Thursday, May 7, 2015

A Prayer for our Nation

Today is the National Day of Prayer, and whether you are a part of an observance or not, this prayer might be one we could all use today. 

Our Father in Heaven,

Across our nation people are praying and we join them in coming to you on behalf of our country.
You are the God who establishes nations and their boundaries. You exalt leaders and peoples, and you humble them, all according to your will. You enrich all peoples with your blessings, pouring grace upon all of us like rain: the grace of life, of love, and of all that we have. You are good even to those who fail to acknowledge you.

Our nation has been singularly blessed for most of our history. You sovereignly guided our founders to draw principles of government from the teachings of the Bible. Our people have had more freedom to seek you and to live in accord with their understanding of Scripture than any other of our times. Your church has been immeasurably blessed within our borders and been privileged to be on the front lines of gospel advancement worldwide. These and many more blessings have come to us from  you.

But Lord, our nation now has joined with many others in a rapid descent into sinful and wicked paths, and we have seen the sins of our ancestors continue to plague us in our day. Where we once protected life, we now sanction its termination. Where we were once known among the nations for the strength of our families and the virtues of our men and women, we find ourselves lost in a moral and mental fog about what it means to be a man, a woman, a marriage, or a family. Our devilish practice of slavery was ended, but the stain of bigotry and hatred continues to mark our society, and we see whole neighborhoods and cities convinced that there is no true justice to be found. Almost daily it seems we see or hear new evidence that our nation has lost its way, and our future is bleak. We are a broken land, and in ourselves we find nothing good or hopeful.

Yet we have hope, because we know you, the one is merciful beyond measure. Our nation deserves your judgment; and we will certainly experience the judgment to fall on all nations when Jesus comes. We have no claim upon you to ask that you would be merciful to us, but those of us who are belong to the Lord Jesus come to you in the spirit of Abraham, asking you not to sweep away the righteous with the wicked. Indeed, we would be bold to ask you to do what you have done before—to pour out your Spirit in revival upon your people and cause the light of the gospel to shine from us into every corner of our nation. Only the repentance of your people and the witness of the Word can make a change that matters, and both of these are dependent upon your Holy Spirit. And so we humbly and hopefully ask that you would hear us from Heaven, forgive your people of our sins, and for the advance of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the glory of your name heal our land. From the simplest home to the corridors of power, make your truth known and let it be heeded.

Give our president, our representatives, our state and local leaders, and all who make decisions that guide us your truth, but more than that, ears to hear it and hearts to follow it. Give our churches broken hearts for our failures, repentant spirits, and a fresh outpouring of your Spirit to empower us to speak your Word and obey it. And may you be pleased to give our nation one more season of your favor that we might be used for your good purposes.