When a NATION PRAYS
Pastor Peter Simpson
Published by: Very Christ Publishing
This book was recommended to me by a good friend who had also enjoyed it. It is written by Peter Simpson who is the minister at Penn Free Methodist Church in Buckinghamshire. The author is also a history graduate from the University of London. The essence of the book is to trace what happened, from contemporary accounts and newspaper reports, on the twelve national days of prayer that took place during the Second World War - between September 3rd 1939 and August 19th 1945.
The book operates on the premise that the Lord is in providential control over men and nations. He begins by noting the appropriate nature of God honouring patriotism and the importance of nations turning to their maker.
While we haven’t had national days of prayer in the light of recent events, there was clearly, despite a downward trend, sufficient Christian feeling in the country to seek this sort of help in the midst of the last World War. Simpson shows the decline that was taking place before the war, but by the end of the book you see a nation that seemed increasingly aware of its need of the Most High God.
The first day of prayer occurs just before Dunkirk. Helpfully, for those less abreast of the history of the war, he gives a short account of what was happening and what was at stake at the time. He explains what happened at the prayer meeting and then how there were a series of providential events around those landings that made them more successful than might have been expected.
The third day of prayer is around the Battle of Britain. Again, Simpson gives a précis of the context and the number of planes that were being lost to the Luftwaffe. He gives accounts of what happened on the day of prayer across the country and then how the optimal time for an invasion was met with very inclement weather.
The seventh and eight days are linked to the wars in the Mediterranean and North Africa. He highlights the role of the Bible believing Christian, William Dobbie, being made the Governor of Malta and the resolute resistance shown both there and by Montgomery.
The book is replete with accounts from churches stretching from Burnley to Tynemouth, from Edinburgh to London. The book is a small paperback of 159 pages in a large (ish) font. It is a comfortable read and is very suitable for all ages. I would heartily recommend it - just as it was recommended to me.