Don’t Worry: How to Pray for the Nation

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There are so many things to be concerned about, alarmed about and ashamed about in our nation. Trying to follow the news can be overwhelming, depressing, and discouraging. If I may offer you a word of encouragement:

There’s something your can (should) do!

God created humans to NEED to do something when something is wrong. We psychology-type people call this the *need to feel empowered*. Here is ONE simple thing you can do for the overwhelming troubles that you hear about in the news feed:

Don’t worry. Pray for the nation!

When I tell folks that praying for the nation one thing they can do about the greed, disasters, chaos, and corruption in our government, corporation and the world in general, I sometimes get eye-rolls. The idea that prayer for the country is actually efficacious sounds silly and trite.

But listen, if you believe there is a God in the universe, why not pray? If nothing else, it will open you to hearing what actions God has in mind for you regarding the conditions out there.

Could I offer an additional thought: I wonder, if followers of Christ actually took Scriptural instructions seriously and prayed for the nation, might God not say something like: About time they got off their butts and followed my instructions, now I’ll follow through…

Just like when our kids actually do what we tell them to do and they find out that we really do know what we are talking about…we know how things work. God knows how things work: They work on prayer.

So how do you stop worrying and pray for the nation?

Start with understanding we do have mandates to pray for our country. Here are 2 of them:

I Timothy 2:1-2
I exhort therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercession, and giving of thanks be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. KJV

II Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land. KJV

Got that? We should pray for:

*All people

*Kings and all in authority

While we pray, we should:

*Humble ourselves

*Seek God’s face

*Turn from our own wicked ways

What should we pray?

There’s not a single right thing to pray for the nation. I personally prefer to pray 2 ways each day:

*A Scripture passage prayed as intercession for our leaders

*A specific prayer for a person or branch of our leadership

Here are some Scripture passages that I pray (I rotate through them one per day). You can create your own way. I challenge you to pray daily, even for those leaders who are despicable to you. Perhaps God will hear from heaven and heal our land. We sorely need it!

Psalm 72: 1-4 (Put into prayer form)

God, give the president (governor, other leader) an understanding of your justice and show your righteousness to his children.

Give him ability to act justly and righteously towards your people and the poor.

Give even the mountains and little hills peace by his righteousness.

Help him to bring justice to the poor of the people, save the children of the needy, and break in pieces the oppressor.

Ephesians 3: 14-21 (put into prayer form)

For my nation’s cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named:

That God would grant us, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in our inner person.

That Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith,

That we being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that we might be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, unto him be glory in the church (and nation) by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end, Amen.

Proverbs 11:14 (put to prayer)

God, please give our president (governor, other leader) wise advisors and ability to listen to them, for victory is won through these.

Proverbs 21:1 (put to prayer)

God, please turn the heart of the president (governor, other leader) towards you like a stream of water could be turned by your hand.

Psalm 33: 18 (put to prayer)

God, please work in the president (governor, other leader) to fear you and hope in your mercy, that your eyes may be upon him.

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