Anyone paying attention to the times we live in will know that the West is in terminal decline. We feel it in the air, something bad is coming, some form of reckoning, in 50 years, maybe 5, we see the patterns of death and decline in every open newspaper. Those paying attention will know the reasons why this is the case. Those not paying attention will hardly be convinced by anything I can say but I will allow myself the luxury of one question: considering that Western Civilisation was built on the foundation of Christianity, do you really think that it can survive without Christianity?
Despite the evidence of terminal decline in the church, it is hard enough to persuade churches and Christians to pray against it. Either people pretend there is no decline or pretend that God can do nothing about it. There is even a group of Christians who imply that we somehow deserve the decline due to not embracing whatever crazy wokeness is trending at the moment.
Pulpits across the land should be drowning in prayers for the survival of the church, let alone its prosperous future. Every generation is becoming less religious than the last. Church attendance is in steep decline. Secularism is growing. The church is facing an increasingly hostile environment. And yet to listen to the prayers in church and you would be forgiven for thinking everything was fine.
Negativity is everywhere these days except where it needs to be - in the prayers of pulpits as pastors fall face down at the mercy seat of Christ and plead for the future of the church in the West. When the ship is going down, its exactly the time for negativity and anyone who suggests a round of kumbaya should be shot.
Against this backdrop, it is likely foolish to suggest praying against the decline of the West. For if the church will not pray for its own survival I doubt it will pray for the survival of Civilisation. Although the two are intimately related. It is not surprising at all that Civilisation is shifting East at the same time as Christianity is growing so much in the East.
But as members of Western Civilisation, heirs to it, we should seek its flourishing. And at a time where it is slowly dying, that means praying for its survival. Our prayers should be threefold: humble, urgent, and hopeful.
Our prayers should be humble because the West deserves to die. Not for the made up sins of wokeness: various phobias and being too white, male and old. Our whiteness, oldness and maleness is how God has made us, and should be celebrated without guilt. Instead, the West is busy undermining the Christian morals that made it. For the sin of abortion alone the West deserves much worse than we are seeing. In our society, good is called evil and evil is called good. Every kind of wayward lust is encouraged and an earnest seeking after God discouraged.
We can only pray humbly, knowing that we deserve no deliverance. We cannot demand an answer from God, or point to the West and proclaim its faithfulness to him. Far from it! We have only one appeal: to the mercy of our God and his willingness to space us the judgement we deserve.
Our prayers should be urgent for the times are urgent. Children are being corrupted by the transgender mania and receiving puberty blockers at young ages as though there will not be a heavy price to pay. It is only a matter of time before marriage is 'freed' from the constraints of being just for two people. We should pray for haste, that God would hear and answer quickly before things get worse. We are living in Romans 1, watching a sinful society be given over to ever increasing sinful desire.
We should pray hopefully. "Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3v21-23. Our God is a saving God. He delights to deliver, often when all other hopes have failed and we are humanly without hope.
So let us humbly, urgently, and hopefully pray that God would save the West, for the sake of his people in it, in a way that brings great glory to his Name and in a way that brings great blessing and flourishing to his church. Amen.