-to-head with anti-gay Christians as they both spend a day praying to God – for or against marriage equality.
Gay-hating Christians have declared Sunday (2 June) as Britain’s National Day of Prayer for Marriage.
But, on being alerted to the day by Gay Star News, Christians who support LGBT equality have responded by issuing their own prayers – hoping for divine help to pass the equal marriage bill for England and Wales.
The House of Lords, the upper chamber of the UK parliament, will be debating and voting on the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill on 3 and 4 June. It is thought the vote will come down to the wire with the slimmest of majorities in favor of marriage equality according to a new headcount revealed to GSN today.
A number of Christian organisations including the Evangelical Alliance, CARE, the Christian Institute, Christian Concern, and Christian Medical Fellowship have declared Sunday 2 June as national day to pray against gay and lesbian marriage equality.
The bosses of these Christian organisations have issued a joint statement setting out their opposition to the bill and publicised a joint prayer for their supporters.
But not all Christians are opposed to the bill. Polls indicate that the new law is supported not just by the majority of Britons, but also by most people of faith.
Changing Attitude and the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement issued Gay Star News with prayer points and a counter prayer for Christian supporters of equal marriage to use on the National Day of Prayer for Marriage.
They ask people to pray:
- That Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill will become law and that it will be promoted in society for the good of all.
- That on 3 June a majority of peers will vote in favour of the bill.
- For the Equal Love campaign and all the other LGBT Christian organizations as they campaign to remove the exclusion of same-sex couples to marriage.
- For parliamentarians and others in public life to have the courage to stand up for their convictions for equality.
- For the news media, that they would report the issue widely, fairly, and accurately.
- That the real benefits of opening up marriage to same-sex couples would be publicly known and properly discussed.
- For equal marriage rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
- That the Church of England will welcome the blessing of same-sex relationships in church following a civil marriage.
- For the celebration of the faithful, covenanted love of lesbian and gay Christian couples in marriage.
- For a change of heart in the House of Bishops, that they will offer an unconditional welcome to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
- For an end to prejudice and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Open prayer is encouraged but the organizations have issued these written prayers for ‘help and an inspiration’.
Creator God, whose justice and compassion extends to all, without distinction of gender or sexuality, we rejoice in our diversity and offer you our lives and experience, as gay men and lesbian women, as bisexual and transgender people, as straight and intersex people, as friends, families, neighbours and colleagues.
We thank you for the gift of marriage, a blessing for all generations and all peoples.
Give us strength to carry your love into a world that may reject or ignore us.
We remember those who are stigmatised, those who are oppressed by others’ suspicion and hatred, those impoverished or imprisoned.
We pray every marriage is enriched with your love and grace, and that all couples will know the joy that comes from sharing and giving.
Creator God, may we follow the way of the maker of love, may your love be shown in our lives, and your will be done throughout the world, in the light of the resurrection of Jesus, our companion, our savior, and our guide.
Loving God, we thank you for the gift of marriage which you established at the dawn of time, to be a blessing for all generations throughout the earth, down through the ages.
We pray you would fill each and every marriage with your love and grace, and that every couple would know the joy that comes from sharing and giving.
We thank you for establishing marriage to be a secure and stable environment for raising children and becoming all you have called us to be.
We pray, as you have commanded us, for those in positions of civil authority.
We ask you would bless our nation as the government seeks to open up marriage to make it available to all your children.
We pray our government will act with wisdom and righteousness, promoting marriage for all couples to whom you have given the gift of love for each other so that marriage will truly become what you want it to be – for the good of all people.
We pray for our nation, as our government seeks to open up marriage, that they will embrace this change. And we pray for ourselves, that we would speak out in support of equal marriage with gentleness and kindness, but also with courage and confidence.
In the name of Christ Jesus our Lord we pray.