People frequently say to me that I should “pray for America.” The tone of the comment and flippancy with which it is said implies something insincere to me. I can’t put my finger on it, but it sounds as though it is an effort to manipulate God into making America what they want it to be. It doesn’t really sound like a reminder to be humble and pray for His will to be done on earth.
Call me crazy, but I don’t think the Almighty God is really impressed with prayer requests that are shaped by political ideas or desires to further the American dream of prosperity. Could it be that our country’s needs are much greater than blue and red ideas? Much greater than a stronger economy or a higher standard of living?
If we take our political prejudices, our desires to have more comfort, and our addiction to have more wealth out of our prayer requests for America, what’s left to pray? Here are some ideas:
Pray for Political Leaders as Humans not Politicians
Don’t let political views shape your prayers (or lack of prayers) for political leaders. The president, vice-president, and all other titles on Capitol Hill are held by humans, that is, people with souls. Pray for them to know Christ. Pray for them to be tools in God’s hand to accomplish His purposes on earth. Pray the importance of their positions and the privileges of their ranks will cause them to be humble instead of feeding elitism. Pray the weight of their burdens would turn their hearts to call upon Christ.
God says, “I will cut off the strength of the wicked, but I will increase the power of the godly.” Ask him to do this in the halls and offices of Washington D.C. And while asking, don’t try to convince him of who the wicked and the godly are. That stuff is above our pay grade. Just ask him to keep his word.
Pray for a National Spiritual Awakening
When mentioning this to the Father, ask big and look small. What do I mean by this?
Ask Christ to move at a national level but look for him to open doors locally. When we ask God to turn the heart of our nation, we must keep in mind that the turning begins in neighborhoods, coffee shops, PTA’s, and small business board meetings. Don’t look for a national event. Look for a personal opportunity.
Is your heart turned toward the Lord?
Are you willing to share your love for Jesus when he creates an opportunity for you to do so?
If you can say ‘yes’ to those two questions, then you are part of the answer. Don’t you dare think that God moving in your ordinary places is too small of a thing to be the beginning of a national spiritual awakening.
Pray for Hate to Lose Its Influence
The most popular activity in America is hating. It’s almost as if ‘hate’ is the new ‘love.’ Politics, social movements, and even some religious organizations are no longer about promoting the values that bring people together. Instead, they garner support by promoting who they are against.
Here is what I’ve noticed: Hateful people get heard even when they have nothing to say. People who rage on social media go viral. Hate is rewarded with recognition and circulation. It has become a major influencer in our country. How can anything good come from this?
The Bible says, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” Yet, in our country the common person is encouraged to rally behind those who strengthen their popularity with tactics of hate. The outcome…haters become leaders and influencers.
It is Time to Pray
I’m sure you are like me. You love and care for the United States. You want it to be a good country, a safe place to live, a nation that values people, and will be remembered for the way it brought hope. These desires cannot be fulfilled by human effort. These longings come from a Divine call given by our Creator.
Sometimes the Almighty puts good things just beyond our reach. He does this not because he is cruel, but so we might feel helpless and humble. It is in these moments our hearts are ready to join him and gain from him what he always wanted us to have in the first place.
When you think of our country, do you feel helpless and humble? If so, it is a good time to pray.