The leaders of all the main denominations in Scotland have issued a joint statement asking Christians to pray both about the vote on 18 September, and the kind of Scotland they wish it to become - whatever the result.
The statement, signed by Alan Donaldson, General Director of the Baptist Union of Scotland
, refers to the actions the country's spiritual leaders 300 years ago when Scotland and England came together as one nation. Just as then, today's leaders do not want to take sides, but give spiritual leadership.
'In the year leading up to the Union there was a call to pray and fast for the Queen (Queen Anne) and the two Governments (in Edinburgh and London) as they conducted negotiations on the details, with the following statement in mind, “That all may be done to the glory of God.....”
'300 years ago the church gave spiritual leadership, without taking sides. Today, there is the same, if not a greater need for the church in Scotland to give such leadership once again.
'While the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ campaigns focus on the political, economic, social, educational and cultural issues, which are of course essential to the debate, as Christians we also care about Scotland’s moral and spiritual climate. We believe that God is the ultimate authority and we have a biblical responsibility to pray for our nation and its leaders at this crucial time.
'Therefore, as Christian leaders we are asking the church in Scotland to join in praying about the Referendum and Scotland’s future. What kind of nation do we wish Scotland to be? History shows us over and over again that prayer changes things and that God responds to the prayers of His people.’
The statement was shared by the European Baptist Federation
, whose General Secretary Tony Peck was raised in Scotland. Mr Peck encouraged Baptists across Europe to join in prayer.
He said, ‘As the political campaign nears its end there are signs that the debate has become more bitter between the 'Yes' and 'No' camps, and of course the result could profoundly affect the whole of the United Kingdom.
'I would ask our European Baptist family to join this Call to Prayer, that whatever the result, there might afterwards be a coming together of the Scottish people as one and a healing of divisions. The Baptist Union of Scotland has always played a very active role in the EBF and we especially pray for our Baptist church members and leaders as they participate in this vote.’