I think all of us can agree that our country needs God’s healing touch. He tells us in this scripture what followers of Christ, the Church, need to do before healing can take place.
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 I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV)
In my previous post, we looked at the first step: humility. Now let’s have a look at the second: prayer. For things to change in this country, we must pray. Instead of setting out on our own by getting involved in politics, signing petitions, and more, we need to start with prayer. God may lead us to do those things, but only he can change things. We need to turn to him first.
What should we pray for? Think about this. What things happening in our country bother you? When you watch the news, who or what angers you? What politicians do you think are leading our country astray? Make a list of all the issues and officials that distress you. Issues like abortion and same sex “marriage.” Issues like Christians being taken to court because of standing for their faith. Write down the issues and people you complain about. And then turn that into a prayer list.
As individuals, we need to let the Holy Spirit lead us in our prayer. As a corporate body of believers, we need to pray in one accord as the Holy Spirit leads. Forget denominational lines. The body of Christ needs to unite in bold, fervent prayer.
For the Church
Pray for the Church in America to turn fully to God. To humble ourselves, to pray, to seek God, and repent (we’ll look at repentance more in the next post). To walk in unity, focusing on God alone. To reflect the love and character of God to the world.
For Our Government Leaders
We may not agree with the actions of many of our leaders. We may strongly disagree with their view and actions. In fact, we may be upset with them most of the time. But God makes it clear we are to pray for them. For federal, state, and local officials and judges . . . from the President of the United States on down.
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4)
For Others Who Serve and Lead
Pray for integrity among law enforcement officers and first responders. Pray for their protection and encouragement. Pray for those serving in the military and their families.
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13)
Pray for school teachers and administrators.
Pray that We Will Be a Godly Nation
We are watching spiritual and moral decline not only in our nation’s leadership but throughout the population, even in the Church. Pray. Pray for light to overcome the darkness. Pray for Christians to turn fully to God. Pray for others to come to know Christ.
For the nations that refuse to serve you will be destroyed. (Isaiah 60:12)
Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people. (Proverbs 14:34)
Pray for Israel
In times past America has been Israel’s ally. More and more many in our government are turning on Israel. But God tells us to bless Israel. To pray for Jerusalem.
“I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.” (God’s words to Israel in Genesis 12:2-3)
Like a lion, Israel crouches and lies down; like a lioness, who dares to arouse her? Blessed is everyone who blesses you, O Israel, and cursed is everyone who curses you.” (Numbers 24:9)
Pray for peace in Jerusalem. May all who love this city prosper. (Psalm 122:6)
Pray for Those Being Persecuted . . .
People around the world are being imprisoned, tortured, and losing their lives because they refuse to renounce their faith in Jesus. Stand with them and their families in prayer.
. . . And for Those Persecuting Others
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” (Words of Jesus in Matthew 5:43-44)
We may think terrorists are beyond saving, but no one is beyond the reach of Jesus’ love. Read a story about one Isis terrorist who met Jesus . . .
At our Iraqi Relief Emergency Summit last week, I immediately noticed Abdullah. He was different than every other leader there. Yes, his headdress was unique and his outfit let me know he was from a different ethnic background, but there was a seriousness and somberness on his face.
Eventually, long after everyone else spoke, Abdullah shared his story. With tears of remorse running down his face, this strong man explained that he was a former ISIS terrorist. He couldn’t even recall how many people he had killed. But now, Abdullah’s heart had been changed. He told of being forgiven by Jesus and being welcomed into our “Community of Hope” refugee camps by Christians and other religious minorities.
Then, looking me straight in the eye, Abdullah made a solemn oath and a plea. He promised to spend the rest of his life defending and protecting the very people he had once sought to kill. (Eric Watt, President of RUN Ministries, February 5, 2015)
Pray . . . and Then Act
Bring every issue, every need, to God in prayer. And then fervently do whatever he calls you to do.
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. (James 5:16)