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How can Christians best pray for Brexit?

by Chantalle Edmunds

With a Brexit trade deal currently hanging in the balance, how as Christians can we pray for the process and our post-Brexit world?

Paul Morrison is a Policy Adviser for the Joint Public Issues Team representing the Methodist Church, he told Premier he believes there will be a large amount of disruption towards the end of the year, whatever happens in negotiations.

He highlighted three key areas that Christians can pray for:

1. Praying for the poor

"I think from our point of view, one of the key concerns are things like food supplies in the short term. And we know that when food supplies are reduced, it's the poorest those who are already without food, who are likely to continue to go without food are likely to feel the brunt of it. 

"So moving forward, I think, put in prayer, we should think about, even if the nation is slightly poorer at the end of this, we will still be a much a wealthy nation. And we still have lots of decisions to make about how that wealth is distributed, whether we can be a country where no one has to visit a food bank. 

"That's the vision that we should have. And that's what we should pray for whatever the outcome of negotiations is, a society in which our wealth is shared much more equally, much more evenly, and where poverty is something that people remember, rather than experience.

"And we should be asking the government to change their policies so that people have enough money. So that they don't have to go without food. So absolutely, it is important that at this time you think about whether your food bank has enough food, has enough resources, has enough volunteers. But, actually, if we want to close Food Banks, we have to think about how do we build resilience in our communities? And how do we change policy."

2. Pray for Northern Ireland

"I think the situation in Northern Ireland is rather complicated. And you may tell from my accent, that's my home. And I had a small part to play during the Good Friday Agreement negotiations. It's been something that's been on my mind for a long time, because borders on sovereignty, and nationality, which are all parts of this Brexit - it means something very different inside Northern Ireland. And they can create conflict very quickly. And things like a Border Station, something that might seem innocuous, will be viewed as really offensive to some communities. 

"And how we work that out over the first couple of months and over the long term is really important. So yes, it is great that there is some sort of agreement in place, but we're still not sure how it will work. That people have tolerance and sensitivity, as that agreement is being worked out, is really, really important that people see when mistakes are made, that they have some forgiveness, rather than thinking that this is a restart of the problems that we had."

3. Pray for the end of division among Brexiteers and Remainers

"One of the things that I think's really important is that there are lots of people who are still angry. And that is something - it's been a bruising, four or five years for lots of people. Those who voted for Brexit, I think are quite rightly angered when they're portrayed as in some ways, not intelligent or not understanding as often being the case. People like myself who come from an EU country, I think we feel anger at being rejected, and possibly some of the treatment we may have experienced during this period. 

"And as we move forward, it's not enough just to say: 'anger go away'. I think there's something to be said for praying about it, taking it to your God and taking it to your friends and to your family. And only when we acknowledge it, can we start to see how we can move forward and let it go and work towards what I think we've all wanted, which is a better society where the poorest are respected, and don't go without food. And, if we can agree on that…maybe that's a way forward."

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