by George Brahm
July 1st is Canada Day, unofficially known as ‘Canada’s birthday’ and loosely the equivalent of the United States’ Independence Day. And on Canada’s 152nd birthday, I would like to ask you to join with me in interceding for our nation, giving gratitude to God for His grace, love, and protection in the past and petitioning Him for the continuance of these until His coming. More specifically, I hope that you join me in praying for the following issues on behalf of my countrymen– issues that must lie heavy on the hearts of every Christian, Canadian or otherwise– keeping in mind the Lord’s promise, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
The killing of the unborn child is legal in Canada through all stages of pregnancy, making it one of the few countries– alongside China, North Korea, and Vietnam– to have no legal restrictions whatsoever on abortion. The lack of a restrictive law is often defended by liberal politicians as a necessity to protect ‘a woman’s right over her own body’, while leading conservative politicians dismiss abortion as a ‘settled issue’ on which debate need not be re-opened.
What can you pray for?
Pray that the eyes of the people might be opened to the horror that is the massacre of the innocents that occurs every day in our land. Pray that our leaders might wake up to this fact as well, so that they will begin to speak for those who have no voice and do their part in ending the evil of abortion in Canada.
Several pro-life groups like the Campaign Life Coalition (CLC), the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR), Choice42, and the National Campus Life Coalition (NCLN), along with many religious and church-based groups, are fighting the good fight to change minds on the streets and on university campuses, and to pressure lawmakers to end the practice of abortion-on-demand. Pray that their minds and bodies are strengthened to continue this good fight, and that the Lord Himself changes the hearts and minds of those listening.
Violations of religious and personal freedoms
While our Charter of Rights and Freedoms grants every Canadian the freedom of religion and the right against discrimination of the ground of religion, we have seen both implicit and blatant violations of these rights by our government and our courts against the Christian community in particular. The most prominent example of this involved a private Christian university in a landmark Supreme Court decision last year.
Trinity Western University (TWU), an evangelical private school in Langley, British Columbia, was refused accreditation for a planned new law school by the law societies of the provinces of British Columbia and Ontario. The law societies took issue with a mandatory covenant that the private school required its students to sign– a covenant that included a prohibition on students from engaging in sexual relations outside of heterosexual marriage– stating that this discriminated against unmarried heterosexual and married/unmarried homosexual couples’ right to access education. After a series of lawsuits, the case made its way to the Supreme Court, with Canada’s highest court ruling against TWU in two 7-2 rulings, effectively setting a precedent in how rights will be balanced in future cases by placing LGBTQ+ rights ahead of the religious freedom of private institutions.
Furthermore, the free practice of one’s strongly-held values is slowly coming under threat in our nation. Consider a recent case, also in British Columbia, where the provincial Supreme Court ruled that a father had no right to object to his biologically-female child’s desire to ‘transition’ into a male body via hormone therapy, with a Supreme Court justice adding that the father addressing his child by her female birth name or referring to her using female pronouns would constitute ‘family violence‘.
What can you pray for?
Pray that God might work in the hearts of our leaders and our judges that they may make decisions that are just and right for the entire citizenry. Pray that future decisions on the rights of Christians and other religious communities not go the way of the TWU case and many others.
And most importantly, pray that Christians throughout the country stand strong in the face of adversity, trusting not in the might of our nation’s laws lawmakers, or judges, but in our Creator, our heavenly Lawgiver, and the Judge of all the earth who does right, and that we have the love in our hearts to pray for those who wish to take away our freedoms.
Canada is going into a federal election campaign in the fall of 2019 and a federal election that is set to have a massive impact on the next four years. In April, Muslim imams at 69 mosques across five provinces preached a coordinated sermon, urging Muslim voters to turn out in record numbers this fall and vote their values. On the part of Christians, however, a similar urgency is not seen. And it is not that there aren’t issues on the line. Take the abortion issue mentioned above. The current ruling party has long been against the pro-life movement in its lawmaking, from a controversial (and now-rescinded) policy last year that barred pro-life groups from receiving federal summer job funding to public comments by our Prime Minister in support of preserving abortion-on-demand policies and decrying pro-life legislation in the United States. Each political party also offers a different solution to the politico-economic problems that Canada is facing today, and Christians across the country need to fulfill their responsibility to vote in order to elect leaders who provide solutions to these problems that are both prudent and God-honouring.
What can you pray for?
Pray for an election cycle that is fair and free of any electoral corruption. Pray that God puts a burden in the hearts of candidates to commit to preserving religious freedoms and the right to be publicly pro-life. Pray that believers are motivated to vote per biblical values in the elections, as opposed to desires that come out of the perpetual sinfulness of our hearts. Pray that the media covers the election cycle in an unbiased and truthful manner.
Most importantly, pray that a leader after God’s own heart is elected, and that the Lord’s purposes for Canada be accomplished through him.
The Church’s failure to actively evangelize
Not setting aside the various political concerns surrounding mass immigration, Canadian Christians can trust in the sovereignty of God and trust in His purposes for bringing people from all of the world into our land. One of these purposes is to allow them to hear the message of the Gospel through the work of the Church, a message that they were less likely to hear in the various and sundry parts of the world they are originally from. The fact that we are seeing an exponential increase in people groups of other religious faiths but barely an increase (in fact, a decrease) in church attendance is a sign that the Church has not been obeying Christ’s final commandment to us before He left the earth– to preach the Gospel. And our disobedience comes in light of the fact that we no longer need to go out to preach the Gospel to every nation, given how the nations are coming to us, rendering us without excuse.
What can you pray for?
Pray that God moves in the hearts of Christians throughout Canada to fulfill their duty to share the Good News of our Lord, thereby doing our part in bringing God’s Kingdom to earth. Pray also that God moves in the hearts of those listening to our message to be receptive to His Word, repent of their sins, and come back to Him who died for them.
All in all, pray that God’s will for Canada be accomplished, that it may walk in righteousness till His Kingdom comes.
Wishing all my Canadian brothers and sisters a blessed long weekend and hoping that you stay safe as you take advantage of the beautiful sunny days that the Lord has granted us!
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of other authors at Cogent Christianity.