Preparing for the 2024 General Election: Praying and Preaching

“How you doin’?” This famous line from Joey, played by Matt LeBlanc in the late 90s and early 2000s American sitcom Friends, often brings a smile to those who recall the antics that would entail. When we are asked this simple question, our programmed responses are usually, “I’m fine, thanks. How about you?” But I wonder if I can invite you to pause for a moment and reflect as I ask again, how are you doing?

As the 2024 General Election in the UK approaches, Christians are called to engage thoughtfully and prayerfully. This requires us to create or recommit to space in our daily rhythm to pause, reflect, and pray. The political climate, both domestically and globally, is marked by uncertainty and division, making our role as Christians even more crucial.

Understanding the Current Political Climate

The UK is navigating complex political terrain, with deepening economic inequality, climate change, and the treatment of the most vulnerable at the forefront of public discourse. Globally, geopolitical tensions, economic instability, and environmental crises add layers of complexity to our decision-making processes. JPIT has provided a briefing on some of the issues at stake in this election as they relate our six shared hopes for society. You can find the Issues Briefing here.


How are you doing?

Why am I asking? In Matthew 6, Jesus, in His care for His followers, reminds them of God’s care for them in times of difficulty. Implicit in His encouragement is a gentle but firm challenge for them to recognise those moments where they may experience feelings of being overwhelmed: “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life” (Matthew 6:25). This statement has profound implications for how we, as Christians, should live in times of uncertainty, for in times of uncertainty, one thing remains certain: the sovereign care of a loving Father. As we are convinced of this certainty, faith, we are then able to collaborate with His activity in our everyday lives.

Praying During the Election Period

As we prayerfully engage with the upcoming election, it’s essential to ground our actions in the certainty of God’s care and loving action towards and through us. Here are some themes you might reflect in your prayers:

  1. That political debates will be characterised by listening, kindness and truthfulness: Pray that voters will listen actively and demonstrate love-filled curiosity towards those they may disagree with or do not understand.
  2. Integrity of leaders and candidates: Pray for those standing in the elections and supporting the democratic process to act with integrity and honesty, prioritising the common good over personal or party interests.
  3. Peace-fostering Campaigning: Pray for a peaceful and respectful campaigning period, free from violence and divisiveness. It would be worth focusing prayers for the vulnerable, that policies that impact them the most are not used for political expediency.
  4. Just policies: Pray for policies that promote justice, equity, and care for the marginalised, reflecting Christ’s love and compassion.

Preaching on the Election

Preaching about the election can be challenging but is essential for guiding congregations. Here are some themes and approaches:

  • Values shaped by Jesus: Emphasise values and objectives shaped by Jesus’s understanding of His own ministry (Luke 4:18-19)—justice, mercy, and humility (Micah 6:8).
  • Engagement without partisanship: Discuss political engagement without endorsing specific parties or candidates. Focus on the moral and ethical implications of policies.
  • Justice-seeking shaped by Scripture: As churches seek to plan their sermon themes, it would be worth thinking about books of the Bible or themes that lend themselves to justice and the responsibility to care for the poor, the stranger, and the marginalised (Matthew 25:35-40).
  • Hope and faith: Remind the congregation that our ultimate hope is in Christ and His work, not in political systems. Encourage trust in God’s sovereignty and acting as agents of His kingdom.

Practical steps for engagement

As we draw closer to the election, we at JPIT commit to supporting our member churches with resources for engaging well. In relation to praying and preaching, we will release the following before the election:

  1. Politics in the Pulpit Special Series: We will continue to resource Christian leaders, preachers, laypeople, and churches as we journey with the lectionary, addressing current issues both globally and in the UK. A special series focusing on the UK general election will be included.
  2. Prayer guides: In addition to our “Stay and Pray” daily devotionals, we will provide a prayer guide outlining specific areas to pray for during the election period, and some prayers to use.
  3. Discussion groups: A guide will be available to facilitate small group discussions where members can share insights, ask questions, and pray together.


After preaching one Sunday, an elderly, long-standing member came up to me and, with her ordinary but glorious smile, asked, “How are you doing?” Without a thought, I responded, “I’m fine, thanks, and you?” She smiled and slowly responded, “I’m well if you are well.” I was struck to the core. What a radical way of being. Friends, if our neighbours are not well, are we truly well?

The General Election presents an opportunity for Christians to engage by encouraging a trajectory that witnesses to the transformative power of Jesus in the world. By loving our neighbours, praying fervently, and voting responsibly, sowing seeds of hope, we can contribute to a society that better reflects the values we find in Jesus. Let us heed the call to Love, Pray, and Vote guided by the values we find in Jesus’s teachings. In doing so, we can contribute to positive change in our world, reflecting God’s love and justice in every action we take.

“…left to ourselves we lapse into a kind of collusion with entropy, acquiescing in the general belief that things may be getting worse but that there’s nothing much we can do about them. And we are wrong. Our task in the present…is to live as resurrection people in between Easter and the final day, with our Christian life, corporate and individual, in both worship and mission, as a sign of the first and a foretaste of the second.”

N.T Wright, *Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church

So I ask again, “how you doin’?”


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