How to pray for your country

how to pray for your country

Be sure to check out the other posts in the How to Pray for… series:
  • How to Pray for Missionaries
  • How to Pray for Your Kids
  • How to Pray for Your Pastor
  • How to Pray for Your Husband

This is definitely an area of prayer that I fail miserably at. I seldom remember to pray for my country or the leaders that God has ordained to run it. However, as God has placed these men and women in authority over us (Romans 13.1-5), we must continually lift them up in prayer, asking God to guide them and direct them.

First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. – 1 Timothy 2.1-2

The Navigators have a great resource on their website, teaching us how to pray for government leaders.

  • Pray with confidence that God has sovereignly placed them in power: Romans 13.1-5
  • Pray with humility and repentance: “Leaders, especially those who are elected through a democratic process, may reflect the spiritual and moral character of a nation.”
  • Pray biblically: “Pray that country’s president, Supreme Court justices, and other political leaders will enact and uphold just laws that protect the poor and defenseless.”
  • Pray faithfully: Create a system for praying for government leaders on a regular and consistent basis.
  • Pray patiently: God’s time table is not our own. Remember that His schedule is perfect and trust Him.

Praying Scripture is another great way to pray for government leaders (original source). Pray that your government leaders will:

  • Seek Truth: 2 Thesslonians 2.10-12
  • Be wise: Proverbs 4.5-8; Psalm 119.98-100
  • Be courageous and have integrity: Proverbs 10.9; Proverbs 11.3
  • Have sharp insight and be discerning: 1 Thessalonians 5.21-22; 1 John 4.1
  • Align and surround themselves with godly counsel: Psalm 1.1; Proverbs 29.12; Proverbs 24.6
  • Have God’s hand of protection on themselves and their families: Psalm 46.1-3

Just as there are many ways to pray for your government leaders, there are many ways to pray for your country. As I was reading in my quiet time this week, I came across a few verses that I want to start praying over my country:

For they have turned their back to Me, and not their face; but in the time of trouble they will say, “Arise and save us”… Yet you said, “I am innocent; surely His anger is turned away from me.” Behold, I will enter into judgment with you because you say, “I have not sinned.” – Jeremiah 2.27b, 35

I see my country headed down this same path that Judah was on: knowing about God and calling themselves Christians by name, but only calling on God in times of trouble.  

I pray that my country will turn from its self-centeredness and call on God.

How are you praying for your government leaders and your country? Do you have any resources that you’d like to share?

Recent years have reminded us that our country is in need in countless ways. America is riven by racial unrest, violence and terrorism. We’ve experienced heated politics and division among Christians. At times, we’ve been disappointed and dismayed.

Many helpful things have been written about how we should engage various issues, but what about how we should pray? Stewarding our influence in the public square and among our neighbors is important, but not nearly as important as our prayers before a God who hears because of the access purchased by Christ.

So, how should we pray for America? Here’s a prayer guide that you might find helpful for individual, family or group use:

1. Pray for elected and appointed officials (1 Tim 2:2). We talk and complain a lot about politicians, but do we pray as often as we should, as often as we are compelled to pray by scripture? We should pray, not only that our leaders would be use their power well on behalf of the people (Rom 13), but also for the well-being of their families. My suggestion is that pray for all leaders, not just the ones with whom you agree.

2. Pray for candidates running for office (1 Tim 2:2). Regardless of your feelings about the candidates running for local, state and federal offices, you have to admire anyone who is willing to risk public criticism and humiliation in stepping forward. Running for office takes a toll on candidates’ families, opens them up to unprecedented scrutiny and enacts a physical and mental toll.

3. Pray for public servants and first responders. Around the country, at this very moment, millions of men and women wear a uniform and have pledged to protect us from harm. Police officers, fire-fighters, paramedics, search and rescue teams and others put their lives on the line every day in an oft-thankless task. Pray for wisdom and discernment, pray they would use their power well, pray for the wives and husbands and children who kiss them goodbye, not knowing if their loved ones will return.

4. Pray for racial justice. It is clear that there is still much work to be done in our country to heal from our racial wounds and to see more racial progress. We should pray for more unity in our communities and in our country and for leaders who unite, rather than divide. Pray for minority populations who continue to experience prejudice and injustice. Pray for just laws to address racial disparities. Pray that the church will lead the way, showing by its steps toward racial reconciliation, a glimpse of the kingdom, where God will gather every nation, tribe, and tongue.

5. Pray for the recognition of human dignity. Everywhere we look, we see violations of human dignity, from abortion on demand, to the horrific rhetoric some leaders are using to talk about immigrants and refugees, to the violence erupting in the tough neighborhoods in our cities. Pray for laws that see value and worth in every human life, from conception to natural death.

