Lord, pour out your spirit on this nation. Cover the earth with your glory. —GEB America television network
Today we are praying for our national community. Oh, my goodness, that sounds like a big job! But the Bible says, “I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:1–4 ESV).
You might be like me—overwhelmed by all that is going on in our country and wondering what you can do to make a difference. But where your personal reach may not carry you, your prayers have the power to travel. Nothing, I mean nothing, is too far removed, too big, or too distant for you to pray for. There are some who are called to lead on a local, a national, or even an international level. If that is not your role to play, then it is your role to pray for those who are called to lead.
When was the last time you prayed for our nation? Our president? Our congressmen, senators, and other public officials? It’s easy to become so consumed by what you want God to do for you that you forget about His mandate to utilize your prayer muscles for the good of those who lead.
This week, what have you seen in the national news that has grieved your heart, made you sad, or even stirred up fear and concern? Pray for that.
Dear God, do You see this particular concern I have about our nation? God, will You please help, rescue, comfort, deliver, rectify?
Praying for our country—and other countries—allows you to recognize how you are blessed. Even if there are things in your life that aren’t quite the way you want them to be, you still probably have much more than most people around the world do. Think about the ways you are blessed and then think about another person or group of people and how they do not have what you might take for granted.
Dear God, I am blessed because You _____________________. I pray for ____________, who does not have the food, shelter, safety, healthcare, peace, or rights that I enjoy.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” —2 Chronicles 7:14
Never doubt what one prayer can do. I know you wonder if your prayers for the country in which you live make a difference. If you aren’t careful, that nagging question of whether your talks with God have an impact will stop you from praying.
Don’t dwell on that. Think of your prayers—one at a time—and give thanks, knowing that you have the opportunity to tell God what’s on your heart and He hears you. And then trust your prayers to Him. Never doubt. And if you do, pray anyway. I know it can be discouraging to pray for our nation and then see so much hurt, pain, moral depravity, bias against Christianity, and diminishing acknowledgment of God in a country founded on God’s Word.
But what if it is the very prayers of God’s people that keep it from being worse? What if your prayers, small and insignificant as they may seem, are a wall of protection that hold back a flood of consequences as our nation grieves the heart of God and threatens to initiate His hand of justice?
What if your prayers are like the prayers of Abraham for Lot, holding back destruction from the place where God has been left out and people are released to depravity of mind and soul? What if?
He hears you when you call on His name. When hard pressed, I cried to the LORD; he brought me into a spacious place. —Psalm 118:5
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD —Psalm 33:12
I hope you’ve felt empowered today to pray for your nation. Even though it might make you feel small, your prayers move God’s heart.
Today, what has been the issue facing the nation that has weighed most heavily on your heart? Continue to offer it to God when you hear about it in the news and when you notice it affecting people you know and love.
One of the issues facing our nation that concerns me is the divide across racial, cultural, and socioeconomic barriers. I know that God desires unity among His people, but even in the church, we won’t always see the unity we should. Whenever my heart is quickened about it—whether I’m reading with my boys, reading about it online, or hearing about it as others discuss the divide in various discussions—I offer it to God. Pause tonight and pray for this nation to look more and more like the kingdom Jesus ushered in.
I also want to invite you to pray for those serving in the military. There are people right now who are stationed all over the globe to protect you. Some of you may have family members who are bravely away from those they love to sacrifice their time and safety to protect others and uphold the good of this nation.
When is the last time you prayed for those who sacrifice their lives for you? Take a moment to pray for someone you know in the military, someone you know who has a relative in the service, or if you know no one, pray for God to cover and protect those you might never meet who put their lives on the line for you.