This portrait of our fourth president and author of the Federalist Papers hangs in the White House. It serves as a reminder that our founding fathers rooted the creation of our nation in a loyalty to the greater Kingdom of God. In 1785 James Madison said:
“It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage… Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.”
Our first allegiance is to the God who provides the blessing of freedom in America and our greater freedom in Christ. He is the source of our liberty, he is the source of our greatness. Madison acknowledged the principle of duel citizenship. We are members of the American citizenry, but must first accept our role in the Kingdom of God. Otherwise, we will never truly understand or embrace the blessings He has bestowed on this nation.
What does it mean to have duel citizenship? How does it affect the way you see America?
George Washington was a man of prayer and repentance. His prayer journals offer great lessons on how we, as Christian patriots, should be praying for America today:
Gilbert Stuart's Portrait of George Washington
“Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy Holy protection; and thou wilt incline the hearts of the Citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for the fellow Citizens of the United States at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the field.”
Consider some of the elements Washington includes in his prayer for America:
First, Washington acknowledges God’s sovereignty as the Almighty God.
He acknowledges our need for God’s hand of protection on America.
He asks for our citizens to have a changed heart toward government. This is not self-serving, but a command from God proclaimed in Romans 13:1, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”
He recognizes our need to love one another as Christ commanded and asks God to give Americans a heart of compassion.
Lastly, he acknowledges our need to support our troops. Washington makes special mention of their service and asks for the hearts of America to be turned toward those who serve our nation.
The common theme throughout Washington’s prayer is a desire to change our own hearts. We so often think of changing others when we pray for the nation, but we should pray for God to transform us into the change we want to see in America.
What strikes you about Washington’s prayer? How will it affect the way you pray for America?
“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for that day.”
How often, as Christian patriots, do we feel this strongly about our time in prayer? How often are we reminded that our own wisdom is insufficient?
In times of trouble, the Enemy seductively whispers into our ears that prayer doesn’t help, but that’s because he fears it. He knows prayer is our greatest weapon during personal trials or in times of national crisis. Perhaps you feel your prayers don’t matter; you may feel your prayers can’t possibly make a difference on a national level. But that’s a lie–it’s a lie the Enemy tells you because he doesn’t want you praying for the leaders of America. God welcomes our prayers and asks us to pray for the leaders of our nation (1 Timothy 2:1-4). We have access to the same power that raised Jesus from the grave, so we must never let the Enemy convince us our prayers don’t matter. As Abraham Lincoln indicated, we cannot rely on our own wisdom but we do have access to the wisdom of the world’s Creator.
What Bible passages do you find helpful in encouraging your prayer time?