The first step in praying for the nation is committing to do so. I’ve often pondered how important it is to pray for America, but I wasn’t actually doing it. I had a ton of ideas on how others should be praying, but planning a prayer life for someone else is as effective as calling football plays from your couch. Decide you’re going to get off the spiritual bench and do something yourself.
The most important element in developing a spiritual discipline is making a commitment to the process of letting God change you. Once you’ve made that commitment, you want to be sure you remain accountable. Make a covenant with God to pray for the nation, then ask other Christians or your small group to keep you accountable. Here’s a few things to keep in mind when praying for America:
1. Worship God for what he’s already done and recognize his sovereignty.
2. Pray the Word of God. The greatest weapon against a partisan mind is scripture. When we pray the Word of God, we can be sure we’re praying in his will.
3. Commit to listening. Prayer is never about changing God, it’s about allowing God to change us.
4. Check your motives. When praying for leaders we don’t agree with, it’s tempting to pray they become more like us. Be sure you’re praying for God’s will–not your own political agenda.
When you’re ready, make a declaration of prayer; let God know you’re willing to be engaged.
A DECLARATION OF PRAYER:
Father God, you are the King of kings and the Lord of lords.1 Your Kingdom is sovereign above all others; yours is the Kingdom of Glory, which will reign in righteousness for eternity. I pray our nation would be a light to the world, that it might see your Kingdom in us.
You have commanded us to pray for those who are in authority,2 because there is no government that has not been appointed by you.3 I am grateful I’ve been given the opportunity to share in the liberty and freedom you have bestowed upon the United States.
I confess that our nation can be prideful; our pride should be in your abilities, not our own. We can not succeed without your grace and blessing. For you have said:
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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14, NIV84)
I will call upon your name; I will humble myself before you for the sake of my walk with Christ, and for the sake of my country.
I will call upon your name for the sake of our leaders, for the sake of our citizens and for the sake of our future. I ask that you would hear my prayers and restore our nation. Send the Holy Spirit to convict us of our sin4 and call other believers to join in prayer for America. I pray you will hear our cries from heaven and fulfill your promise to heal our land.
Because you have commanded me to pray and because I have a heart for this nation, I commit myself to this course of action; I will lift up the United States and her leaders to you in prayer. I will remember that it is you alone who grants liberty and freedom. I will put aside my own bias and political views so that I may pray for our leaders to become more like you, instead of judging them for not being more like me.
I thank you for this great country you have allowed me to be a part of. May your light be seen from the shores of America throughout the world.
1 I Timothy 6:15
2 I Timothy 2:1-3
3 Romans 13:1
4 John 16:8-11