The following message comes from Rasik Ranchord, Convener Prayer @ Parliament.
THE PROPOSED CHANGE TO PARLIAMENTARY PRAYER
The new Speaker of the House Rt. Hon Trevor Mallard has asked Members of Parliament for their Feedback on the new version of the Prayer that is prayed by the Speaker at the opening of Proceedings each Sitting Day.
THE TWO PRAYER VERSIONS
The Former Version
“Almighty God, Humbly acknowledging our need for Thy guidance in all things, and laying aside all private and personal interests, we beseech Thee to grant that we may conduct the affairs of this House and of our country to the glory of Thy Holy Name, the maintenance of true religion and justice, the honour of the Queen, and the public welfare, peace and tranquillity of New Zealand, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
The New Version (in English and also in Te Reo)
“Almighty God, We give thanks for the blessings which have been bestowed on New Zealand. Laying aside all personal interests, we pray for guidance in our deliberations, that we may conduct the affairs of this House with wisdom and humility, for the public welfare and peace of New Zealand. Amen.”
There are at least two significant omissions
- The Queen
- Jesus Christ our Lord
Please write to the Speaker of the House and send copies to the following:
- Speaker of The House: Rt. Hon Trevor Mallard email@example.com
- Prime Minister: Rt. Hon Jacinda Ardern firstname.lastname@example.org
- Deputy Prime Minister: Rt. Hon Winston Peters email@example.com
- Leader of the Opposition: Rt. Hon Bill English firstname.lastname@example.org
- Your local MP
- Other Christian MPs
- Keep it brief
- Write in your own words (mass produced letters have little impact)
- Be respectful
- Here are some reasons for retaining the Former Version
- History shapes every Nation: India is shaped by Hinduism; Thailand by Buddhism; Pakistan by Islam; Israel by Judaism. Each country uses its predominant faith in public prayers. NZ has been shaped by Christianity. We celebrated the 200th Anniversary of the coming of the gospel in 2014!
- Some of our Statutory (i.e. mandated by Law not just custom) Holidays are Obviously Christian namely Easter and Christmas. Religious Days of no other Religion has been mandated by law in NZ.
- Christianity is still the largest faith in NZ. According to the last Census (2013) Almost 45% of the population (almost 2 million) described themselves as Christians.
- The former version has been used since 1962, over 50 years ago and some form of Christian prayer has been used since 1854!
- Proposed revised prayers have been rejected 3 times in recent Parliamentary History under Speakers Jonathan Hunt, Margaret Wilson and David Carter in 2014.
- You can add other reasons
In a democracy numbers count, please circulate this information to:
- Your Congregation
- Ministers in your own denomination
- Ministers’ associations in your area and appeal to them to act immediately.
Please saturate this issue with much prayer. Jesus said Christians are salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matt 5:13-14). New Zealand has a Christian Heritage which has not only blessed us spiritually but also politically, economically and socially (see Duet 28).
LET US ACT NOW TO STOP FURTHER EROSION OF OUR CHRISTIAN HERITAGE!
Together for our Nation, Rasik Ranchord Convener Prayer @ Parliament