6. Pray for the church. The most powerful institution on earth is the church of Jesus Christ, made up of people from every nation, tribe and tongue. Pray for God’s people to unite together around the good news of the gospel and to commit to living on mission for him in each community. Pray the church would embody the kind of other-worldly values of the Kingdom and point people to the hope found only in Christ. Pray for pastors to boldly preach and teach the word of God and to courageously call their people to Christlikeness.

We don’t always have the answers for the vexing problems that face our country. This should not drive us to despair, but to our knees in humble prayer and repentance. Let’s pray that our hearts will be broken afresh by the fallenness of our world and pray that we’d be obedient to share the good news of the gospel of the Kingdom of God with those who are desperate to hear.

We cannot deny it. Our nation is in trouble and we are facing peril. You can turn on your television or scroll through your Facebook newsfeed right now and see that there is so much violence, corruption, fear and hatred in the hearts of those around us. We are contending with issues that are causing the very foundation of our country to crumble.

In the face of all of this, it’s important that we pray not only for the healing of nation, but also for our president and all those in government leadership who are positions to make change happen. 1 Timothy 2:1-3 says that we are to pray, intercede and give thanks for kings and all people in authority. This is God’s command to every believer today. Praying for godly leaders is productive towards God’s plan and purpose for our nation. The Bible says the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord. He can turn it however he wants, so prayers are important.

Use these eight prayers to pray for our nation an leaders. Pray it in faith, believing and remembering God watches over, loves and protects all:

Heavenly Father, today I pray for our nation. I ask that You would give our President wisdom beyond his own understanding and the courage to choose the right path no matter how narrow the gate. I pray for all in authority over us that You would give them the grace and strength to stand against the temptation to use power as a weapon but rather to carry it reverently as one would a child. I pray for the spiritual leaders of our country that they would hear Your voice and know your heart. I pray that they would lead from their knees and by that simple grace bring each one of us to our knees before Your throne. Have mercy on our nation Lord, In Jesus name, Amen.

Heavenly Father, I bring the needs of our government before You and ask You to bless our nation through godly leaders. I magnify the Name of Jesus and declare that He is Lord over this nation. Amen.

Heavenly Father, we pray that our president and leaders will honor You and respect You as the One and only True God. We ask that You give us government leaders who will pray for Your Will and guidance. Lord, we ask that You pour out Your Spirit on this nation to help each of us discern good from evil, not as the eyes of man but through spiritual eyes. Lord, we ask that You humble our hearts so that we will be a nation filled with gratitude and thankfulness. In Jesus Almighty Name, Amen.

Heavenly Father, I pray according to 1 Timothy 2:1-3 which says, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior.” Amen.

Heavenly Father, I pray, in the Name of the Lord Jesus, for our president, the vice president, all the Cabinet and the chief justice and associate justices of the Supreme Court to receive the wisdom of God, to act in obedience to that wisdom and for the power of God to flow in their lives. Amen.

Heavenly Father, I pray for the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives to find Your peace and direction, and for these men and women to act and lead according to Your Word. A house divided against itself cannot stand, therefore, I pray for them to be unified in righteousness for the sake of the nation. Amen.

Heavenly Father, I pray for Your protection to cover all our law enforcement officers and the men and women of the military. I ask for godly counsel and wisdom for judges across this land. In the Name of Jesus, I pray that You and Your kingdom of righteousness be manifested in the hearts of all those who are in authority in any way. Amen.

Heavenly Father, please protect our nation, our military and our leaders. Turn our nation’s hearts towards you Holy Father, that we may put You first and obey Your commandants. That we may not be lukewarm in our lifestyles but stand courageously and confidently in Your most holy and precious Word. We pray that we may acknowledge You always in our daily lives and glorify You with all that we do. Amen.

With all the things that are going on in our country today, it’s easy to lose trust and hope, even doubt that things in our country will change. It’s clear that the world is broken right now – full of spiritual apathy, selfishness, sexual assault, religious extremism, violence and terrorism, and the list goes on.

It can be also be tempting to believe that America has reached a point of no return. While these factors cause despair, we are reminded in Scripture that with God, nothing is impossible. No problem is too great for Him. Seasons of distress and uncertainty and hardship call for faithful, fervent prayer by God’s people and remind us of our responsibility to humble ourselves before Almighty God. We cannot expect healing to come to our nation apart from obedience to God through His Holy Word. We also know from Scripture that when light stands in the darkness, light always wins.

Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world; He who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). We also know from Joel 2:25 that God can restore what is broken and change it into something amazing. All we need is faith. There is no need for you to feel like there is anything in your life that God can’t handle. He is omnipotent, omnipresent and active in all areas of our lives.

We may live in dark times, but we have hope, because light always wins. At our lowest points, God is our hope and at our weakest points, God is our strength and will heal us.

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