Author’s note: One my most beloved aspects of you, readers, is your inter-nationality. As you might tell by my life overseas, I have a deep appreciation for cultures other than my own; it shapes my life here. Allow me a brief diversion in these prayers for my own countrymen and one of the most influential nations on Earth–prayers partially gleaned from that perspective looking back at my own heritage.
I will rarely “get political” on this blog; I have people on both sides of most debates who I love dearly, and I personally prefer discussing issues in the context of loving relationships, rather than social media! Hopefully you’ll pray with me no matter your political persuasion. –Janel
1.Pray for simplicity of time and material belongings. We are one of the wealthiest–and most hurried–cultures to ever walk planet Earth. Jesus’ words to a harried, distracted Martha ring with great truth: “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:42). Pray that God would be where our treasure and our hearts are, and that we would seek first His kingdom (Matthew 6:20-21,33).
2.Pray for a truth beyond ourselves and a love for God’s law. Psalm 119–among many other psalms–is overwhelmed with the innate goodness of God’s Word. But as Paul David Tripp writes,
Maybe you want the Suggestion Box Jesus, whose law is more advice than command…God’s law is not a curse; it is a grace. God’s law is not a burden; it is a gift of his love…One of the sad and destructive desires of the sinful nature is the desire for self-rule. One of the dark delusions of sin is that it causes us at point to buy into the insane thought that we might be smarter than God.
Pray for a heart of submission–and love for a truth beyond what is right in each person’s own eyes.
3.Pray for a purified, passionate, loving Church. We can’t be surprised when the darkness acts like itself. But we are the salt of the world–a preserving force of our culture. Ask for the grace of God’s purification, for unwavering faithfulness, and transforming love for those inside and outside of His Body.
4.Pray for wisdom and radical generosity toward the poor–financially and beyond. The promises of Isaiah 58 to those who pour themselves out to “lift every yoke” are nothing short of miraculous. Pray that we will pour out our blood, sweat, and tears on the forgotten, voiceless, and downtrodden.
5.Pray for love for “the other side”. Political and moral disparity seem more polarized than ever in our nation. Ask for love for “enemies” and the grace to return blessing after blessing, even in the face of insult. God’s commands for us in conflict require supernatural power, love–and a new understanding of the forgiveness, light, and welcoming we ourselves receive through the Gospel.
6.Pray for racial peace through Jesus Christ. True reconciliation is only found in the Prince of Peace, who transforms us at the heart level. Pray for forgiveness, freedom from the sins and prejudices of our forefathers, and seamless unity of mind in Christians of all races.
7.Pray for the election and appointment of godly officials and judges. Israel’s history is a fascinating study of the power of leaders on the hearts of a nation. Pray for leaders who will guide us closer into God’s heart and will for one of the most powerful nations on earth.
8.Pray for discernment to see true beauty…and true community. Ours is an increasingly image-driven, self-focused, media-saturated culture–perpetuated by surface-level engagements with social media, putting on our best face. We’re tempted toward appearance-driven, time-starved relationships with a light, non-invasive touch. But the Lord looks at the heart. And we need the sight-giving, pervasive power of intentional, authentic community.
9.Pray for discernment and courage against peer pressure. C.S. Lewis wrote, “Jesus Christ did not say, ‘Go into all the world and tell the world that it is quite right’”! Ask God for steadfastness of heart and keen insight: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8); and “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14).
10.Pray for strong, healthy parents, marriages, and homes–supported by teachers and professors, pastors, and other leaders to strengthen a future generation, that the hearts of the next generation will not grow cold (see Psalm 78).
11.Pray for the unborn–and for God’s forgiveness for our country. Please, please know I write this sensitively, having known many women who’ve made this painful choice and still live with its weight. Ask God for His mercy on our nation, that He would lift this “freedom” and its heart-rending injustice, which takes the lives of (roughly speaking) the population of Montana every year. Pray that He would open minds and hearts to see truth. (If you are curious or divided on the recent videos released on Planned Parenthood, I found this New York Times commentary particularly thought-provoking.)
12.Pray for the music and movie industry. We export values worldwide through the powerful force of our media. Pray that God would rewrite our culture’s stories and music to reflect truth and true goodness.
13.Pray for repentance, forgiveness, and revival in God’s people. Revival in our nation starts here–in me. In us.
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)