How To Pray For America

I had a brief and insignificant political career.  During my college years I spent four months as a congressional intern.  I worked in a congressman’s local office mostly answering phones, corresponding with constituents through mail, and joyfully completing other grunt work.  It wasn’t glamorous but I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Yet, after four months I had seen enough to know my political career was over.

My biggest observation from dabbling in politics: There must be a better way to bring about change.   A decade and a half later, I’m convinced the local church is the most effective change agent.  We are people with commendable skills and passions.  Plus, we pray to God Almighty.

As I say that, I’m well-aware that our country faces large and complex problems.  We currently face a pandemic, racial tension, racial divide, political outrage, and completely partisan and biased news sources.  We are witnessing the breakdown of families on numerous different fronts.  According to statistics from the National Right to Life Committee there have been nearly 62 million abortions since 1973, 862,000 abortions in 2018, and an average of 2,362 abortions a day in the US.  According to Census data, 15% of Americans ages 25-34 live with an unmarried partner.  We average a divorce every 12 seconds.  Pornography in the US is a 13 billion a year industry.

With all that said, I still believe in American exceptionalism.  I traveled the world spending months in European countries, weeks in an African countries, and each time I’m thankful when I return to an American airport.  This is an exceptional country.  Yet, as I’ve preached before, we need a revival.

As followers of Jesus Christ, though we live in the United States, we must constantly be reminded that our citizenship is in heaven.   Allow me to clearly outline three points:

  1. The tomb is still empty
  2. Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords
  3. The cross and empty tomb is our salvation

Our hope is not in presidential elections, government programs, executive orders, or Supreme Court nominees.  As citizens of heaven our hope is in the good news of Jesus Christ. The good news produces a God-shaped mission in the hearts of those who serve King Jesus. God did not create a heavenly citizenship for the purpose of creating strife and division. In fact, God desires the opposite outcome. To the people He reconciled to Himself, He gave a ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18).  More on the ministry of reconciliation in a moment.

Here is what I believe to be a truthful statement: You can do more for our community than any policy decision or legislative vote stemming from an elected office.  If churches across the country impacted their individual communities, the impact would be widespread and tremendous.   As followers of Jesus Christ, citizens of heaven, we are to be about God’s mission in the world. Your mission started the day you gave your allegiance to Jesus Christ. The mission field is at your doorstep. Let’s go to work.

We can talk about hands-on approaches at another point.  The topic at hand is prayer.  As followers of Jesus Christ, we should pray for our nation in several ways.

Pray for A Spiritual Awakening to come to America: We’ve seen this happen in our nation’s history.  In 1730’s the Great Awakening came to the English Colonies of America through the preaching of Jonathon Edwards and George Whitfield.  They preached of sin, grace, salvation, repentance, transformation, Heaven, and Hell. It changed hearts and also birthed churches, colleges, seminaries, mission organizations, and social change.  The nation was graced with a second awakening in 1790’s.  Pray for revival.  Be ready when it comes.

Pray for the Church to be the Church:  We need churches to be the change agents in local communities.  Pastors and church leaders need to lead.  Churches needs to stand upon the gospel. We need to rid our churches of false gospels and country club living.  There is nothing wrong with the country club, but the church is not merely a social gathering it is a mission sending organization.  We are providing the lost and dying world with eternal life through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.  Support your church in every way imaginable.  Volunteer.  Give.  Pray.  Serve.  Encourage leaders.  Encourage one another.

Pray of followers of Jesus Christ:  Pray for followers of Jesus Christ to live out the ministry of reconciliation.  In these days of division, we have a message of hope and unity.  2 Corinthians 5:16-21 outlines our ministry of reconciliation.  This is the grassroots message and work of the church.  It starts in your living room and spreads through your neighborhood and workplace.

Pray for the leaders of Our nation:  Pray for God to guide our leaders; for our leaders to listen to God’s guidance and follow in obedience; for God to bring Spirit-led advisers and mentors into the lives of our leaders.  Ultimately, pray this guidance would be reflected in legislation, policy, court rulings, and budgets.  Regardless of the political party in power, we need to pray for our leaders.   1 Timothy 2:1-2 says, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”

Pray for our military:  Pray for our military to be kept safe through peace-seeking efforts.  I firmly believe that every person is created in the image of God.  Due to that Biblical truth, I believe in the sanctity of life from the womb to the tomb.  We should care for people in every way imaginable – fight against abortion, support adoption, meet physical, financial, spiritual needs, care for the elderly, etc.  I want our military safe and supported.  They have an important and necessary role.  Ideally, I believe God’s will is for the military to be safe and supported through peace.

Pray for our families: American life is driven by families.  Our country is merely the sum total of our families.  Pray for families to be devoted to the Lord and for parents to raise children in the ways of the Lord.  Pray for healthy marriages.  Pray for the safety of children.  Pray for our education system.  Pray for our healthcare system.

No matter how bad things appear allow me to clearly outline three points:

  1. The tomb is still empty
  2. Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords
  3. The cross and empty tomb is our salvation

I once worked with a ministry staff in which we created code language for difficult days.  If you were having a bad day and someone asked, “How’s it going?”  you responded, “All I know is the tomb is empty and Jesus is alive.”

No matter how bad things appear, the tomb is empty and Jesus is alive.

One thought on “How To Pray For America

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